Mistral’s 19th Season continues just on the heels of Thanksgiving, heralding the holiday season with a pair of concerts that features music of the King of Baroque and one of the greatest composers of all time, Johann Sebastian Bach.
For many years Mistral audiences have associated the turning of the calendar page in December with the anticipation of Mistral’s annual holiday concert of festive Baroque concertos performed without a conductor. Like last season, this year’s performances will take place in two intimate venues: Saint Paul’s Church of Brookline, and South Church in Andover. Founders Michael Brower and Julie Scolnik say this concert has always been one of their most popular.
“Warm and fuzzy doesn’t begin to describe the flood of love we feel when we walk out onto the stage each year,” said Scolnik, “The churches are virtually filled to capacity with the smiling faces of music lovers who have put aside their long lists of holiday chores to come together with friends, family, and community to listen to this glorious, uplifting music!”
Among the plethora of gems by J.S. Bach performed: arias by beloved soprano Lisa Saffer, who has appeared on stages around the world from Lincoln Center to Wigmore Hall; the achingly beautiful double violin concerto performed by two young rising stars, Alexi Kenney and Stella Chen, both gaining reputations as exceptional artists of their generation, a harpsichord concerto arranged by Galway for flute and strings, and the celebrated Chaconne for solo violin—considered the pinnacle of solo violin repertoire, and thought to have been composed in mourning after his wife’s death, and performed by Ayano Ninomaya whose impressive career boasts numerous international prizes such as the Naumburg, Tibor Varga, and Astral Artists National Auditions. Bringing the entire ensemble together, the concert will culminate with the ever-popular Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 with artistic director and flutist Julie Scolnik.
Selections by Johann Sebastian Bach
Chaconne for Solo Violin, BWV 1004 From Partita No. 2 in D Minor
Concerto BWV 1056 arranged by James Galway for flute & strings
Concerto for 2 violins, strings & continuo in D Minor, BWV 1043
Bete aber auch dabei BWV 115 for solo cello, flute, & soprano
Hart irh Volker BWV 76 for soprano, continuo, violin obliggato
Concerto solo violin & strings
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
Ayano Ninomaya, Stella Chen, Alexi Kenney, violins
Gabriela Diaz, violin/viola
Stephanie Fong, viola
Sasha Scolnik-Brower, cello
Dylan Sauerwald, harpsichord
Donald Palma, bass
Julie Scolnik, flute
Lisa Saffer, soprano