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European Early Music Day live from Stockholm

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 , ora 10.22

The 21st of March is a special day for lovers of early music, it is dedicated to the anniversary of over 1000 years of European musical history, from the Middle Ages to the end of the Baroque, with the final milestone being the year of Johann Sebastian Bach's death - 1750. It has also been proposed as the anniversary date of early music, precisely the birthday of the Thomaskantor, who in an unprecedented creation formulated definitive and unparalleled statements in the Baroque world, taken up and recognized for their value by the generations of the 19th century, starting with Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and followed by the spectacular restoration that had begun in the 20th century.

Early Music Day has been celebrated in Europe since 2013 through REMA, an organisation that promotes this ancient European musical history through concerts and other events, all held on the same anniversary day. Looking at the map published on the earlymusicday.eu website, one can see that events are naturally mainly located in Italy and France- these are the countries where the two schools of music have emerged, but also in Spain, which is not far behind, followed by Germany, England, Ireland, Sweden, Portugal, Belgium, Finland, and as an extrapolation, the United States of America, Hong Kong and Australia, which are joining in out of solidarity.

On the evening of the 21st of March, we bring you a live concert from Stockholm, titled "Bacho Continuo - The power of darkness". Bass Staffan Liljas, accompanied by an ensemble of violinists Ann Wallström and Lina Söderholtz, Andrea Ravandoni on violin, Mime Brinkmann on cello, Olof Larsson on violone, Kerstin Frödin on oboe and Johan Lindström on organ, will perform three cantatas for bass voice by Johann Sebastian Bach, on the theme of death as redemption from sin, as liberation from the shackles of a too painful existence; specifically, Cantata BWV 82 "Ich habe genung" (I have enough), composed in a first version for bass and solo oboe in 1727, BWV 158 "Der Friede sei mit dir" (Peace be with you), the shortest of Bach's cantatas, and Cantata BWV 56 "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen" (I will gladly carry the cross-staff).

Marina Nedelcu
Translated by Lenuța Bejenaru,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu