Monday, January 29, 2007

Alles mit Gott

Alles mit Gott und nichts ohnihn
(All things with God, without him nought)
Wird einher Wundersegen ziehn.
(will hither Wondrous blessing bring.)
And so lusciously sings Anne-Marie Dicce, soprano, with the Bach Collegium San Diego in the Southern California Premiere of the Bach aria Alles mit Gott und nichts ohnihn. This aria, written for the 52nd birthday of the Duke of Weimar, Wilhelm Ernst (1713), was discovered in Weimar, Germany, in 2005, among papers and documents with the Duchess Anna Amalia Library. Hearing this historically significant aria, performed by such a capable vocalist as Ms. Dicce was a wonderful experience in of itself.

But there’s more. The Bach Collegium, established in 2003 by Ruben Valenzuela, performs music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, with an emphasis on J.S. Bach. They specialize in “historically informed” performances, using both authentic period instruments and reproductions. Mr. Valenzuela plays a reproduction Italian harpsichord, a beautiful instrument that takes approximately 40 minutes to tune (and requires frequent tuning). Throughout the concert, Pierre Joubert, leader and violinist, wove tales about the pieces (we heard selections from Telemann, Purcell, and Vivaldi in addition to Bach), the instruments, and the astounding history behind the recently discovered Bach aria.

The concert was held in the acoustic-friendly Parish Hall of St. Peter's Del Mar; hardwood floors and a glowing fire provided background warmth. A bit of wine and cheese at interval offered a different kind of warmth. Oh how fortunate we all are at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church to have Ruben as our new Music Director!
Next Entry: Winter Garden Gallery

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