American Classical Orchestra Performs Bach’s B Minor Mass

American Classical Orchestra - Bach B Minor Mass. Photo credit Iconoscope Productions
American Classical Orchestra - Bach B Minor Mass. Photo credit Iconoscope Productions
NEW YORK – American Classical Orchestra Performs Bach’s B Minor Mass Conductor Thomas Crawford led tonight’s glorious, miraculous, and formidable concert by the ACO, the ACO Chorus, and world-class vocal soloists. Crawford’s interpretation of Bach’s B Minor Mass in Lincoln Center’s renowned Alice Tully Hall expressed and honored Bach’s monumental musical work with its intricate complexity, profound spirituality, and sublime beauty.

Historical Authenticity

Notably, the Mass was performed with period orchestral instruments, such as in the time of Bach; the ACO is known for its attention to detail and use of authentic instruments. Tonight’s stage projected unparalleled richness and authenticity thanks to exceptional soloists, the Chorus, and the orchestra. An imaginative listener might travel in time to the sounds of the oboe d’amore, natural trumpets and horn, baroque flutes, judicious use of vibrato, and the warm resonances of gut strings. These characteristic attributes of the ACO created a unique timbral palette and historical authenticity that enriched the experience for both performers and audiences.
L-R: Soprano Kristen Hahn, Counter Tenor Reginald Mobley, Soprano Nola Richardson, Tenor Steven Soph, and Baritone Steven Eddy on stage with the American Classical Orchestra and Chorus. Photo by Edward Kliszus

L-R: Soprano Kristen Hahn, Counter Tenor Reginald Mobley, Soprano Nola Richardson, Tenor Steven Soph, and Baritone Steven Eddy on stage with the American Classical Orchestra and Chorus. Photo by Edward Kliszus

Reverence and Awe

Tonight’s choir and vocal soloists were superb, responding to Maestro Crawford’s subtle, precise cues against the gentle strains of the organ continuo and orchestra. Also notable were Executive Director David Larkin’s excellent program notes and the B Minor Mass texts and translations. The opening Kyrie set the tone with its majestic and solemn character, drawing listeners into a realm of reverence and awe. The intricate polyphony of the Chorus intertwined with the Soprano and Alto duet (Christ have mercy), creating a tapestry of sophisticated transcendent intones.

Depth and Brilliance

In the Gloria, the music burst forth with vitality and joy with splendid natural trumpets and the Chorus reflecting the text’s themes of praise and adoration. The Chorus radiated virtuosity in their melismatic passages with layers of depth and brilliance. From the Credo emerged an artistic testament to Bach’s mastery of counterpoint with its intricate fugues and impeccable interweaving of canonic structures. Each singer contributed to the overall tapestry of sound, building to moments of breathtaking elation.
Johann Sebastian Bach (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, second version of his 1746 canvas. Public Domain

Johann Sebastian Bach (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, the second version of his 1746 canvas. Public Domain

Ethereal Harmonies

The Sanctus and Agnus Dei radiated a sense of divine mystery and reverence, with ethereal harmonies and soaring melodies lifting listeners to angelic realms. The soloists’ voices blended effortlessly with the period instruments, creating a sense of timelessness and transcendence.

May 8 in Alice Tully Hall

In May, the ACO presents its next concert at Alice Tully. The program entitled Astronomical features Mozart’s Symphony 41 in C ‘Jupiter,’ William Herschel’s Oboe Concerto No. 1 in E-flat with oboe virtuoso Gonzalo Ruiz, Johan Daniel Berlin’s Concerto á 5 in A Major, and CPE Bach’s Symphony in B minor. Join the ACO on May 8 in Alice Tully Hall. Tickets are available HERE.

American Classical Orchestra

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center J.S. Bach, Miss in B Minor, BWV 232  Conducted by Founder & Artistic Director Thomas Crawford

Featured Artists

Nola Richardson, soprano Kristen Hahn, soprano Reginald Mobley, countertenor Steven Soph, tenor Steven Eddy, bass/baritone and The American Classical Orchestra Chorus

American Classical Orchestra

PO Box 366 New York, NY 10025-0007 Office: (212) 362-2727 Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Oratorio Society of NY Performs Mahler, Beethoven, and Karen P. ThomasPark Avenue Chamber Symphony Records TchaikovskyPeter and the WolfTranscendent Triumph and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2,  and The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony performs Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.

American Classical Orchestra Performs Bach’s B Minor Mass

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