04 September 2023

Early prep for Thomaskirche

I rushed off from one practice (Mendelssohn, Bruch, Tchaikovsky) to feed the dogs and then assist Tim to set up his recording of Canberra Bach Ensemble in St Christopher's.  It was quite a change of scene and musics.  CBE was playing three cantatas and a mass by Bach and a few smaller pieces by Schein and Schutz who had influenced JS.  So this was gut string intimacy and choral exuberance and vocal passion with early, even curved winds of all styles.  Something period and truly lovely.  I watched the various instruments and the frequent soloists and the milling of the choir entering and leaving for not too many choral movements.  The inherent sound of Bach was evident against Schein and Schutz, but they were worthy none-the-less and indicative of musics of the time, I guess.  There was not a lot of patter.  Andrew writes generous notes for his programs but remains fairly quiet on stage.  I particularly watched Dave on bass, as I am wont to do, and mostly it was easy reading other than a few quick and unrelenting and richly varied passages.  I could appreciate his concentration there.  So CBE is on track once again to visit Leipzig and its Bach Festival next June 2024.  Covid prevented the last expedition.  Let's hope they make it this time.  And good on them.  So wonderful to hear Bach with authenticity, and it can only grow in Bach's own venue, Thomaskirche.

Canberra Bach Ensemble performed at St Christopher's, Manuka.  Andrew Koll (musical director) led a choir of 25 and an orchestra of 18 with concertmaster Bianca Porcheddu (violin) and vocal soloists Greta Claringbould (soprano), Maartje Sevenster (alto), Richard Butler (tenor) and Andrew Fysh (bass).

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