Close

Benedict XVI on Bach

In a report on his message to the 2021 Bach Festival, Benedict XVI was somewhat misrepresented by the Catholic News Agency. According to CNA, “Benedict’s message said: ‘The faith that produced this music and which Bach, as a musician, loyally served, is now extinguished and continues to have an effect only as a cultural force.’”…

A toast to James Gilchrist

The Bach Collegium Japan live-streamed a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion today on philharmonie.tv, Kölner Philharmonie’s “digital concert hall.” I was delighted that James Gilchrist was singing the role of the Evangelist. Gilchrist is one of my favorite Evangelists—not for the sound of his voice as such, but because he is one of the few, it…

William Byrd, Father of Music

Matthew J. Hall, harpsichord and organ Music by William Byrd (c. 1539–1623) Fantasia in C, BK 25 Fantasia in C, BK 27 Pavan and Galliard in a, BK 16 Pavan and Galliard: Ph. Tregian [in F], BK 60 Walsingham, BK 8 – pause – Fantasia in d, BK 46 Clarifica me, Pater, BK 47–49 Gloria…

Louis Couperin, de Grigny, and Bach

Matthew J. Hall, organ “In the art of the organ, he took the works of Bruhns, Reincken, Buxtehude, and several good French organists as models.” So wrote Johann Friedrich Agricola and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in 1754 in Johann Sebastian Bach’s obituary. C. P. E. Bach reiterated this in 1775 when he wrote to Johann…

Yield Troubled Shadows: Bach and Modern Society

Project Synopsis Where does the church music of J. S. Bach belong in today’s world? Originally written to serve as “musical sermons” in the context of Lutheran church services, Bach’s cantatas were intended to provide listeners the opportunity for ethical reflection and inspire them to right action. Might something of that ethical function still be…