A marathon week of culture, beginning with Bach in Baltimore

February 14, 2012 at 2:18 am (Music)

That was the week that was:

It began on Sunday February 5, with Bach in Baltimore. The cantata for the day was No.182. Maestro Herbert Dimmock’s enthusiasm for this music is boundless; his knowledge of it is equally impressive. He conveyed  effectively his amazement at the fact that Bach was only 29 when he composed this work.

Bach Concert Choir and Orchestra

The opening movement is possessed of  a wonderful sweetness and simplicity. It is here performed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus Wien, the period instrument group founded by this illustrious maestro in 1953:

Daniel Sansone, Director of Music Ministry at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, played the Prelude and Fugue in b mnor, BWV 544, on Christ Lutheran’s magisterial Andover 114 organ. Here the opening of this piece is performed by Gustav Leonhardt, in costume as J.S. Bach:

(Gustav Leonhardt, a driving force in the Early Music revival,  passed away  last month at the age of 83.)

Finally, the Dayseye Choir of the Bryn Mawr School sang several songs. I found the the first one exceptionally beautiful. It is called “Dirait-on” – French for “So they Say” – and was written by a composer new to me: Morten Lauridsen.

Here it is, performed by the Chamber Choir of Europe:


Next up for Culture Week: opera on Wednesday and again on Saturday, courtesy of the Met in HD. The Enchanted Island and Gotterdammerung – Wow!

The Enchanted Island

Die Gotterdammerung, by Richard Wagner

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