“Folk and Barolk” — An Experience of Joy, Beauty and Energy.

This was an evening of Irish folk music seamlessly woven in with works by J.S. Bach, Torelli, and ultimately, Vivaldi. We heard lush orchestral performances as well as brilliant individual virtuosity in instrumental and vocal music. Let me state up front that I am a huge fan of violinist Edwin Huizinga and guitarist Coulter. I discovered I was not alone, for Sunset Theater was filled with adoring fans on Thursday night for good reason. As expected, Huizinga and Coulter performed brilliantly together, and they were matched by fine performances from soprano, Molly Quinn. Filling out the ensemble were a group of highly skilled musicians including violinists, Johanna Novom, Adrienne Post, and Joseph Tan; Violists Sarah Darling and Kyle Miller; cellist, Ezra Seltzer, bassist Jordan Frazier, Harpsichordist Dongsok Shin and flutist Rachel Carlson. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Carmel Music Society, Chamber music

Carmel Bach Festival – “Bach to Bernstein”

“From Bach to Bernstein” was the title of the evening main concert at Sunset Center Theater, with the Festival Orchestra, Chorale and vocal soloists. Associate Conductor Andrew Megill conducted an innovative and bold program that successfully juxtaposed J.S. Bach with some 20th century American masterpieces. In Cantata No. 21 by Bach, following a liturgical tradition of inserting a sermon in the middle of the cantata, Megill instead inserted the well-known Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. Often identified with occasion of grief, the Barber matched the theme of the cantata “I had much grief in my heart.” In addition, the Chorale sang the same notes as the orchestra in a version prepared by the composer, using the words of the “Agnus Dei” section of the mass. The cantata then continued in a seamless performance. The appearance of Barber’s short masterpiece was quite natural, in spite of their distance of 220 years. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival

Carmel Bach Festival Chamber Concert — “Summer Winds”

Peter Lemberg, Meredith Brown & Keenan Boswell

On Sunday evening, July 16, at All Saints Church in Carmel, the Carmel Bach Festival continued its series of Candlelight Chamber Concerts — this one called “Summer Winds”– in a program containing performances of Mozart’s Quintet in E-flat Major for Piano and Winds, K.452, Paul Hindemith’s Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2, and concluding with selections from Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, originally for solo piano, but arranged by Mason Jones for wind ensemble.

The players on this occasion were flutist Dawn Loree Walker, oboist Peter Lemberg, hornist Meredith Brown, bassoonist Britt Hebert, clarinetist Erin Finkelstein and pianist Keenan Boswell. All Saints Church was nicely candlelit and, as always, beautifully resonant with some of the best acoustics on the Monterey Peninsula for intimate ensemble concerts. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, All Saints' Church, Carmel Bach Festival, Chamber music

Carmel Bach Festival – “Spiritual Sunday”

The major work on the “Spiritual Sunday” program was Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor, K. 427. In the pre-concert lecture, David Gordon asked for a show of hands of people who had previously heard a performance of this work. Very few hands went up. Gordon explained why. This Mass is unfinished, although we don’t know the reason why. Various editors in the past have tried to finish sections in what they thought was an appropriate”Mozartian” style, but not always with great success. What we were hearing on this occasion is the Mass in its original, unfinished condition, all 55 minutes of it. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Carmel Bach Festival, Choral, Orchestral

Opening Night at Carmel Bach Festival 2017 – 80th Anniversary

Paul Goodwin, Artistic Director & Principal Conductor

In the words of Mr. Goodwin: “As we celebrate our 80th birthday I have endeavored to expand the breadth of the Festival, incorporating as many musical tastes as possible under the ever inspiring umbrella of Johann Sebastian Bach.” Thus it is that we are witnessing this season the Carmel Bach Festival continuing to evolve and bringing us works as distant from the Baroque as Philip Glass, Gustav Mahler, Frank Martins, Richard Rodney Bennett, Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, John Corigliano, Jerome Kern, Keenan Boswell and Leonard Bernstein.

It was an auspicious day for the opening night: the weather was sunny and mild, the opening night concert was nearly sold out, there was an art sale benefit going on in the Chapman Gallery, the Tower Music ensemble was as impressive as ever, and, as usual, there was the inimitable David Gordon delivering another one of his impressive lectures preceding the opening night concert. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Carmel Bach Festival, Choral, Orchestral