Concert Reviews | CD Reviews | DVD Reviews | Opera | Early Music | News | Film | Art | Books | Kids

3.5.11

Rising with Bach Consort

Style masthead

Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, The Washington Bach Consort at the National Presbyterian Church
Washington Post, May 3, 2011

available at Amazon
Bach, Oster-Oratorium, Gabrieli Consort, P. McCreesh
What better way to celebrate Easter than with music composed for the holiday by J.S. Bach? The Washington Bach Consort offered a chance to do just that in its latest concert, at the National Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon. The performance was not without flaws, but it maintained the level of achievement established by the group’s director, J. Reilly Lewis. Taking a turn at the church’s Aeolian-Skinner organ in the second half, Lewis led the way with brilliant registration and daring pedal work on the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C, BWV 564.

A chorus of 16 voices sounded strong and well balanced in the Easter Oratorio, BWV 249. Bach’s astounding patchwork of vocal lines, often a confusing tangle on the page, was rendered with clarity and precise diction. Vocal solos included the demure soprano of Rachel Carlson and the muscular, somewhat nasal tenor of Dustin Lucas. The chorus’s small size did put strain on the sopranos, whose high notes tended to go flat in the extraordinary double-chorus motet “Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied.” Even with both choruses united, the high-flying “Hallelujah,” intended to rocket upward at the end of the piece, wilted in the stratosphere. [Continue reading]
Washington Bach Consort
Orchestral Suite No. 4 (D major, BWV 1069), Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (BWV 225), Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C major (BWV 564), Oster-Oratorium (BWV 249)
National Presbyterian Church

No comments: