Walter Bitner

Home » BACHanalia » BACHanalia 2017

BACHanalia 2017

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

On Friday, March 31, from 4 – 10 pm, Christ Church Cathedral at 900 Broadway in downtown Nashville proudly presents the 11th Annual BACHanalia. This unique, beloved event is a continuous, six hour concert of our friend Sebastian’s music presented once a year as a gift to the community. Click here for the church’s official announcement of the event. Note the new times! This year’s event will be held from 4 – 10 pm, not 5 – 11 pm as in previous years.

Again this year I was very lucky, and was granted a sneak peak at BACHanalia 2017‘s performers and selections, which I now leak to you here, oh readers of Off The Podium. Warning: Spoilers!

our friend Sebastian

For those of you who have not attended before: admission is free. Come for the entire event, or come and go as you wish, and delicious homemade food will be available for minimal cost. These refreshments will be available in the church’s parish hall, where the concert is piped in so that patrons can grab a bite to eat without missing any of the music. As has become traditional, BACHanalia 2017 t-shirts will be available for sale, featuring this year’s logo: “Bachman” (above).

The music is presented continuously, alternating between two performance spaces: the chancel and the choir loft, so there is no “dead” time between sets. It is one long, glorious, eclectic, paean of devotion to Sebastian’s music, and there is no other event like it in Nashville.

BACHanalia features both traditional – “mainstream” classical as well as historical performance – interpretations of the master’s music alongside unusual or even radical settings or instrumentations. This year’s concert includes:

  • a complete church cantata
  • a complete trio sonata
  • a complete flute sonata
  • a “spurious” chamber sonata
  • a violin concerto
  • many complete works for organ

performing at BACHanalia 2016 with marimbist Colleen Phelps

We will also hear many, many movements from a broad selection of larger works. Unusual instrumental combinations include harp trio (and harp soloists), lute trio, bassoon quintet, and trombone quartet.

Musicians and ensembles participating include members of the Nashville Symphony, Music City Baroque, Nashville Children’s Choir, Portara Ensemble, Bassoonery, Bachanalia Trombones, faculty from Belmont University and Blair School of Music, organists from many area churches, and many other members of the Nashville musical community.

This year I am participating once again, this time on Music City Baroque’s slot in the schedule. I’ll be joining Cameron Welke and Francis Perry as part of a (rarely heard) lute trio performing arrangements of two chorale preludes Francis prepared especially for the performance.

Thank you to the musicians of Nashville for this tremendous event, to Christ Church Cathedral for hosting it every year, and to all of the volunteers who make it possible. A very special thanks to Susan Dupont, Joel Treybig, and Carolyn Treybig, and everyone else who has contributed to pulling this grand community undertaking together – now in its eleventh year!

Here’s a synopsis of the schedule, which is not quite complete yet and subject to change. As I learn about corrections or updates I will make them below.

4 pm

Allein Gott in der Höh’ sie  Ehr, BWV 717
Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639
Michael Gebhart, organ

Chorale Prelude: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659
Fugue in G minor, BWV 578
Contrapuntal Winds:
Carolyn Treybig, flute
Robbie Shankle, oboe
Rachael Grasso, clarinet
Andrew Witherington, bassoon
Kristen Bowers, horn

Chorale: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan from Cantata Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12 (Arr. Ramsey)
Chorale Prelude: Nun Danket Alle Gott, BWV 657 (Arr. Ramsey)
Bach/Gounod: Ave Maria (Arr. Mortimer) from Prelude 1, Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846
Fuga IX from Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 878 (Arr. Sauer)
Bachanalia Trombones 2017:
William Huber, tenor trombone
Wes Ramsey, tenor trombone
Greg Swanson, tenor trombone
Brian Entwhistle, bass trombone

Concerto in d minor for two violins, BWV 1043
Suzuki Strings
Antonia Ferguson, artistic director

Prelude from English Suite No. 5 in e minor, BWV 810
Roger Wiesmeyer, piano

Trio Sonate, BWV 1039
Caroyln Treybig & Sarah Huston, flutes
Polly Brecht, harpsichord
Chris Stenstrom, cello

5 pm

Prelude No. 3, BWV 555 (trans. McClure)
Harpistry: The Nashville Harp Ensemble

Corrente from Partita No. 1 in b minor for Violin, BWV 1002 (trans. McClure)
Samantha Schrecker, harp

2 movements from Suite No. 1 in G major for cello, BWV 1007 (trans. Searl)
Vicki Searl, harp

Andante from Sonata No. 2 for violin, BWV 1003 (trans. Gradjany)
Bethany Malchuck Lancaster, harp

Prelude No. 15 in G from the Well Tempered Clavier, Vol. 2, BWV 884 (trans. Shafer)
Amy Shafer, harp

Largo from Sonata No. 3 for Violin, BWV 1001 (trans. Gradjany)
Clara Warford, harp

