Bulgarian Bach Society presents "Messiah" by Handel

Photo: culturecenter-su.org

On May 8, at Aula Magna of the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski,” the audience will hear "Messiah" by George Frederik Handel – one of the most famous works by the composer.

Written around 1741, the oratorio was first performed completely in 1742 in Dublin. According to some sources, before Handel’s death the work was performed about 70 times. It has been performed many times in this country. The initiator and main organizer of the upcoming concert is the "Bulgarian Bach Society" and its President eng. Georgi Kolchakov. For more than 10 years the "Bulgarian Bach Society" has been presenting large vocal-instrumental works from the Baroque era and since 2011 the annual concerts have been included in the program of the European Music Festival. Over the years the audience have heard St Matthew Passion (several times), St. John Passion, and Mass in B Minor by Bach... Last year the first ever performance in Bulgaria of Israel in Egypt by Handel took place.

“17-18 years ago I decided that it was possible to put on stage such a large piece of art,” Engineer Kolchakov says. “Without any state aid or public intervention it may have been a foolish idea, but it seemed feasible to me. Gradually, a circle of people performing Baroque music and fans of this music emerged. The music of Bach and Handel is largely related to the Christian idea, which is, in my opinion a moral vector that was lost in our society, discredited in the years of Socialism with terrible means. I think the high moral messages of this music help people push forward in the right direction. Baroque works also require different sound extraction, phrasing. There is an entire movement in Western Europe performing Baroque music using instruments that are from this period or are their exact copies. We cannot afford this yet, but for the past 10-11 years, the same people who gather together to perform Baroque music have learned the specific manner of performance. There are remarkable instrumentalists part of the orchestra – concertmaster Yordan Dimitrov is from the Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble. The presence of Kalin Panayotov – an outstanding oboist, as well as of all other musicians is also very important. Singers from the choir are also among the permanent participants, so it is possible to take a step forward every year. The soloists have been with us from the very beginning. Bass Plamen Beikov is a student of Boris Hristov and specialized in Baroque music in London. He has performed the ‘Messiah’ many times. Tenor Virgil Hartinger is the son of the president of the Bach Society in Salzburg. He has been living with Baroque music since a child and has mastered its performance. The audience in Sofia knows him as the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions. He is a very good singer with perfect Baroque technique. Olga Mihaylova-Dinova is an exciting mezzo-soprano, while Girgina Girginova is a serene, wonderful soprano voice... Conductor will be Yosif Gerdzhikov, who leads the performers on the paths of a huge mountain he knows well. Everyone loves working with him. Singers particularly appreciate it because he is a vocalist, an outstanding pedagogue and expert in Baroque music.”

English: Alexander Markov

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