On Saturday I went to see a performance of some of Bach’s chamber music at Eastminster Church on the Danforth. Sadly this is the first time in my life I can recall seeing a chamber size group outside of a wedding.
The program was unfamiliar to me, but that is not surprising given that I am getting into Baroque music rather late in life and given that Bach’s oeuvre is rather gigantic. Unfortunately, I have waited way too long and most of my thoughts from the evening have disappeared.
I don’t remember much about the Trio for Oboe, Violin and Basso Continuo in F
The Aria from Cantata 61 was pleasant. The soprano Agnes Zsigovics, was pretty impressive throughout this and the other vocal performances.
The Suite or Partita for Recorder and Harpsichord featured the most virtuoso recorder performance I have ever seen. (Okay, I have never seen a virtuoso recorder performance before.) A couple times it seemed he missed a few notes – understandable due to the sheer difficulty of the music – but that could be my unfamiliarity with the baroque recorder. Impressive, even if there were a couple mistakes. (Being a huge jazz fan, I cannot obsess, like most “classical” music fans / reviewers over note precision, as often the mistakes are as or more interesting than a “perfect” performance.)
The Aria from Cantata 80 was pleasant.
The Trio Sonata in C Major was pretty awesome.
The Trio Sonata in G Major was perhaps slightly less impressive.
The Aria from Cantata 51 was again pleasant.
The Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord in E was absolutely the highlight of the night. I think I may have heard it once or twice before (the only piece I remotely recognized). The playing was stupendous and the music was obviously very good. Great, I mean.
The Trio Sonata for Recorder, Violin and Basso Continuo in B Flat was also pretty good, but not quite as good as the Violin Sonata or the Trio in C.
The final Aria was from 147. That was neat because it was like he was writing for jazz singers. Basically the singer sings the same words in completely different phrasing over and over again.
So yeah, not having a musical education, this is all I can give you. I am glad I finally went to see a chamber ensemble, even if it was sort of a neighbourhood thing (their 20th anniversary though).