Johann Sebastian Bach saw himself more as a musical artisan than as any kind of incandescent genius, so chances are he would have been shocked at the notion that the 313th anniversary of his birth would inspire celebrations by music lovers all over the world.
But if any musician deserves a birthday bash, it must be the creator of the "B-minor Mass," the "Brandenburg Concertos," monumental works for solo organ and "Well-Tempered Clavier," whose visionary sense of harmony transformed music in the 18th century and continues to define its essence today.
Local music lovers will have several opportunities to tip a cap in Bach's direction this weekend at St. Anne's Church in Annapolis, thanks to Ernest Green and his Annapolis Chorale and Chamber Orchestra.
The celebration begins at 8 p.m. tomorrow with a concert by the Chamber Chorus of the Annapolis Chorale.
The smaller ensemble will present music from the 16th through 20th centuries, including English part-songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams and the "Miserere" by Gregorio Allegri.
Tickets for tomorrow's concert are $15.
Members of the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and other guest artists will perform at the church from 2: 30 p.m. and 5: 30 p.m. Saturday.
Larry Molinaro, St. Anne's new organist, will play Bach's "Goldberg Variations" on the harpsichord at 3: 30 p.m.
Admission to the afternoon concert is $5, but it is free for those those holding tickets to the other weekend events.
The centerpiece of the weekend, "Bach's Birthday Bash," comes at 8 p.m. Saturday, The choir and the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, under Green's direction, will premier a "Bach Birthday Ode" by local composer Leonard Moses.
Tickets to the Saturday evening performance are $20.
The chorale is offering a Bach supper, along with a preconcert talk by Green and Molinaro, at the St. Anne's Parish House on Duke of Gloucester Street. A ticket to all of the weekend's events, including the supper, is $35. Call the chorale office at 410-263-1906 for reservations.
Pub Date: 3/19/98