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Pacific Baroque Festival


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2021 Pacific Baroque Festival Makes Triumphant Return September 8-13

Live Music Returns to Victoria with a Festival of
Chaconnes and Passacaglias

Victoria, BC - After a lengthy delay, the 17th annual Pacific Baroque Festival, presented in partnership with EMV: Pacific Baroque Series and the Victoria Conservatory of Music, will be held once again in Victoria this September. ‘From the Ground Up: Chaconnes and Passacaglias,’ features a dazzling series of concerts that highlight this uniquely virtuosic Baroque music, including stunning works by Claudio Monteverdi, François Couperin, Dietrich Buxtehude, and Georg Philipp Telemann.
“We are so grateful to finally be able to present this wonderful series of concerts,” says Brian Groos, Managing Director of The Pacific Baroque Festival. “This music is beautiful and profound; an experience that will be enhanced when hearing these musicians play it in a live performance.”
To interpret this captivating line-up, Festival Artistic Director Marc Destrubé will lead an ensemble of the west coast’s leading early music artists including violinist Kathryn Wiebe, cellist Natalie Mackie, harpsichordist Christina Hutten, and member of the Order of Canada, soprano Suzie Leblanc. The Festival opens with a recital by celebrated organist Mark McDonald.
“This year’s theme is based on Chaconnes and Passacaglias. These are both types of pieces that use an approach called a ‘ground bass,’ or a repeating bass line,” explains Destrubé. “It’s like a modern-day chord progression in a pop song. This year’s Pacific Baroque Festival gives us the opportunity to explore the many ways in which composers such as J.S. Bach and Arcangelo Corelli used the universal appeal of the chaconne and passacaglia. These forms suggest that the wheels of life just keep on turning, which is the perfect sonic balm for these unsettled times.”
The Festival will feature performances at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall and Christ Church Cathedral, with limited seating and Covid safety protocols in place.

‘The Master’s Masters: Teachers of the Young Bach’
Wednesday, September 8 at 8:00 PM
Christ Church Cathedral (Quadra Street at Rockland Avenue)
Mark McDonald (Organ)

The pieces in the Andreas Bach Book and the so-called Möller manuscript, two significant collections compiled by J. S. Bach’s eldest brother and keyboard teacher Johann Ernst Bach, are a treasure trove of the greatest composers of the day and shed light on the early musical education of the young J. S. Among the many great names in the collections – Pachelbel, Froberger, Lully, Albinoni – are two of Bach’s greatest influences, the celebrated organists Dieterich Buxtehude and Georg Böhm whom Bach would seek out in his early years as a budding musician. Take a musical journey through the sound world of the young Bach, whose own early works in the collection, like the great Passacaglia in C minor, show his ascension from studious pupil to master in his own right.
‘Italian Passion’
Thursday, September 9 at 8:00 PM
Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave
Marc Destrubé (Violin); Kathryn Wiebe (Violin); Natalie Mackie (Viola da gamba); Christina Hutton (Harpsichord and Organ); Suzie LeBlanc (Soprano)

Explore the brilliant music of the violin virtuosos of 17th and 18th century Italy. Early Italian composers were masters in defining genres, from Monteverdi’s operas to Frescobaldi’s toccatas to Corelli’s sonatas. This concert highlights the versatility of Italian expression over an ever-steady ground bass.
‘German Depth’
Friday, September 10 at 11:00 AM
Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave
Marc Destrubé (Violin); Kathryn Wiebe (Violin); Natalie Mackie (Viola da gamba); Christina Hutton (Harpsichord and Organ); Suzie LeBlanc (Soprano)

The music of 17th century Germany was highly influenced by the Protestant Reformation. With a new approach to writing for the church, composers explored the depths of their own beliefs through music. Drawing from new musical ideas and forms that emerged in other regions, such as the chaconne and passacaglia, the brilliant composers of our German Depth concert skillfully adapted them to their more profound local tastes.
‘French Elegance’
Saturday, September 11 at 8:00 PM
Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave
Marc Destrubé (Violin); Kathryn Wiebe (Violin); Natalie Mackie (Viola da gamba); Christina Hutton (Harpsichord and Organ); Suzie LeBlanc (Soprano)

In the Palace of Versailles, the Sun King, Louis XIV, presided over a court widely known for its extravagance. He celebrated the arts and employed many musicians to perform ballets, operas, and at official ceremonies for the entertainment of foreign guests. French Elegance is a programme of music from this period, exuding the glory of France as exemplified by the mighty chaconne.
‘Choral Evensong’
Monday, September 13 at 5:00 PM
Christ Church Cathedral (Quadra Street at Rockland Avenue)
(Voluntary Offerings)

The Pacific Baroque Festival concludes with the annual tradition of Choral Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral.  This year’s Service of reflection and prayer will feature the music of England’s Henry Purcell and Lübeck’s Dieterich Buxtehude.”

2021 Pacific Baroque Festival – From the Ground Up: Chaconnes & Passacaglias
September 8 – 13, 2021
Tickets: $25 + fees for all ages
Box Office: www.pacbaroque.com/2021-pacific-baroque-festival
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