Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Relive the concert with which Víctor Alarcón started the monumental project Bach Santiago

This Tuesday 27, at the close of the Sacred Music Meeting, the first concert of the Bach Santiago Cycle will be highlighted, which was conducted by Víctor Alarcón, just two months before his premature death, and which was a Latin American milestone.

“In Chile there are many people who love Bach’s music; it always has a great audience,” Víctor Alarcón declared in July 2018, just before this concert. Photo: Estudio Manero

At the closing of the XVIII Meeting of Sacred Music, the UC Institute of Music presents on Tuesday, April 27, the historical record of a concert that marked a milestone not only at the national level, but also in Latin America.

It is the first concert of the Bach Santiago cycle, the monumental project created by the well-remembered professor Víctor Alarcón (1958-2018) that will make Santiago the first Latin American capital where all the Johann Sebastian Bach cantatas will be performed.

The concert was recorded live at El Redentor Lutheran Church. The ensemble Concerto Vocale and the Cuarteto Surkos perform, with the concertmaster David Núñez, Sebastián Camaño on the continuum and the oboe soloist José Luis Urquieta.

It is precisely Víctor Alarcón who directed this concert on July 15, 2018, “ a date to remember” , as Jaime Donoso indicated in his review for the newspaper El Mercurio, entitled Bach Santiago Project: Gigantic challenge for the greater glory of God .

Two cantatas are performed that account for the incorporation of Italian elements, such as the recitative and the aria da capo: Cantatas No. 84 I’m happy with my luck, and No. 54 Resiste al sin. The third work in the program, on the other hand, is early and corresponds to the purely Germanic tradition; is Cantata No. 4 Christ lay in the bonds of death.

The concert was recorded live at El Redentor Lutheran Church. The ensemble Concerto Vocale and the Cuarteto Surkos perform, with the concertmaster David Núñez, Sebastián Camaño on the continuum and the oboe soloist José Luis Urquieta. The solo voices of the soprano Molly Flanagan, the mezzo-soprano Evelyn Ramírez, the alto Javiera Lara, the tenor Brayan Ávila and the bass Cristian Moya are added.

The transmission will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, on Musica.uc.cl , YouTube and social networks and will be repeated at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 2.

“We undertake this task with veneration, that is the word to speak of Bach,” said Víctor Alarcón in 2018.

Only two months after this historic concert, the remembered professor at the UC Institute of Music, and the most active figure on the choral scene in the entire country, Víctor Alarcón, died prematurely in a car accident. The Catholic University decided to continue with the Bach Santiago cycle, and has complied, despite the health emergency. Just last January, the UC Institute of Music streamed the eighteenth and nineteenth installments of the cycle, through concerts recorded outdoors on the East Campus during that same month.

“This project is a lifelong dream,” declared Professor Víctor Alarcón in July 2018, when he made the initiative public. People who know me know that I have been talking about this for 30 years, “he added, in an interview published in the newspaper El Mercurio.

With decades of experience singing and directing Bach’s works, from motets to the Passion according to San Mateo, the Passion according to San Juan and the Mass in B Minor, Víctor Alarcón was emphatic in saying that “in Chile there are many people who love the music of Bach; he always has a great audience .

The validity of the baroque genius, in his opinion, was indisputable.

“We live it every day. Bach closed the polyphony and the counterpoint and made a summa of six centuries of musical history, and his legacy is alive in jazz, rock, pop and contemporary music. That is why we take on this task with the sense of duty that these things someone has to make them concrete. We assume it with veneration. That is the word to speak of Bach, “he detailed in the same interview.

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