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Bach, Vivaldi, Handel

Antonio Vivaldi, Frideric Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach are among the "royale" composers being celebrated by the Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale on Saturday at the Alberta Bair Theater. Highlights of the concert include Bach’s Brandenburg’s Concerto #3 Handel’s Water Suite, Vivaldi’s Credo in E minor, and more.

Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3

Johann Sebastian Bach

 Johann Sebastian Bach

According to the BSO&C, the six Brandenburg Concertos give us a glimpse into the evolution of modern orchestral composition. "In the Baroque era, a “concerto” wasn’t necessarily a virtuoso solo showpiece as we think of it today. The word frequently referred to a work in which musicians perform in concert (as a group). Concerto # 3 was originally composed for three violins, three violas, three cellos, bass, and harpsichord. The nine upper strings serve as both concertino (soloists) and ripieno (accompanists), fluidly transitioning between roles throughout the piece."

The Water Suite

Frideric Handel

Frideric Handel

Water Music, an orchestra composition for about 50 musicians, was a composition by Handel, who responded to King George I's request for music for a July 17, 1717 barge party. The piece included an ensemble of flutes, recorders, oboes, bassoons, trumpets, horns, violins, and basses in the form (timpani were likely added after the barge performance was over). According to BSO&C, "the king was so delighted with the new work that he asked to hear it over and over—for a total of four performances, lasting about an hour apiece. Because Water Music was assembled and published posthumously as a complete collection, the order in which the Handel wished the various movements to be played remains uncertain. Instead, movements are grouped according to their keys and instrumentations, creating three shorter suites—in F major, in D major, and in G major."

Credo in E minor, RV 591

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Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi

The Credo belongs to the large group of church works which Vivaldi composed in Venice between 1713 and 1717 for the Ospedale della Pietà, the convent and orphanage which was his primary place of employment. Written solely for choir and strings, the four-movement work is a companion piece to the Gloria, RV 588 (the less well-known of Vivaldi’s two settings).

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. "Concert Cues" with Tom Singer begin at 6:45 p.m. and the Symphony strikes their first strings at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 252-3610, online at billingssymphony.org, or at the Billings Symphony Box Office at 2721 2nd Ave. N. Ste. 350 in downtown Billings.

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Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Arts & Entertainment Reporter at The Billings Gazette.