We had very-full attendance for the last Bach at Noon of the season, and also our 60th. We celebrated this milestone with extremely festive music, Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto, and the Easter cantata, No. 31.
Greg, Liz Field, and Robin Kani played a concerto with much panache and elan – but also the whimsy required by the composer. The performance was as glorious as the lovely day outside – if you look carefully at the branches in the photo above, you can see the beginnings of buds – and it’s about time! It gave great pleasure to hear Robin and Liz chasing one another with musical figurations that elicit a great sense of play and zest, and to hear Greg burn through the perpetuum mobile of the harpsichord part, including a fierce cadenza. They were given outstanding instrumental support from their colleagues in the Bach Festival Orchestra.
There was some white-knuckle trumpeting, and all of the orchestra sounded fantastic on the sonata that begins the cantata. The Choir broke in with the celestial laughter of the opening chorus, and it was an absolute joy to sing. Kudos to my colleagues in the first soprano section – their part is in the stratosphere, and they sang with great poise and joy – it’s a bit of a musical tightrope walk. Chris Nomura, Robert Pitello, and Rosa Lamoreaux all sounded in fine form on their solos, and the instrumental obbligatists all played marvelously.
Greg alluded to the Saturday morning Festival performances of the Rioult Dance Company, who will be joining the Bach Festival Orchestra for a wonderful, all-Bach program, including the Sixth Brandenburg. You’ll not only be able to hear the piece, but you’ll be able to see it, as well! Stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks – there will be lots of information about the music and programs of our 106th Bethlehem Bach Festival. You won’t want to miss it!