Music Chapel Festival
Bach to Mendelssohn
The now traditional winter festival of the Music Chapel at Flagey will take place from 1 to 5 December 2021. This 12th edition will celebrate two monuments of musical history: Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn.
The link between the two composers is the following. Bach, insufficiently known during his lifetime, fell into oblivion after his death in 1750, overtaken by the success of classicism.
It was Mendelssohn, musical prodigy and precocious composer, who contributed to the rediscovery of Bach’s work, more than 70 years after the death of the composer. In the 1820s already, he included compositions by Bach in his own concerts, and also drew inspiration from his style and art of counterpoint and fugue for his own creations.
Ironically enough, Mendelssohn himself fell into oblivion due to evolving tastes but also to the anti-Semitism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was rediscovered in the second half of the twentieth century, among others by Yehudi Menuhin, who re-established Mendelssohn as one of the major composers of the Romantic era.
From 1 to 5 December, five prestigious evenings at 20:15 at Flagey (Studio 4) and at the Église de la Cambre for the closing concert:
- 01.12.21: double concertos by Bach and Mendelssohn with the MuCH Ensemble (string ensemble in residence), conductor and oboist Alexei Ogrintchouk and Yossif Ivanov, alumni.
- 02.12.21: A Mendelssohn evening with the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, conducted by José Luis Gomez. Concerto for violin by Anna Egholm and for two pianos by Julien Libeer and Daumants Liepins.
- 03.12.21: an evening of chamber music with Augustin Dumay & Frank Braley, Victor Julien-Laferrière.
- 04.12.21: Bach’s famous harpsichord concertos (transcribed for piano) with Louis Lortie, Frank Braley, Avo Kouyoumidjian, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie and many pianists in residence.
- 05.12.21 at Église de la Cambre: The oratorio repertoire is honored with Bach’s Magnificat and Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, by the Concert d’Anvers, the Octopus choir, conducted by Bart Van Reyn and six singers in residence.
The other part of the Festival is devoted to the chamber music of Bach and Mendelssohn, with many concerts in Studio 1, at noon, 18:00 or on Saturday afternoon. Among others, there will be a marathon performance of the famous six suites for solo cello performed by the artists in residence of the cello department with Gary Hoffmann.
Lastly, a children’s show “Aimez-vous Bach” will be proposed on 4 December at Studio 4, initiated by the Equinox Choirs, in co-production with the Ferme du Biéreau and in collaboration with the Académie de Villecroze. This opera for children, composed by Julien Joubert, is directed by Claire Pasquier.
On the Fest’Off side: a daily meeting at “Salon de Fanny” at 19:15 in Studio 3, with Xavier Falques, Sophie van der Stegen and their guests! A free “Jeunesses musicales” workshop on Saturday at 10:00, and the visit of Saint Nicholas after the show “Aimez-vous Bach”.
Moreover, Poki Poké will again be present this year at the festival: for a quick but delicious meal between the two concerts and the “Salon de Fanny”.
After the digital edition of 2020, we are happy to be able to welcome you in person at Flagey and the Église de la Cambre for these five days of immersion in the music of the two great German composers.
A wonderful festival to all!
Bernard de Launoit,
Executive President – CEO