When we discussed the glories and vicissitudes of using boys’ voices to sing Bach’s music, I planned to introduce a glorious exception, that is, a young boy soprano who in the early 80s recorded one of the most beautiful renditions of a Bach soprano aria I have ever heard. Meet Sebastian Hennig, born in Hanover […]
The fourth and final week of Bach at Home 2020 merges with the DeGaetano Composition Institute for four new world premieres, all inspired by J.S. Bach. All four pieces were written and developed through the institute, with the four emerging composers receiving guidance from the DeGaetano Composition Institute composer-mentor Anna Clyne.
The Male Voice and Bach, Part II
We previously discussed at length the difficulties of using young boys to sing the intricate and highly demanding music Bach wrote for the solo soprano voice, and I introduced you to an exceptional performer in recent history (Sebastian Hennig). We very rarely – if ever – hear about star alto boys. Solo alto parts in […]
Collaboration and Pivotal Artistry: Dorothea Röschmann And Catherine Robbin
Since the inception of Les Violons du Roy, the music of Bach has been at the heart of its existence. What else could be expected with their founder as a self-professed nerd who spent his summers as a teenager tucked into the shadows of his parents’ basement listening to Bach’s Passions and cantatas? The long […]
Connecting Bach’s Life in his Music
We see it in times of anxiety: music is one of the first sources of comfort sought by everyone. Feelings expressed by music sometimes resonate with our own, and lift up our spirits by providing solace and consolation. It is hard for us to understand that in the first half of the 18th century, there […]
The Violoncello Piccolo is the Violoncello Da Spalla is the Viola Pomposa?
Bach’s interest in what we call organology (the science of musical instruments and everything related to them, from making or building to acoustical qualities) is well documented. Starting with his own instrument, he himself knew everything about organ building and was considered one of the go-to specialists in Germany when a new instrument had to […]
Anna Clyne’s Favorite Bach
Written by Anna Clyne My earliest memory of Bach’s music is playing his Cello Suites as a young cellist – in particular the prelude for the Second Suite in D minor, which you can hear performed live by Yo-Yo Ma at the BBC Proms in 2015. It is incredibly satisfying to play this particular movement and I […]
Ben Gernon’s Favorite Bach
Written by Ben Gernon. It’s no secret that Bach was an incredibly diligent and hard worker: he spent his life studiously learning and revising his craft. Indeed, when he was 20 years old and employed as a church organist in Arnstadt, he decided to walk to Lübeck, a staggering 560 miles, to study with the […]
Earthly Existence and Eternal Life
With these writings on Bach, I have been walking a very fine line in discussing God and religion, however there is no way to talk about Bach without doing so, especially when it comes to his sacred music. But as Bach is such a powerful preacher, it is difficult not to marvel at his magic […]