Bach Orchestral Suites

Bach’s Orchestral Suites

Feb 17-19, 2017

Bach’s orchestral music shows a typically Germanic tendency to imitate the two most celebrated music styles of the day, the French and the Italian. The first was characterized by its elegance and subtle detail, the second by its fiery virtuosity and passionate, spontaneous expression. Many saw the two as being essentially opposites, but, as is so often the case, the two had more in common than fierce patriots of… Read More » »

Le Mozart Noir - Black Mozart: Chevalier Saint-Georges

Chevalier Saint-GeorgesOur February 2nd Concert celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of Joseph Bologne de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), champion swordsman, French colonel, virtuoso violinist, director of Paris’s finest orchestra, and prolific composer. 

Born in the French colony of Guadeloupe to the plantation owner George Bologne de Saint-Georges and his African slave Nanon, Joseph Bologne de Saint-George faced a life of oppression and poverty. French… Read More » »

“Messiah” as Opera, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

As Handel did, I come from the world of opera and cannot help but look at Messiah as a masterpiece of musical drama.  Handel, at the top of his game and with skills developed over almost a half century in the opera house, wrote this sublime musical drama, though without many three-dimensional characters and very little action. Drama comes from a Greek word meaning action, and Messiah is notoriously lacking in explicit stage action. 

In… Read More » »

Alexander Weimann: Handel Organ Concertos

Alexander WeimannMozart wrote, in 1777, a letter to his father: “Die Orgel ist doch in meinen Augen und Ohren der König aller Instrumente” (“The organ, though, is in my eyes and ears the king of all instruments”). From 1300 to 1800, for half a millennium of music history, the organ, alongside its keyboard siblings, has maintained the role of a principal: setting the point of reference and ruler to many parameters of music making, such as pitch,… Read More » »

Breathtaking Texts

Cazzati Regina coeli

Regina caeli laetare, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia:
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia:
Ora pro nobis deum, alleluia.
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
For Him whom you were worthy to bear, alleluia.
He has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.

Corradini Spargite flores

Spargite flores, spargite lilia.
Induimini omnes cum sanctis Angelis
vestimentis… Read More » »

Mozart and Mendelssohn

Mozart and Mendelssohn

Mozart and Mendelssohn

When people of exceptional skill develop their ability at a young age, should we put them straight to work? Clearly that was acceptable practice two centuries ago with respect to musical prodigies, and to some extent we still allow it in certain instances, such as fourteen- or fifteen-year-old tennis players, footballers, pop musicians, classical violinists, and pianists. The usual… Read More » »

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