Dear Friends of Music,

Welcome to the 2018 Whidbey Island Music Festival!

This year we have four wonderful programs celebrating chamber music of the baroque. We begin with Bach and Vivaldi cantatas as well as instrumental works. Part of Bach's special genius was synthesizing Italian and French musical idioms into his own unique style. Bach's soulful meditation on death in the cantata "Ich habe genug" is a reminder of the ephemeral nature of all life - I hope the transcendent depth and beauty of this music will be welcome moment of reflection in our hectic times. This program will go on tour up to Early Music Vancouver's Bach Festival, and I'm very happy to be a partner in this regional and international collaboration between Pacific MusicWorks, Early Music Vancouver, and the Whidbey Island Music Festival.

Johann Sebastian Bach was the product of one of the most talented musical families in Europe. Among both his ancestors and his descendants were famous composers and instrumentalists, and we will play a selection of music from J.S. Bach's forebearers, as well as the some of the music that would have been played in the Bach household - from the Anna Magdalena Bach notebook as well as compositions by the Bach sons.

The second week brings a true musical adventure - 17th century chamber music from the Codex Rost. The Codex Rost is veritable "mix tape" of the German copyist Franz Rost's favorite works of mid-17th century from Italy, Germany and Austria. After sifting through some very hard-t0-read manuscripts, we've selected pieces that we're sure will become favorites, like the infectiously joyful ciaconna of Maurizio Cazzati, or the amusing depictions of the bagpipes in Schmelzer's "Polnische Sackpfeifen".

Bach returns to the center of the final program with some of his most beloved chamber works, including the C minor and E major sonatas for violin and harpsichord. A sonata by Telemann for viola da gamba and gorgeous lute preludes by Robert de Visee (who was lutenist to the Kings of France Louis XIV and XIV) rounds out this final program.

Chamber music like this truly comes alive as a partnership between performers and audience. We look forward to sharing these programs with you, and to meeting you at our post-concert receptions.

The insert in this program describes Pacific MusicWorks Underground's cabaret-style concerts planned for this coming season. Henry Lebedinsky's lively commentary on the music manages to entertain, educate and inspire all at once. These are wonderful moments to gather together and experience chamber music in the intimate setting of St. Augustine's parish hall, try some wonderful wines and have a great time!

Tekla Cunningham

Director, Whidbey Island Music Festival