Saturday, May 14, 2011

The American Bach Soloists Play Church Music

The American Bach Soloists is an organization that's been around the Bay Area for about 21 years, and on Sunday at St. Mark's Lutheran Church they performed a newly discovered Mass for Three Choirs from the early 18th century by Antonio Lotti, followed by the short, concentrated "Magnificat" of J.S. Bach.

This was the first ABS concert I had ever attended, and it was at the invitation of their new PR guy James Stahlman (above).

The ABS performs mostly in churches which tend to depress me, on account of memories of excruciating boredom during childhood religious services, not helped by "Early Music" audiences who tend to have a humorless, reverent attitude that helps to conjure those tedious youthful hours.

The concert was lovely, however, and we ran into old friends in the light-splattered church such as Charlise the Opera Tattler (above right) and the pseudo-scary German Axel Feldheim (above left) who wrote a nice appreciation of the concert at his Not For Fun blog.

The organization is the baby of conductor and founder Jeffrey Thomas (above) who led the performances and announced that they were starting a new Bach festival this summer from July 15-23, including a performance of Bach's Mass in B Minor (click here for more info).

The festival is going to be held at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where there should be no fear of enountering sermons, though lectures and master classes are being threatened. May it be a major success.

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