J. S. Bach: Jesus bleibet meine Freude
CONSORT SW1; Richard McVeigh, Director and Organist

These are getting harder and harder to find … not sure how long I can keep the virtual choir posts going! This is quite short, but I love Bach, so here you go:

Bach: Ich will hier bei dir stehen
Voci Vocal Ensemble; Rineke, Director

Beautiful!

(Can you hear the variety of tone? Oboists don’t all sound the same!)

16. June 2020 · Comments Off on Some Bach for Your Evening · Categories: BachTrac™, Can't Stop the Music! · Tags: , ,

With a number of concertmasters from around the US. Isn’t it amazing what can be done these days? I’m grateful.

Bach Double Concerto in D minor, Largo

11. May 2020 · Comments Off on A Bach Goodnight · Categories: BachTrac™, English horn, Oboe d'amore · Tags: , , ,

Saying goodnight with Albrecht Mayer playing Bach … what could be better? Here is is on oboe d’amore and English horn.

Here are the notes from the YouTube page (incorrectly saying he is playing oboe):

Experience oboe superstar Albrecht Mayer playing Bach’s Air from the Orchestra Suite in D Major, arranged for oboe and piano. Albrecht Mayer created the arrangement exclusively for this very special concert at Palais Lichtenau in Potsdam, Germany. Because Albrecht Mayer has a special relationship to Bach’s music, the oboist has deliberately chosen compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. In addition to the Air, Albrecht Mayer and his chamber music partner, Japanese pianist Kimiko Imani, play tenor aria No.7 from the Easter Oratorio, and the bass aria “Mache dich mein Herze rein” from the St. Matthew Passion.

In addition to the instrumentation, this concert is unusual because it was performed without an audience. DW Classical Music is offering a digital stage for some of the many classical music artists who are currently unable to perform for live audiences. The recordings are made by the artists themselves or by a single camera operator. Usually Albrecht Mayer plays in front of thousands. But in these times of the coronavirus crisis, star oboist Albrecht Mayer was very happy to accept our invitation to perform this private concert.

Albrecht Mayer has appeared as a soloist with such eminent conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2007 with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and is an enthusiastic chamber musician, playing with partners including Hélène Grimaud, Leif Ove Andsnes and Lars Vogt. He started playing with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1992, and has remained with them since, despite his growing renown as a concert soloist.

Albrecht Mayer plays an oboe d’amore and an English horn by German maker Gebrüder Mönnig.

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29. April 2020 · Comments Off on More Bach · Categories: BachTrac™, Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes · Tags: , ,

Because there is never too much Bach. And this time you also get fourteen violinists!

“Chaconne at home for 14 violinists”
Bach: Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in d minor, BWV 1004
Recorded in April 2020
Concept: Julia Fischer
Video compilation: Augustin Hadelich

Cast in order of appearance:
Julia Fischer, Augustin Hadelich, Renaud Capuçon, Klaidi Sahatçi, Alexander, Sitkovetsky, Nicola Benedetti, Andreas Janke, Daniel Röhn, Lisa Batiashvili, Lena Neudauer, James Ehnes, Stefan Jackiw, Rudens Turku, Vadim Gluzman

Once again, VOCES8 makes my day … or night … or perhaps both.

Session footage from VOCES8’s recording of cantata 150 ‘Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich’ by JS Bach. VOCES8 is recording with the Academy of Ancient Music (Bojan Cicic, leader), directed by Barnaby Smith. The track forms part of the VOCES8’s 15th anniversary recording project, ‘After Silence’, and can be found on all digital music platforms. For more information about the album project, visit VOCES8 After Silence.

Notes by Paul Williamson
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150, known only from secondary sources, is probably Bach’s earliest surviving cantata, written while he was organist at the Neue Kirche in Arnstadt (1703–7). The work’s modest scoring reflects the limited musical resources at his disposal; it is also an old- style Protestant cantata, untouched by the reforms of Erdmann Neumeister, who advocated the introduction of madrigalesque poetry, operatic recitatives and da capo arias. BWV 150 takes a more restrained Lutheran approach, setting texts from Scripture (verses from Psalm 25 in movements 2, 4 and 6) alongside interpretative stanzas by an unknown poet (in movements 3, 5 and 7). To understand the Psalms, Luther said, we must consider that David was a prophet, and unless he instructs otherwise, we must take the sacred poetry to refer to Christ. Accordingly, in BWV 150, the Psalmist’s entreaties to the God of the Old Testament find Christian meanings in the exegetical modern verse. Similarly, commenting on Psalm 25:15 (set in movement 6), Luther explains the image of the ‘foot’ being released from the ‘net’ as the redemptive power of God’s grace, delivering the faithful from worldly snares. Valuing sacred music as a divine gift, Luther also compared the harmonious singing of many voices to a ‘heavenly dance’, a point surely recalled by Bach in the final movement of Nach dir, Herr, which takes the form of a chaconne. Nearly two centuries later, Bach’s inviting little dance was famously reborn in the final movement of Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, premiered in October 1885.

