Glasperlenspiel Festival 2023

06/07/2023 - 11/07/2023

Tartu St John's church

Glasperlenspiel Festival 2022
December 14, 2021
May 15, 2020

Glasperlenspiel presents:

● Sun, April 2nd at 5 pm in Kaarli kirik (Charles’ Church), address Toompuiestee 4, Tallinn
vocal soloists, Collegium Musicale (chorus master Endrik Üksvärav), Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, conductor Andres Mustonen

Bach composed his St John passion during his second year in Leipzig, in 1724. As the freshly appointed cantor of the St Thomas church and therefore also the music director for the four churches of Leipzig, Bach probably felt the need to prove himself in this new situation. After all, he was far from first choice for the position − one official of the city council even remarked that, in lieu of the best man, they would have to make do with a mediocrity. With the St John passion, Bach was surely able to surpass these doubts, as the piece was the most extensive he had written so far.
It is known from his obituary that Bach wrote five settings of the passion story, but the only surviving ones today are the St John’s and St Matthew’s. Perhaps this is the reason why these two masterpieces are constantly compared to each other. Robert Schumann, who conducted the St John passion in 1851, considered it “more daring, forceful and poetic” than the St Matthew passion. The St John passion is also often described as more realistic, faster paced and more anguished. Bach never composed an opera, but this is about as close as he came.
St John passion is written for an intimate ensemble of soloists, four-part choir, strings and basso continuo and pairs of flauti traversi and oboes. For additional colours, Bach also used lute, viola d’amore and viola da gamba. The author of the libretto is unknown, although it is likely that it was Bach himself. The core of the libretto is made up by chapters 18 and 19 of the Gospel of John, with some additional paragraphs from the Gospel of Matthew and settings of poems by Barthold Heinrich Brockes, Christian Weise and Christian Heinrich Postel. The St John passion was first performed on Good Friday, April 7 in 1724 at the St Nicholas church in Leipzig.
Bach repeatedly returned to the piece, revising it three times: in 1725, 1732 and 1749. This clearly shows how much value Bach placed on the work. Nowadays, the original work of 1724 is the most often performed version.


● Thu, July 6th at 7 pm St John’s church
Marcel Johannes Kits (cello), Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, conductor Kristiina Poska
Kr. Järvi (première), Haydn, Mozart

● Fri, July 7th at 12.15 pm St John’s church (free entrance)
Recordings versus live, ensemble Arsis, surprises, gifts

● Fri, July 7th at 7 pm St John’s church
The program and the artist will be announced soon

● Fri, July 7th at 10 pm St John’s church
Johan Randvere (piano, comments), Anna Litvinova (sand painting)
Mussorgsky, Eller

● Sat, July 8th at 7 pm St John’s church
● Sun, July 9th at 7 pm Viljandi (in cooperation with Viljandi Early Music Festival)
Keren Hadar (soprano, Israel), Hortus Musicus, Kremerata Baltica, conductor Andres Mustonen
Haydn, Handel, Beethoven-Vähi, Corelli-Kaumann, Kancheli

● Sat, July 8th at 10 pm St John’s church
Maxim Tzekov (violin, Austria)
Bach, Paganini

● Sun, July 9th at 3 pm “Autovabaduse” (‘Car-free’) Avenue (in collaboration with the City of Tartu and Tiigi Seltsimaja, free entrance)
Vocal ensmble Estonian Voices
Kõrvits (première)

●  Sun, July 9th at 7 pm St John’s church
Kajsa Dahlbäck (sopran, Soome), Helsinki Baroque
Buxtehude, Meder, Victoria, Cancionero de Uppsala

●  Mon, July 10th at 7 pm St John’s church
Albin Paulus (Jew’s harp, “Billy goat horn”), Christoph Angerer (viola d’amore), Peter Frisée (harpsichord), Concilium musicum Wien (Austria)
Haydn, Albrechtsberger, Weißmann

●  Tue, July 11th at 7 pm St John’s church
Giunter Percussion (Lithuania), Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

Peeter Vähi – artistic director
Taavet – artistic adviser
Tiina Jokinen – executive director
Kadri Kiis – producer, accountant
Kaidi Ugandi – manager of Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta
Meeta Morozov – musicologist, editor of festival booklet
Olavi Sööt – co-producer, video, logistics
Mart Kivisild – design
Reno Hekkonens – marketing director, PR
Johannes Vähi – co-producer, webmaster, sound engineering, logistics
Marje Hansar – social media

Special thanks: Tartu City Government, Urmas Klaas, Ministry of Culture of Estonia, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Canon, Toyota, St John’s church, Kaupo Kiis, Kristel Leppik, Anne-Liise Kiis, Maara Parhomenko, volunteers

Next Glasperlenspiel Festival: July 4th–9th, 2024: Glasperlenspiel Snfonietta, Kristiina Poska, Marcel Johannes Kits, Giunter Percussion, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Kristjan Järvi and multiple other artists

Toyota Baltic AS

Media reviews

Previous festivals: 2022; 2021; 2020; 2019; 2018; 2017201620152014; 201320122011201020092008; 2007; 20062005ArchivesGlasperlenspiel 2003 and 2004

Toyota Baltic AS
Eesti Kultuurkapital