Experience ensemble viii

2020 - 2021 Concert series

Ensemble VIII Celebrates 10 Years! 

It hardly seems possible that Ensemble VIII performed its first concert 10 years ago. During the 2020/21 season, we are celebrating this special anniversary, despite enduring the past year of a global pandemic. 

We hope you will join us for our final concert of the year!

In Memoriam: Messages of Hope in a Time of Loss 
A New Online Concert from Ensemble VIII

DEBUTS THURS., JUNE 3rd, 7:30 P.M.  Central time

A message from Artistic Director Donald Meineke:

In 1720, while Johann Sebastian Bach was on an extended trip with his employer, Maria Barbara Bach — his first wife and mother of his first seven children — died unexpectedly from unknown causes. It was only upon his return did he learn of her death and that she had indeed already been buried a month before. In his grief, Bach composed a work for solo violin in five movements. For nearly a century, musicologists have theorized that there were hidden messages buried within the musical composition. The German musicologist, Helga Thoene, speculates the final movement in particular is a musical epitaph to Maria Barbara. Her scholarship resulted in a reimagined transcription of the solo violin movement with sung chorale fragments superimposed.

Ensemble VIII presents this transcription along with Bach’s harmonization of select chorales represented in the work, a setting of the German ‘Nunc Dimittis’ traditionally sung at the conclusion of the funeral rite, and two organ settings of the great Easter hymn “Christ lag in Todesbanden,” which is the primary chorale represented in the transcription. This virtual concert is dedicated to all those who have died during the COVID pandemic.

Here are the details: 

Please join us for the debut of this very special online concert on June 3rd beginning at 7:30 P.M. Central time. The concert was recorded in early May at St. Rose of Lima Church in Short Hills, NJ, where Donald serves as the organist. The vocalists are past Ensemble VIII performers from the New York area who are joined by violinist Tatiana Daubek. The musicians featured in the concert include:

Tatiana Daubek, violin
Jolle Greenleaf, soprano
Jonathan May, counter tenor
Donald Meineke, tenor and organist
Enrico Lagasca, bass

Tickets are $20.50 each. A link to the concert will be sent to you with your purchase confirmation.

If you can’t view the concert that evening, please enjoy it at your convenience anytime after the 3rd.

Questions? Please email us at info@ensembleviii.org.

This concert is sponsored by Ellen and David Berman. Many thanks for their generosity and donations from our many patrons.