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CONTACT: Kathleen Fay, Executive Director
617-661-1812 |

MEDIA ALERT: The Boston Early Music Festival closes its triumphant season with the Flanders Recorder Quartet performing Bach masterpieces on April 27, 2012.


Flanders Recorder Quartet (Belgium)
Tom Beets, Bart Spanhove, Joris Van Goethem
& Paul Van Loey, recorders


Friday, April 27, 2012 at 8pm
Sanders Theatre at Harvard University
45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA


Reclaiming Bach for the Recorder

J.S. Bach: Concerto in a (BWV 596)
J.S. Bach: Fantasia & Fuga in C (BWV 570 & 545)
J.S. Bach: The art of fuge (BWV 1080)
J.S. Bach: Passacaglia in g (BWV 582)
J.S. Bach: Canzone in d (BWV 588)
Telemann: Concerto in F
J.S. Bach: Praeludium & Fuga in c (BWV 537)
J.S. Bach: Jesu meine Freude (BWV 610)
J.S. Bach: Fuga in a (BWV 543)
J.S. Bach: Concerto in d (BWV 595)

TICKETS: Tickets priced at $19, $38, $49, $66, and $100 each and can be purchased at WWW.BEMF.ORG and 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students, seniors, and groups is offered by calling 617-661-1812.

A favorite of BEMF audiences since 1995, the Flanders Recorder Quartet has thrilled concert-goers on five continents with dazzling interplay and fluent, agile performances. These accomplished virtuosos offer a triumphant season finale with an unforgettable program that claims the music of Johann Sebastian Bach for the recorder. Just as Bach arranged music of other composers that he admired, the gifted artists of the Flanders Recorder Quartet have prepared their own arrangements of some of Bach’s most beloved works. Hear these brilliant masterpieces in a new light, in performances full of charm, electrifying technique, and boundless enthusiasm.

The members of the Flanders Recorder Quartet discuss how they devised this celebration of Bach’s genius: “All of us have a boundless admiration for Johann Sebastian Bach. We waited for fifteen years before we dared to record his compositions and to publish our arrangements of them. Now we feel that the material has matured sufficiently to allow these arrangements to stand the test. Would Bach himself have approved? It is a fact that the master himself was fond of reworking compositions that interested him. For the rest, this question must remain unanswered. We ourselves find his music to be so rich and full of genius, so perfect in structure, that the actual scoring is of less importance. Bach’s language is the perfect reflection of the genius from which it sprang: vital, balanced, energetic, driving, poetic, religious, inventive, rhetorical, emotional, introverted, symbolic, and personal.

“Bach showed a great predilection for the organ, the king of instruments. He walked some two hundred miles in order to meet his mentor and source of inspiration, German organist Dietrich Buxtehude. It should thus come as no surprise to discover that many works in this concert were originally written for organ. Although a recorder consort can be said to approach the sound of an organ, it is impossible to imitate the grandeur of this instrument with four recorders. What the version for four recorders does offer is a certain charm and transparency: each voice wins a degree of individuality and independence. Four personalities, four individuals melt together, as it were, into one player.”

Since its foundation in 1987, the Flanders Recorder Quartet has evolved into one of the world’s top ensembles. After more than 1,800 concerts in 42 countries on five continents, including some in world famous concert halls in Tokyo, New York and Salzburg, the ensemble has attained a prominent position in the world of Early Music. The ensemble also makes regular guest appearances at leading music festivals such as those in Helsinki, Paris, Geneva, Boston, Vancouver, Singapore, Taipei and Mexico City and has released numerous prize-winning recordings. The Flanders Recorder Quartet showcases an instrument that was underestimated for two centuries. Their extensive collection of instruments and highly virtuosic performance of a richly varied program makes each concert an unforgettable experience and allows the recorder, one of the most important instruments of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, to shine in its former splendour.

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Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, the Boston Early Music Festival offers diverse programs and activities, including three Grammy-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The fully staged operatic centerpiece of the 17th Festival and Exhibition, June 9–16, 2013, will be the first modern-day historically-conceived production of Handel’s first opera, Almira. BEMF Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and Stage Director in Residence Gilbert Blin will lead the opera featuring Veronica Cangemi in the title role.

The 2011–2012 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, 99.5 All Classical, Harpsichord Clearing House, Zuckermann Harpsichords International, The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation, U. S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management, and GTC Law Group.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email