We had a near-capacity attendance for our first Bach at Noon of the season, and the performance went thrillingly! Greg Funfgeld had to make a last minute substitution of repertoire, and offered a beautiful performance of Mozart’s Fantasia in D-minor, K. 397, as the two-piano sonata that was planned had to be postponed. Our colleague and Assistant Director, Tom Goeman, has fallen ill (and is hopefully on the mend), and will return with the sonata later in the season. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Tom! Today, we heard the Mozart Fantasia, and also Bach’s delightful Cantata No. 191, Gloria in excelsis Deo. Stephen Ng and Leslie Johnson both offered an excellent Gloria Patri, and Greg masterfully explained and demonstrated the fugal construction of the Et in terra pax. Kudos to our fearless leader for directing while playing continuo – it’s tricky to do under the best circumstances!
Next month, we’ll hear a wonderful program of a Bach Brandenburg concerto (No. 6), paired with Mozart’s exultant Exsultate Jubilate, K. 165, his answer to Bach’s ecstatic solo cantata, Jauchzet Gott in allen landen (No. 51). The exceptionally lovely Laura Heimes will be on hand to sing the Mozart. She was last in Bethlehem as a substitute for the then-ailing Tamara Matthews in our 2012 performance of the Brahms Requiem. If you were lucky enough to hear her then, you know that she will be fabulous on the Mozart. Stay tuned to the blog for more information, as well as a preview of our 2013 Gala Concert, Fisk Family Fugues, which will feature guitar iconoclast Eliot Fisk, his exceptionally talented wife, Zaira Meneses, and their 12-year-old daughter, Raquel (whom I don’t believe has a website, yet!). Eliot is a Bethlehem favorite and a great friend of The Choir, and we’re eager to hear what’s sure to be a fantastic performance. Details about the concert (including opportunities to order tickets) are available on the Choir’s Gala Page.
Last night was The Choir’s first full rehearsal of the season, and we welcomed several new singers (and welcomed back a few who were on hiatus), and we dove into music for our upcoming Christmas concerts, as well as a first look at a few movements of Haydn’s Creation. The first rehearsal is always part family reunion, part informational meeting, and also our first opportunity to make music with singers new and old for the year. A few vocal cobwebs were cleared, and we’re very excited to be making music together. Be sure to visit The Choir’s redesigned website to see all the treasures in store, and thanks to everyone who helped us kick off the season with such enthusiasm and excitement!