Bach's Orchestral Suites

May 11–14 2018 

“The dotted rhythms of the Ouverture came off with a jaunty elegance … sparkled with variety as it charmed and beguiled from beginning to end.”

Steven Winn • San Francisco Classical Voice

Ouverture in C Major (Suite No. 1), BWV 1066

Ouverture in B Minor (Suite No. 2), BWV 1067

Ouverture in D Major (Suite No. 3), BWV 1068

Ouverture in D Major (Suite No. 4), BWV 1069

Historians have noted that Bach’s music is intensely infused with the spirit of dance, whether expressing joy, felicity, sorrow, or devotion. The musical forms of dance were some of the most essential and permeating components of music from the Baroque era. Those clearly defined elements determined tempos, moods or affects, and the structural architectures of the vast majority of Baroque musical works, both with texts and purely instrumental.

Bach’s suites not only celebrate the dance, but also the phenomenal technical abilities of his musicians. Bach titled them “Ouvertures” referring to the grand movement that opens the work, followed by a suite of dances, all requiring the most virtuoso instrumentalists. All four Orchestral Suites will be presented in these concerts, full of exuberant sonority, captivating melody, and displays of virtuosity from ABS’s famous roster of “the best American specialists in early music” (The Washington Post). 

This program and subsequent recording are sponsored in part by Kwei & Michele Ü

Friday May 11 2018 8:00 pm

St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere

  • The Belvedere  performance is sponsored by the William & Gretchen Kimball Fund

Saturday May 12 2018 8:00 pm

First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Sunday May 13 2018 4:00 pm

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco

Monday May 14 2018 7:00 pm

Davis Community Church, Davis

Pre-concert “Insights” begin one hour prior to each performance.

Debra Nagy

Debra Nagy

Dominic Teresi

Dominic Teresi

Sandra Miller

Sandra Miller

John Thiessen

John Thiessen


Free Pre-Concert "Insights"


One hour prior to our performances in February through May 2017, enjoy a free and informative lecture given by musicologist and conductor Victor Gavenda, an accomplished scholar who will share his insights about the music, the composers, and the experience of hearing great music from the Baroque era performed to the highest standards.