Presto from Sonata No. 1 in g minor for violin, BWV 1001 (trans. Gradjany, arr. McClure)
Harpistry: The Nashville Harp Ensemble

Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 (trans. Perry)
Trio super: Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, BWV 655 (trans. Perry)
Walter Bitner, Cameron Welke, & Francis Perry, lutes

Agnus Dei from Mass in B minor, BWV 232
Patrick Dailey, countertenor
Laura Ross, violin
Chris Stenstrom, cello
Polly Brecht, harpsichord

4 movements from Suite No. 3 in C major for solo cello, BWV 1009
Chris Stenstrom, cello

Kommt, ihr angefochtnen Sünder from Freue dich, erlöste Schar, BWV 30
Patrick Dailey, countertenor
Laura Ross, violin
Chris Stenstrom, cello
Polly Brecht, harpsichord

6 pm

“Ich jauchze, ich lache mit Schall” from Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Hölle lassen, BWV 15 (arr. Rao)
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring from Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147
May God Bless You Now from Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196 (arr. Music)
Nashville Children’s Choir Ensemble

Sinfonia from Ich steh’ mit einem Fuss im Grabe, BWV 156
Come with Hearts and Voices Sounding, arr. Scott. Anonymous melody, 1714
Bass line from Jesus, unser Trost und Leben, BWV 475e
Alleluia adapted from Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230
Lover’s Concerto  – Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, arr. Bernstein, based on Minuet in G, BWV Anh. 114 by Christian Petzold (until 1970 attributed to J. S. Bach)
Nashville Children’s Choir
Madeline Bridges, James Wells, Josh Wright, directors
Kyle Hankins, keyboard
Jonathan Hearn, NCC alumnus, oboe
Matthew Miller, cello
Isabella Kinard, cajon

“Vater unser im Himmelreich,” BWV 737
“O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß,” BWV 622
Michael Gebhart, organ

Sonata in b minor for flute and harpsichord, BWV 1030
Sarah Huston, flute
Polly Brecht, harpsichord

Badinerie from Orchestral Suite No. 2, BWV 1067 (arr. Walters)
Chris Walters, piano

7 pm

Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532
Simon Thomas Jacobs, organ

Cantata 64: Sehet, welch eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget, BWV 64
Portara Ensemble
Patrick Dunnevant, assistant conductor
Caitlin Dowling, keyboard
David Davidson, Hallie Hillemann, violins
Roderickous Coger, viola
Joshua Dent, cello
Roger Wiesmeyer, oboe d’amore

Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 536
Andrew Risinger, organ

Passacaglia in c minor, BWV 582
Patricia Gunter, Kate Affainie, Harold Skelton, Wilson Sharpe,
Andrew Witherington, bassoons

Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 550
Caitlin Dowling, organ

8 pm

Sonata for flute and harpsichord in A major, BWV 1032
Carolyn Treybig, flute
Polly Brecht, harpsichord

Prelude in b minor, BWV 544
Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 730
Matthew Phelps, organ

Sonata in G minor, BWV 1020
Jared Hauser, oboe
Polly Brecht, harpsichord

Prelude in c minor BWV 546/i 
Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten BWV 642
Michael Gebhart, organ

Prelude and Fugue no. 9 in E major, BWV 854 (Well-Tempered Clavier I) 
Andrew Sears, piano

Wer nur den lieben Gott, BWV 647
Andrew Risinger

9 pm

Ciaccona from Partita No. 2 in d minor, BWV 1004
Elisabeth Small, violin

Suscepit Israel from the Magnificat in D, BWV 243
Angela Carr, soprano
Susan Kelly, soprano
Patrick Dailey, alto
Polly Brecht, organ

Prelude and Fugue In C major, BWV 547
Nick Bergin, organ

“Großer Herr, o Starker König” from Weihnachts-Oratorium, BWV 248
Shreyas Patel, bass
Joel Treybig, trumpet
Andrew Risinger, organ

Wer nur den lieben Gott, BWV 647
Andrew Risinger, organ

O Sacred Head Now Wounded from St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
“The Bachanalia Regulars Chorale” (Audience invited to participate)


*       *       *


Our Friend Sebastian:

Our Friend Sebastian

The Brandenburg Concertos


Martin & Sebastian

The Italian Concerto

Bach on the Lute: 70 Years of Recordings, Part I


Sebastian’s Music in Nashville:

BACHanalia 2016

BACHanalia 2017

BACHanalia 2018

BACHanalia 2019

Christmas Oratorio at West End United Methodist






  1. Steve Brosvik says:

    Let’s finish sensory friendly first!l before we go baroque.

    🇳🇴Sendt fra min iPhone

  2. […] small personal project has also been supported by the annual occurrence of BACHanalia – Music City’s Bach festival – which usually takes place as close to one or other […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow Walter Bitner on
%d bloggers like this: