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Cosmos: The Art of Fugue - a journey through space and time

Saturday, April 04, 2009
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Event Type:
SC Baroque Festival
P.O. Box 482; Santa Cruz, CA 95061
Location Details:
Music Center Recital Hall, UCSC Campus
Heller & Meyer Drives
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival's third season concert offers a visual and sonic journey through the cosmos with Johann Sebastian Bach's Art of Fugue, performed by the Galax Quartet. A culmination of musical science and enigma, Bach's last and unfinished work will be accompanied by a visual space voyage showing recent views of the galaxy from earth and space, curated by renowned UCSC astronomer Raja GuhaThakurta.

Program Information: To many modern-day music enthusiasts Bach's Art of Fugue (Kunst der Fuge) represents the culmination of counterpoint as musical science, as well as being an aesthetically beautiful work. Yet to many the complexities of this compositional genre also yield a sense of mystery, or a crossing point between the scientific, the artistic, and the spiritual. The Art of Fugue's eminence if perhaps amplified by circumstance of Bach having been a life-long church musician and it being his last and unfinished work. But what more appropriate counterpart to the "Art of Fugue" than the study of the stars? Primarily created for scientific purposes, the telescopic images shown as part of this presentation are colorful works of galactic art, and can hardly fail inducing awe and curiosity. Too add to this parallel, these images, due to the unimaginable distances involved, provide snapshots of time from many years in the past, not unlike the centuries-old music being performed. Yet – to close this conceptual circle - in Bach's time the discoveries of Galilei, Kepler, and Newton were still echoing from the very recent past. The visual space journey presented at this concert will be specially arranged by UCSC astronomer Raja GuhaThakurta, and facilitated by Ph.D. student Evan Kirby. Providing the vehicle for musical travels through the Art of Fugue is the Galax Quartet with David Wilson and Katherine Kyme (violins), Roy Wheldon (viola da gamba), and David Morris (cello). The Galax Quartet was founded in Oakland in 2005. This particular quartet combination was derived from the practice of Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787), the last of the great viola da gamba virtuosi. With this collaboration of scientific and artistic forces, we invite you to come and hear Bach's final masterwork in truly new light! A question-and-answer session follows the concert.

Added to the calendar on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 2:17PM
§Galaxy images
by SC Baroque Festival
Credits: Galaxy images courtesy of UCSC Professor Raja GuhaThakurta, drawn from the research of fellow astronomers worldwide. Narration by UCSC Ph.D. student Evan Kirby.
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