Gonzalo X. Ruiz, Marika Holmqvist, Margaret Jordan-Gay, Patricia Ahern, Karina Schmitz, Dongsok Shin
On Monday July 24, 2017 2:30 pm, at All Saints Church in Carmel, we heard the Carmel Bach Festival Chamber Concert, “Bach Cantatas.” This beautifully programmed concert opened with J.S. Bach’s entire sacred cantata BWV 199, Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut, scored for soprano solo, strings, continuo, and oboe, while the second part of the program consisted of tenor solo arias, and tenor and soprano duet selections from Cantatas 5, 110, 85, 43, and 145. Soprano Mhairi Lawson and tenor Tomas Cooley, formidable soloists in their own right, were a matched duet pair, happy and comfortable together, their duet sound was smiling and sparkling. The instrumental ensemble was in top form: Gonzalo X. Ruiz, oboe; Patricia Ahern, Marika Holmqvist, violin; Karina Schmitz, viola; Margaret Jordan-Gay, cello; Dongsok Shin, harpsichord.
The details of the program can be found on pages 144-145 of the CBF program books, however, after what we thought were the final applause, we were surprised with a joyous encore, Entzücket uns beide Ihr Strahlen der Freude, from BWV 208, the Hunting Cantata, Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd. Written by Bach in 1713 to a libretto by Salomo Franck, in honor of the 35th birthday of Prince Christian of Saxony-Weißenfels, the story of the cantata revolves around Endymion, Diana’s lover, who complains to her that she has been neglecting him because of her excessive hunting. Upon learning, however, that the hunt serves to honor Prince Christian, Endymion withdraws his complaint and joins in with Diana’s song of praise. This short soprano and tenor duet towards the end of this work is celebratory and charming, and was a perfect finish to such a concert.
Vocal Soloists Tomas Cooley and Mhairi Lawson share an endearing after-concert moment.