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Bach and Friends Please Birthday Celebrants – Lyric Say

The Saturday afternoon live performance choices at First Lutheran Church’s Boston Bach Birthday celebration launched three solo performers who introduced the outdated composer’s music to life once more in starkly alternative ways. The times second half started when organist Jerrick Cavagnaro launched right into a set of ‘Bach and Friends’ which paired the music of the 339-year-old grasp with that of his instructor, Dietrich Buxtehude, and Nicolas de Grigny, a French modern. No matter lethargy might have been instilled in us from the scrumptious luncheon choices of German goodies within the church’s undercroft was shaken off with the startling e-major opening chord of BWV 566, the Prelude & Fugue in E heard within the technicolor aid of the organs Kellner temperament. Cavagnaro offered the piece from Bach’s juvenilia (although its authorship will not be undisputed) inline together with his interpretation of the opposite Bachianas items. He used a really delicate inegal contact for the piece’s unbelievable sections and delivered the fugal topics with the sweetest lyricism. The identical will be stated of his supply of BWV 540, the nice Toccata and Fugue in F. The piece’s treacherous fugue didn’t startle the evenhanded keyboardist, and he even carried out the pedal trills as gingerly as a vocalist. His toccata exuded the joy of breathless kids on Christmas morning eagerly awaiting their prize. A fellow organist seated behind me commented “that’s charming” at its conclusion. For each works, Cavagnaro used a registration of reedy watercolors and pastel flutes, reserving the devices most vibrant oils for Buxtehude and the acrylics for de Gringy.

His unencumbered interpretation of Buxtehude’s Praeludium (within the no-better key of f-sharp minor), BuxWV 146 finest showcased the flexibility of First Lutheran’s outstanding Richards, Fowkes & Co. Opus 10 to assemble a symphonic soundscape. Cavagnaro properly dramatized the complicated piece with delicate registrational modifications all through which have been most likely his simplest registrational selections of the recital. His artistic orchestration of the prelude realized its distinctive multi-sub-section construction, highlighting subjects of chorale passages and fugal variations. After the chic choral that concludes the opening volante, Cavagnaro executed the primary fugue with a stately, declamatory contact which naturally introduced out the part’s shapely contours. For the second fugue, itself a little bit of a variation on the primary, he allowed himself rather more rhetorical liberty to have an effect on Buxtehude’s odd ditties that now adorn the theme. O how I want he had introduced this diploma of flexibility to Bach’s related cadenzas which got here off as restrictively trustworthy to the rating. These sections displayed the ability and sensitivity of the organ’s reed stops (with even the vox humana getting an acceptable shout out), whereas the fugues utilized the complete energy of the neo-Baroque principal refrain. Within the motion’s ultimate fugue climax, Cavagnaro introduced the organ to a fever pitch as counterpoint swirled and churned in regards to the nave earlier than crescendoing in an avalanche of arpeggios, trills, and languishing suspensions that lastly settled onto a cheeky Picardy third.

Nicolas de Grigny will not be the obvious companion to JS that one may embody, however his incorporation highlights a sure Baroque lyricism, expressed most poetically in his Tierce en taille, that pervades a lot of Bach’s nice organ music, particularly the fantasia from the G Minor Fantasia and Fugue, BWV 542. Cavagnaro concluded his program with this preferrred pair. He registered de Grigny’s aria with the instrument’s uncompromisingly historic cornet (I used to be unable to determine if it used the work’s Nasat/Cornet III or the Rückpositiv’s quint/Sesquialtera II, however the 8’ cease in composition gave the impression to be the nice Principal 8’, give the baritone solo line an unimaginable darkish depth beneath the good mutation stops). The piece’s vocality and harmonic crunch ready the viewers for the arresting opening to Bach’s fantasia which makes use of an analogous construction of ornamented, polyphonic strains over heart-stopping dissonances. After the sublimely bel canto actions that displayed the performers capability for organist-ic ornamentation, the fugue felt like a barreling freight practice. The piece synthesized the very best facets of the previous program whereas partaking our imaginations with evocative episodes that hinted at the remainder of Bach’s nice oeuvre. Refined modifications of contact and have an effect on all through the wide-ranging fugue’s narrative arc introduced the music to life that manner an incredible orator can inform a narrative.

Calvin Kotrba, a graduate piano pupil from Longy, adopted Cavagnaro with a formidable efficiency of Bach’s Sixth French Suite in E Main, BWV 817. For the Suite, Kotrba used the church’s seldom heard Steinway piano located within the gallery, simply to the left of the organ. Its perch above the viewers allowed it to talk with excessive readability, magnifying the pianist’s marvelous sensitivity of contact whereas giving the music the softest effervescence of resonance. Regardless of being carried out on a distinctly non-Baroque instrument, Kotrba’s execution of the piece contained all of the articulative shading one may want for from any efficiency on harpsichord. From the beginning, we have been delighted by the ethereal sparkle that decked the Allemande and crammed the room when achieved at Glen Gould’s tempo-de-lickety-split. These qualities continued to the suite’s dramatic fugal conclusion within the Gigue which was as vivacious as the start.

