The Organ Masters

Tickets available at the DOOR with CASH or CHECK only.

Advance Tickets (here)

PETER SYKES’ bio (click here)

THE PROGRAM: (an hour and a quarter long | no intermission)

Johann Sebastian Bach 1685-1750 (BWV)

Dietrich Buxtehude 1737-1707 (BuxVW)

  • Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV 148            
  • Partita on “O Gott, du frommer Gott,” BWV 767
  • Toccata in C Major, BWV 566
  • Ciacona in E minor, BuxVW 160
  • Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BuxVW 211
  • Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659
  • Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582

The Berkshire Bach Society returns on February 9th at 4pm with a concert at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Housatonic (MA). Back by popular demand, organ-master Peter Sykes again showcases the 1893 Johnson Organ, a hidden gem of the Berkshires, playing works by J.S. Bach and Bach’s idol, the great organ master Dieterich Buxtehude. Under Sykes’s masterful and affectionate touch, this beautiful instrument captivates listeners with its gentle voice and musicality and is an ideal vehicle for Baroque repertoire. 

Sykes has been described as “one of the major musical intellects and imaginations of our time,” and it is easy to see why.  His playing illuminates the inner logic of the music, and his knowledge of the instrument is extensive.  Audiences rarely have the chance to hear an artist of this standing in an intimate performance space such as the UU Meeting House, sharing his insights live about the organ and the music he plays.  It is a concert not to be missed.

Bach was only 12 or 13 when he copied out organ works by Buxtehude as part of his musical education, and could study firsthand Buxtehude’s improvisational and complex toccatas, fugues, and fantasias.  It was enough to motivate him to travel 250 miles—mostly on foot—at age 20 to hear the aging master in Lübeck in the winter of 1705.  Peter Sykes has chosen a program of three Buxtehude organ pieces that demonstrate the diverse musical forms and styles that so fascinated Bach—the Prelude in g minor, BuxWV 148, the Ciacona in e minor, BuxVW 160, and the Chorale Prelude Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BuxWV  and four works by Bach that were directly influenced by Buxtehude—the Partita on O Gott, du frommer Gott, BWV 767, the Toccata in C Major, BWV 566, the Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor, BWV 582, and Bach’s own setting of the Chorale Prelude Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659.

Do not miss this unique opportunity to hear Peter Sykes at the UU Meeting House. Tickets are $25 at the door, and $20 for Berkshire Bach Society members.   Admission is free for students with ID.  A reception follows the concert.

Handicapped Parking is available. Reserve your spot: info@berkshirebach .org | 413.528.9555