Friday, April 9, 2010

Bach Cantata project this weekend

Bach's Cantata "Gottes Zeit"
First United Methodist Church
1421 Spruce Street in Boulder
Dress rehearsal (open to the public): 11am

Performance: 11:45am

The first "Cantata Project" event is taking place this weekend. The chorus singers are from The Renaissance Project, The Boulder Bach Festival, and other area choruses. The soloists are CU voice students, and the instrumentalists are some of the top baroque players in the area.

This event is an experiment in putting together an informal performance of a Bach Cantata with a minimum of rehearsal. With almost 60 high-caliber participants in the project, including singers and instrumentalists, The Renaissance Project (the presenter of the project) is expecting to offer future workshops on other great Bach cantatas.

Many people do not know that the choruses in Bach's cantatas are as great as the choruses in his large works (in particular the passions and the masses). With "Gottes Zeit" there are three of these great choruses. The first chorus "God's own time" has three parts, an opening exposition, a fugue, and a closing adagio. The second chorus "This is the ancient law: man, thou must perish!" is a fugue for the lower three voices overlaid with the soprano solo begging "Come quickly Lord Jesus." The final chorus combines the chorale "Glory, laud, praise and majesty" with a triumphant closing fugue.

The dress rehearsal will start a bit after 11:00am, followed by the performance iat about 11:45am. Audience members might find it interesting to attend the dress rehearsal plus the performance, allowing the opportunity to hear the work twice and to observe the rehearsal process. A donation of $5 to help fund future Cantata Project events is requested.

"Bach was probably only 22 years old when he composed the opening sonatina, in which two obbligato alto recorders mournfully echo each other over a sonorous background of viola da gambas and continuo. The cantata ranks among his most important works. Inspired directly by its biblical text, it exhibits a great depth and intensity. Alfred Dürr called the cantata "a work of genius such as even great masters seldom achieve ... The Actus Tragicus belongs to the great musical literature of the world". [Wikipedia]

Learn more about The Renaissance Project on their website:

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