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8.10.06

Noontime Cantatas

Sacred PineappleWriting about Noontime Cantatas is more a reminder to myself to attend this mid-day refuge from stress and worries around us than it is a reminder for others… even though the benches of the Church of the Epiphany at 13th and G Street could well accommodate more listeners.

For the otherworldly effect that these concerts can have, I’d prefer less (or no) talking before the music (and I’d rather not hear applause, either – but I am probably fairly alone with this opinion). At least the introductory talk that does take place is not usually excessive and thanks to J. Reilly Lewis' enthusiasm easy to listen to. Easier to listen to, still, was his rendition of the Organ Prelude and Fugue BWV 543. A dedicated concert organist might have brought more out of it but he played with admirable facility and great passion.

Kate Vetter Cain (soprano), Naomi DeVries (alto), Ole Hass (tenor), and Steven Combs (bass) were the soloists in In allen meinen Taten BWV 97 – a 1734 gem among the many gems of Bach’s cantatas which featured a magnificent and substantive solo violin obligato from the concertmaster. The young Ms. DeVries had the most beautiful voice among the four soloists but didn’t sing particularly well; perhaps because she still only at the very beginning of a (very promising) career? Her colleague Ms. Cain sounded like a seasoned veteran compared to her: expertly and faultless - but with a lesser instrument at her disposal. Ole Hass impressed a little more than Mr. Combs who sounded challenged by the music on occasion.

It is the nature of these concerts and perhaps Mr. Reilly Lewis’ deft hand at mixing and matching players and voices that the result was much more than the nitpicky critique of individual aspects could ever convey. The choir, which included the soloists, sounded every bit as lovely as the orchestra and it is difficult to imagine anyone whose spirits were not quickened by the performance. The next performance will take place on November 7th with Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit BWV 174.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I also prefer no applause.