Text and Translation
Words: Psalm 25:1–2, 5, 15 (mvts 2, 4, 6); anon. (mvts 3, 5, 7)

1. Sinfonia

2. Chor
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. Mein Gott, ich hoffe auf dich. Laß mich nicht zuschanden werden, daß sich meine Feinde nicht freuen über mich.
Lord, I long for you. My God, I hope in you.
Let me not be put to shame, so that my enemies will not rejoice over me.

3. Arie (Soprano)
Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnügt, Obgleich hier zeitlich toben Kreuz, Sturm und andre Proben, Tod, Höll, und was sich fügt.
Ob Unfall schlägt den treuen Knecht, Recht ist und bleibet ewig Recht.
Yet I am and remain content, although at the moment here may rage
cross, storm and other trials, death, hell, and what is theirs. Though misfortune strike the true servant, right is and remains eternally right.

4. Chor
Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit und lehre mich; denn du bist der Gott, der mir hilft, täglich harre ich dein.
Lead me in your Truth and teach me; for you are the God, who helps me, I await you daily.

5. Terzett (Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Zedern müssen von den Winden Oft viel Ungemach empfinden, Oftmals werden sie verkehrt.
Rat und Tat auf Gott gestellet, Achtet nicht, was widerbellet, Denn sein Wort ganz anders lehrt.
Cedars must, before the winds, often feel much hardship, often they will be destroyed. Place your words and deeds before God,
heed not what howls against you, since his Word teaches otherwise.

6. Chor
Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem Herrn; denn er wird meinen Fuß aus dem Netze ziehen.
My eyes gaze continually at the Lord; for he will draw my foot out of the net.

7. Chor
Meine Tage in den Leiden
Endet Gott dennoch zur Freuden; Christen auf den Dornenwegen Führen Himmels Kraft und Segen. Bleibet Gott mein treuer Schutz, Achte ich nicht Menschentrutz; Christus, der uns steht zur Seiten. Hilft mir täglich sieghaft streiten.
My days in suffering
God will nevertheless end in joy; Christians upon the thorny pathways are led by Heaven’s power and blessing.
If God remains my dearest treasure, I need not heed mankind’s cruelty; Christ, who stands by our side, helps me daily fight to victory.

Academy of Ancient Music
Bojan Cicic, Violin I (Leader)
Davina Clarke, Violin II
Jonathan Byers, Cello
Judith Evans, Double Bass
Ursula Leveaux, Bassoon
Alastair Ross, Organ
William Carter, Theorbo

More Bach, and this time featuring Katherine Needleman on oboe. And Katherine Needleman on piano.

Adagio from the Sinfonia of Bach’s Easter Oratorio

13. April 2020 · Comments Off on Bach for Your Monday · Categories: BachTrac™, Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes · Tags: , , ,

Of course Bach is wonderful ANY day!

Ex Cathedra

The third of our films for Holy Week, recorded from our own homes, is the final chorale from Bach’s St John Passion.

We were due to have performed this wonderful music at Symphony Hall today (our annual Good Friday performance), so we’re thrilled that our singers and period instrumentalists have generously volunteered their contributions so we can, in some way, perform together.

In his introductory video, Jeffrey explains the optimism and hope of this piece, particularly poignant at this time.

This video is offered free of charge during what is a financially devastating time for organisations like Ex Cathedra. If you have enjoyed the video, please support us if you can with a small donation: Help Us Thank you.

31. January 2020 · Comments Off on Ah, Bach! · Categories: BachTrac™

In our troubled world, (I continue to be shocked by news: you’d think I’d be used to it by now) with so much strife, I think a little Bach would be nice … don’t you?

From the YouTube page:

From the protestant church Trogen in Switzerland
Choir and Orchestra of the J. S. Bach Foundation Rudolf Lutz – conductor & harpsichord Soloists Noëmi Sohn-Nad – soprano Claude Eichenberger – alto Hans Jörg Mammel – tenor Peter Harvey – bass

Johann Sebastian Bach – Cantata BWV 111 “Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit” (What my God wants, may it always happen)
0:48 Chorus: Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit
5:31 Aria (bass): Entsetze dich, mein Herze, nicht
8:24 Recitative (alto): O Törichter! der sich von Gott entzieht
9:25 Aria (alto, tenor): So geh ich mit beherzten Schritten
15:49 Recitative (soprano): Drum wenn der Tod zuletzt den Geist
17:09 Chorale: Noch eins, Herr, will ich bitten dich

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