Essentially the most thrilling numbers, the Courante and Bourrée, excited a number of viewers members to show round (or to sit down backwards of their pews) to observe Kotrba work because the music poured out over the railing and into the nave. The notes, as if dancing on the pinnacle of a pin, have been imbued with a busy, jocular character that solely subsided (for a second) on the conclusion of every miniature dance. Kotrba introduced this angle to even the polonaise which featured the one fleeting moments of actual Steinway rumble, used so reservedly that it seemed like a humorous gong whack or timpani function within the Bacchanal suite. Some actions, just like the Gavotte and Menuet, displayed a easy temperament that was nonetheless souring in its class. The recital’s emotional core got here within the Sarabande, which Kotrba offered as an angelic prayer of harp-like patters that accompanied the chic strains of counterpoint.

Violist Maren Rothfritz, the night’s ultimate recitalist, gained the King Cake with an intriguing pairing of Bach and Hindemith. I used to be skeptical, too, however Rothfritz assured us in some remarks spoken earlier than the efficiency that Bach’s Sixth Cello Suite (offered in an association in G for viola) really had a lot to do with Hindemith’s solo Viola Sonata, Op. 31, No. 4. She offered the primary motion of sonata after the prelude of the suite, and the sonatas second motion, marked Lied, after the suite’s allemande. She argues that the primary actions have been moto perptuo items that extensively exploited the string instrument’s bariolage for colour and texture. The second actions have been equally lyrical and stuffed with melismatic 16th-and-32nd-note gestures. The unorthodox paring introduced a lot sense to Hindemith’s cattywampus, and I might say that Rothfritz has struck the vein of inspiration with which Hindemith created his composition. Rothfritz seemingly-nonchalantly delivered Bach’s depraved laborious prelude. Her colourful interpretation elegantly formed the ritornello type about its fortspinung all through a wide range of keys. Each phrase was fastidiously formed right down to the delicate articulations of the metrical dactyls, which created an electrified the music. She utilized equally lovely shades of tone round harmonic modifications and structural cadences that guided us from the motivic exposition to jaw-dropping epilogue. Positioned after this, Hindemith’s motion, marked Äußerst labjaft, felt like a unconscious reimagination of the identical music, rendering Hindemith’s trademark tonal language palpable and intelligible to us. The consequence with the Allemande and Lied was related. Rothfritz tactfully threw off Bach’s extremely ornamented music with out changing into mired in 32nd notes. Her elegant graces felt as if they organically grew out of Bach’s convoluted notation. Hindemith’s Lied got here off as equally gracious, together with his notey runs sounding like decorous portamenti and glissandi over an imagined textual content.

The remainder of the suite was no much less thrilling. Rothfritz introduced the identical method to deciphering little notes from the Allemande to the Courante, creating a material of cross rhythms and symphonic buildings that animated the dance music. The emotional Sarabande was delivered not as a delicate tune however as a determined monologue as she railed towards a gaggle of viewers members who held dialog and loudly departed in the middle of the piece. The doorways closed behind them as she repeated the B part, and a noticeably placid ardour fell on the remainder of us by way of Bach’s broad-swept, brushing eighth-note gestures. Within the Gavottes, she toyed with the size of detatched notes, taking part in some skipping and spiccato, different detaché and witty. This enjoyable interaction of chords and arpeggios spirited the music with a vibrant singsongy high quality different gamers lack. The second Gavotte’s second theme, the enrapturing hurdy-gurdy part, was not a disappointment because the transcendent music felt as if it may life us out of our chairs. Each Gavottes showcased Rothfritz’s excellent bow approach and capability to imitate the idiomatic use of Germanic consonants to articulate and form music. The spacing and skipping supply of notes proved a scrumptious retransition again to first Gavotte which, in a synergistically Hindemithian method, launched the suite into the elated gigue. She made probably the most of Bach’s throwing-it-at-the-wall texturing, with subjects of horn calls, hemiolas, name backs to motives from earlier actions, and spiraling runs that made us wish to leap to our ft and cheer. As quickly as she launched the ultimate observe, you could possibly hear the viewers gasp, as we held our breath craving to clap; however such an motion would break the clearly said (and heretofore unbroken) home rule to carry all applause till the top of every performers set to permit for the utmost quantity of Bach’s music to be performed in in the future. However ultimate it started, first a small strickle of clapping from the home’s again proper then, trickling ahead, a flood of genuinely joyous applause for a quick second of honest adoration for what we had heard and witnessed.

I might be negligent if I didn’t point out the remainder of her beautiful program. After the Bach-Hindemith combo, she performed Will Stackpole’s Grimalkin (2023), a composition impressed by her pairing of the 2 nice German composers. The pointillist composition constructed on Bach’s totalizing use of the instrument with the incorporation of Hindemith’s quasi-tonal language. It lead neatly into Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti’s ko’u inoa (my identify is) which, just like the prelude that started the recital, demonstrated Rothfritz’s superb capabilities at making use of timbral modifications from minute modifications of bow stroke to create a fractal-like palette of colours, every subtly diversified and infinitely distinctive. The arpeggiated piece splendidly amalgamated free, reverberant tones with muted tonal patches that spelt out a constellation-melody. The piece ended with violist-turned-singer Rothfritz dulcetly buzzing notes over an online of damaged chords that light away, softer and softer, till it continued to exist solely in our imaginations.

A musicology PhD pupil at Boston College, Christopher Hodges earned a M.M. in organ efficiency with Peter Sykes.

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