Pictured above is Liz Field, the concertmaster of the Bach Festival Orchestra, with her baroque violin and her new short bow. Liz played an absolutely brilliant E-Major Partita, demonstrating the sweet sounds of her baroque instrument. From where I sat, the audience was absolutely captivated by the piece, and by Liz’s performance, which had virtuosity, tenderness, and an wonderful dancing sense. Likewise, an excellent trio of soloists – Christòpheren Nomura, baritone, Barbara Hollinshead, alto, and Stephen Ng, tenor – all acquitted themselves beautifully on their recitatives and arias. Mary Watt made excellent contributions with her oboe, and our small chamber orchestra accompanied the cantata beautifully. It was sunny and chilly (with a foul winter wind), but quite cozy for the near-capacity audience in Central Moravian. I spoke with several in the audience both yesterday and today, and they all commented that it was an excellent way to begin Lent. I heartily concur.
I’m going to begin a series of posts about The Choir’s next concert, Mendelssohn’s epic oratorio, Elijah, soon. I’ll also be stopping by WDIY next Friday, the 22nd, to discuss the music, and listen to some samples. If you haven’t ordered your tickets yet, there’s no time like the present! You won’t want to miss this performance. The Choir’s been hard at work on it since this summer, we’ll be joined by the young singers from Millersville University’s Keystone Singers, and bass-baritone sensation, Dashon Burton, for what promises to be a transcendent musical experience. The other soloists are Bethlehem favorites Rosa Lamoreaux and Marietta Simpson, and Mark Boyle, the conductor of the Keystone Singers and a fine concert tenor, in his debut with The Choir. The Bach Festival Orchestra will be augmented with some mighty low brass, and the audience will be treated to waves of plush, Mendelssohnian sound. Below, find a YouTube introduction to the concerts (we’re doing performances in Bethlehem, Millersville, and at Strathmore, in suburban Maryland). More about Elijah, soon!