Vesa Purokuru, Minna Kangas and Marianna Henriksson. Photo: Kaisa Sainio.
Fri 4.10.2019 10.00 pm Cirko, Helsinki
Barokkia Kalasataman yössä
Sat 5.10.2019 03.00 pm Apollo School, Helsinki

Bach and circus triste

From Sorrow to Joy

J. S. Bach

The Puppet
Unicycle, Vesa Purokuru
Violin, Minna Kangas
Harpsichord, Marianna Henriksson


The life of Johann Sebastian Bach must have been quite a circus from time to time!

Johann Sebastian, father of a big family, and composer, was responsible for many everyday and musical tasks, the one more demanding than the other.

But fragility and death always walked along his otherwise flourishing life. During his life, Bach had to bury over half of his twenty children. Life was a fight to stay alive, to earn one’s living, and to comply with the requirements, whims, wishes and expectations of each employer, church or court. The red thread and inner requirement for his creative work was to refine each compositional form to perfection, which led to a unique order and symmetry in the structure of an individual piece, as well as in his collections.

He is said to have been a lovable and modest person who cared for the people close to him. As a composer, one of J. S. Bach’s most important targets was to make great church music. Thus he fostered Luther’s intellectual heritage, in which music is a “gift from God” and "second after theology”. Luther’s perception of music as "sounding numbers” received a brilliant expression in Bach’s music.

In this concert, FiBO’s musicians concentrate on Bach’s secular music from his stay in Köthen (1717–1723). The music, visuality and improvisation, springing from presence, go their own paths, and side by side they constitute surprising illustrations. Different elements look for and seek harmony.

The minimalist main character, The Puppet, rises from lonely sorrow towards joy with the melodies, cadences and harmonies of the 45 minutes long concert, seasoned with contemporary circus. Next to The Puppet, the magical Unicycle spins with every turn of events. Clothed in a long-hemmed dress, it creates the illusion of floating dance on a wheel. The musical characters function as the emotional base for the physical expression.

Vita est tempus optimum hominis.
Still today.

Duration: 45 min (no intermission)

The events in the series Baroque in the Kalasatama Night will be filmed, and the material will be used for marketing and communication in various channels by the city of Helsinki.