Bach Birthday Bash

Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 7:30pm

Join James Kennerley, Portland’s Eleventh Municipal Organist, for a performance of music composed by the High Priest of the organ: Johann Sebastian Bach. Born on March 21, 1685, Bach was renowned during his lifetime as a “world-class organist” (so his obituary would have us believe) – more famous for his virtuosic organ playing than for his compositions. Bach’s organ music has captured the minds of performers and audiences for generations ever since. Come to this concert to hear why!

Bach frequently made organ transcriptions of instrumental works by other composers. In this concert James Kennerley challenges Bach at his own game, performing his brand-new transcriptions of the celebratory Sinfonia from Bach’s Cantata 29 and the Italian Concerto, originally composed for the harpsichord. Max Reger was a towering figure of the German Romantic tradition and composed some of the most difficult organ music in the repertory. He made a transcription of Bach’s wildly virtuosic Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue for the organ that reimagines the harpsichord piece as a massive, symphonic work utilizing everything from the quietest to the loudest of organ sounds. The Kotzschmar Organ is the perfect partner in crime for bringing the piece to life.

You’ll also hear works composed throughout Bach’s life, including the impassioned Fantasia in G minor and its jaunty companion piece, the Fugue in G minor. As an entr’acte to the fantasia and fugue, James will perform the chorale prelude on “Vor deinen Thron” – the very last piece that Bach composed. We’ll also enjoy the momentous Passacaglia in C minor – a work constructed around a recurring bass theme. Bach interweaves this melody with golden threads of counterpoint that only the greatest composer for the organ could ever do.

Universally recognized as the greatest organist – continues to set the bar for organists to this day.

Concert Details & Tickets:

  • 7:30pm Concert

Tickets: $20 General Admission (Seniors $18, Students $15, Kids 12 and under FREE but tickets required)

Available at PortTIX and over the phone at 207-842-0800.

PortTIX Box Office: 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, ME; Hours: M-Sat (M-F Summer) 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm



Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 7:30pm
Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St, Portland, ME
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