Every year, Bach's birthday on 21 March is celebrate worldwide. The pandemic thwarted this tradition in spring 2020. Therefore, the Hungarian State Opera rescheduled the programme to 19 September 2020 and presented a selection of works streamed online on Facebook from the Miklós Bánffy Stage of the Eiffel Art Studios.
The concert was organised as part of the Bach for Everyone Festival that begun in 2015 with thousands of voluntary artists taking part. The Opera joined the initiative in 2016, and by performing Kaffeekantate, the institute also contributes to conveying Bach's unique music to everyone for free. The 2020 programme included his most famous sacred cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, his sole piece of its kind to have a soprano solo and a trumpet, as well as a contemporary work by Thomas Stevens entitled Variations in Olden Style composed for tuba and strings to demonstrate what it would have sounded like if the tuba (developed in the 1830s) had existed in the Baroque era.
The masterpieces were interpreted by excellent soloists of the Hungarian State Opera: Klára Kolonits (soprano), Zita Váradi (soprano), Zoltán Megyesi (tenor), Zoltán Bátki-Fazekas (baritone), Balázs Winkler (trumpet), Zsófia Biró (flute) and Endre Balog (cello). The tuba solo was played by Zalán László Kovács, director of the Bach for Everyone Festival, the piano accompaniment was performed by László Bartal, musical director of the performance.
Photo by Péter Rákossy