CBF 2019: Virginia Best Adams Masterclass Showcase

            We caught a glimpse of a future generation of musicians during the afternoon of July 27, 2019. Each year, the Carmel Bach Festival invites four promising vocalists to study and perform with the Festival Orchestra, Chorale and Chorus. This year, Michael Beattie took on the task of directing the Masterclass sessions and the Showcase Program. Every Monday and Thursday during the Festival, six seasoned professionals worked with the young stars. The mentors this year have been: David Newman, Andrew Megill, Mhairi Lawson, Meg Bragle, Thomas Cooley, and Dashon Burton. The Virginia Best Adams Fellows for this year are Nola Richardson, soprano; Clara Osowski, mezzo-soprano; Corey Shotwell, tenor; and Will Prapestis, baritone. For the Showcase that Saturday afternoon, we experienced the fruits of their labor.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Choral


CBF 2019: Signs and Seasons

Seasons

            Just as several of the programs during the 82ndCarmel Bach Festival focused on the Christmas Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach, there were two programs that focused on The Creation by Franz Joseph Haydn. We heard the entire 18thcentury work during the Saturday concert titled “In the Beginning.”  On Thursday, July 25, 2019 we heard a collection of 25 works chosen by Associate Conductor Andrew Megill. The Festival Chorale performed compositions about the creation story in Genesis, especially the markers of time. The music celebrated the Sun, Moon, and Stars; Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. As I settled into my seat, I knew I was going to be captivated.

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Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Carmel Bach Festival, Choral, Classical Era, Romantic Era


CBF 2019: Sacred Treasures of Spain and England

            The tradition of English choral singing is very rich. One expects to hear clear bell like tones of boy trebles. The harmonies of Tudor England reign in the motets and anthems. One even expects a bit of Latin. We were treated to a good measure of this tradition during Week 2 of the 82ndCarmel Bach Festival. The Carmel Mission Basilica opened its doors once more to share their wonderful space. The acoustics came alive with singing from The Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School on Friday, July 26, 2019. The 40 young boys, ages 7 – 18, gave us a taste of Sacred Treasures From Spain and England. Directed by Charles Cole, the musicians are traveling for 10 days in California, and Utah. We are so lucky The Carmel Bach Festival partnered with them to bring us this concert.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Choral


CBF 2019: Chamber Concert — Viennese Matinee

Fortepiano

By the last day of some festivals, many are a bit tired, a bit overwhelmed, and hoping to coast to the finish. Not so at Carmel Bach Festival 2019! The next to last entry in the Chamber Concerts section of the Program Guide has quite an interesting list of compositions. Taking the stage at Sunset Center at 11:00 am on Saturday July 27, 2019, members of the Festival Orchestra gathered around a fortepiano. I have heard recordings and seen a fortepiano in a museum, but to hear it played on stage with other instruments was going to be intriguing.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Concerto


CBF 2019: Christmas at the Mission

            The magic of Christmas filled the Carmel Mission Basilica on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. That’s right – in July. And it was wonderful! We enjoyed two parts of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Andrew Megill conducted the Chorale and members of the Festival Orchestra. These Mission concerts typically sell out, and have become an annual tradition. The magic we heard was the final installment to the set of Bach Cantatas featured during the 82ndCarmel Bach Festival. 

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