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Bach festival begins week of music with concert

By Jessica Rodrigo
May 29, 2013 at 12:29 a.m.

The Victoria Bach Festival will start and end on big, bold sounds with bits of Beethoven sprinkled throughout the week.

Conspirare's Company of Voices and the Victoria Bach Festival string ensemble will perform two cantatas by Robert Kyr, "Songs of the Soul" and "The Cloud of Unknowing," on Saturday at the First United Methodist Church.

Bach Festival Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson said the two pieces explore human and divine love.

"They're very apropos for any human being on a human journey. It's very intriguing in that sense," he said. "We're very excited about this."

During the week, the festival includes a variety of performances with classical instruments and not-so-traditional use of percussion instruments.

Nina Di Leo, executive director of the Victoria Bach Festival, said the performances are going to be varied and rich musical experiences. From the New Young Artists performing Bach's Double Concerto at noon Tuesday to Friday evening's Mundi performance that will include international sounds and folk-rock music, the week will have something for all ages and tastes of music, she said.

She added that this year will be a blockbuster year for the Bach Festival because of the scale of performances scheduled. There will be more than 250 musicians performing on stage for the grand finale at the Victoria Fine Arts Center on June 8. The performance will be conducted by Johnson and will include the Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra and Chorus, Conspirare Symphonic Chorus and Texas State Chorale.

"It's a beautiful piece of music that Beethoven considered himself to be his master work. That's going to be quite an exciting piece," she said.

The week will have both free and ticketed events at various locations in Victoria. For more information, visit victoriabachfestival.org or call 361-570-5788.

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