I am content with my fortune – (Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke)
20 years «Aernen Barock» – the following text was written on the occasion of the Baroque Weeks 2023, to present what's unique to the Baroque series in Ernen: the festival's own Baroque Ensemble.
The focus of the Baroque Weeks is not only the music, but also the festival's own ensemble «Aernen Barock». What many people do not know: This hand-picked group consists of renowned musicians who travel to the Musikdorf from all directions every summer. Time to introduce them here!
Catherine Jones began her career as a modern cellist in Australia. She discovered her love of baroque music and trained as a baroque cellist in Europe. She is now a professor of baroque cello in Verona and Milan.
Oboist Josep Domènech was born in Catalonia and later moved to Basel and the Netherlands to study oboe and historical performance practice. He has been a permanent member of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra since 2020. Benny Aghassi, who appears in Ernen as recorder player and bassoonist, was born near Tel Aviv in Israel. Today he lives in The Hague and teaches baroque bassoon at the Amsterdam Conservatory. Xenia Löffler studied at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, now plays at the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and teaches a class for historical oboes at the Universität der Künste in Berlin.
Zurich-based Monika Baer is concertmaster of the baroque orchestra «La Scintilla» at the Zurich Opera House and teaches baroque violin at the Zurich University of the Arts. Double bass player Christian Staude travels from Germany, Mike Fentross, theorbo and baroque guitar, from Holland.
Deirdre Dowling (viola), who leads the ensemble «Aernen Barock» together with Ada Pesch (violin, viola), was born in Alabama and now lives in Paris. The conductor and harpsichordist Laurence Cummings comes from England and was recently appointed music director of the Academy of Ancient Music. In 2023 he could also be heard as a soloist with a recital on the historic Erner Aebi organ.
American-born Ada Pesch has been first concertmaster of the Philharmonia Zurich since 1990. Pesch feels a particularly close connection to the Musikdorf: As a master student, she got to know the charismatic festival founder György Sebők personally and she founded the Erner Barockmusikwochen in 2004.
«I want my dream team to shine»
All these soloists have experienced many and very different milestones in their careers. In Ernen, personal milestones stand out for Ada Pesch. «Every summer I look forward to seeing my favourite colleagues again and making music with them,» she says. For her own personal anniversary - 40 years in the profession - Pesch is playing a solo concert in Ernen for the first time! In addition, Deirdre Dowling and she have put together a varied programme with well-known and unknown composers and in various instrumental formations. A recipe for success that has proved its worth over the past few years. «My dream team should get many opportunities to shine,» says Pesch.
As usual, the anniversary programme also features two vocal soloists. In 2023 they are Guy Cutting and Julia Doyle. The British tenor Guy Cutting will sing arias from the oratorio Saul and the Masque Acis and Galatea by George Frideric Handel in the second baroque concert and arias and cantatas by George Frideric Telemann and Johann Sebastian Bach in the third concert. In the fifth concert, the British soprano Julia Doyle will perform works by Bach and Handel, including the cantata «Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke» BWV 84. Doyle will ensure that the good vibes spark from the stage into the audience. As a source of strength and a feeling of happiness to take home.
Written in December 2022, by Marianne Mühlemann