13 November 2023

Next day already

It's next day, Sunday, and we've already attended another Evangelical Lutheran service, this time at Thomaskircke's fraternal church, St Nicholas, before our morning coffee. Nikolaikircke shares the choir and orchestra with Thomaskircke and the Bach cantata was a repeat, presumably given it's the 22nd Sunday after Trinity and I assume with the same orchestral performers and singers. We could see them this time, up front before the altar. The choir walked in before the service started and positioned themselves in the choir area before the altar. At Thomaskircke, all performers were in the organ loft behind. Today, I counted ~36 of which ~8 young girls (to ~8yo?) int he choir. Otherwise the service was a bit longer (~80mins) with another imposing Mendelssohn organ piece to open, then various choral works accompanied or not, one other organ piece, congregational singalongs, a sermon referencing Bach and some religious rites, variously works by Reger and Mendelssohn and JC Bach and that repeated JS Bach cantata (BWV89) and a final movement from a Bach sonata (mvt.3, BWV526). We were positioned to see the musicians but not the singers and I think it affected their sound to our ears. Nonetheless, this was again instructive and quite beautiful (5-sting bass; not gut). Interesting that accompaniment could change so markedly, with all orchestra playing only for the cantata choral passage. Otherwise variously bass, one cello, bassoon and always harpsichord and baroque organ. The full orchestra was 4xvln1; 3xvln2; 2xclo;1xbs; 1xhorn; 2xoboe; 1xbassoon; 1xharpsichord; 1xbaroque organ. Again, the singalongs were interesting if only la-la's from me; no German lyrics. With any luck we can do all this over again next weekend, or at least one. As I joked with Megan, even an atheist would comfortably attend these services regularly. Oh, and the church itself was so different from the sedate decoration of Thomaskirchke, This was florid, all Egyptian-like columns with palm leaf (?) capitals and a profusion of growth spreading out over the ceiling. Never seen the likes before.

The Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Johannes Lang (Thomasorganist), Hanna Zumsande (soprano), Jolia Boehne (alto), Julian Dominique (bass) and Cornelia Osterwald (harpsichord, organ continuo) performed under Andreas Reize (Thomaskantor) at Nikolaikircke Leipzig.

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