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Bachorchester Pforzheim (Orchestra)

Founded: 1971 - Pforzheim, Germany

Das Bachorchester Pforzheim (= BOP) (The Bach orchestra Pforzheim), which was founded 30 years ago by Rolf Schweizer as Kantatenorchester for church-musical performances, varies in its size between 45-55 members. Beside the string orchestra and the woodwind group the conductor can rely on his intensive training course work in the Pforzheim brass ensemble with certain works being repeated over and over again. In the course of the years the BOP has so far developed that it is able, to perform the Baroque and Classical oratorios, when it accompanies the Motettenchor Pforzheim and the Oratorienchor Pforzheim. With these concerts the BOP is effectively strengthened by renowned brass soloists from its homeland and foreign countries (such as the Oboenensemble Schützeichel, Mannheim; Trompetenensemble Edward H. Tarr, Basel and Hörnerensemble Peter Arnold, Kaiserslautern).

Important oratorio works, which has been performed by the BOP during the past decades, include: Johannes-Passion (BWV 245), Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244), Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248), Oster-Oratorium (BWV 249) and the Mass in B minor (BWV 232) by J.S. Bach, whose orchestral works are naturally regularly performed by the BOP. From the George Frideric Handel's oratorios the BOP performed Messiah, Israel in Egypt, Dettinger Te Deum, Samson and Acis and Galathea. In addition also a most Händel's instrumental works are included in the programmes of the BOP. The repertoire of the BOP also includes the symphonic works of the Viennese Classical period, which are rehearsed weekly, and works of the Romantic era are also not missing. Apart from orchestral compositions and Masses of F. Schubert, P. Tchaikovsky and Max Reger, they always return to interpretation of the work of Felix Mendelssohn. The argument with the modern trend happened particularly on the background of church-musical performances. The BOP has brought out compositions of Rolf Schweizer to numerous premieres. In this connection the performance of Requiem für Tote und Lebende for the 50-year anniversary of the destruction Pforzheim in the year 1995, should be reminded.

The BOP musical spectrum is accessible to the wide public also through broadcast and record productions.


Source: Liner notes to the album J.S. Bach: Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 conducted by Rolf Schweizer (Corona, 2001), English translation by Aryeh Oron (April 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2004)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Rolf Schweizer


BWV 118; Chorale from BWV 28; BWV 225-230, BWV 244

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Last update: Sunday, May 28, 2017 23:52