Culver City Observer -

LACO"s Annual "Discover" Program Is A Hit

 

January 28, 2016



Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Music Director Jeffrey Kahane served as musical “tour guide” and conductor for LACO’s annual “Discover” program, which this season featured a special one-night-only exploration of Bach’s incomparable Cantata BWV 140 “Sleepers Awake” on Saturday at the historic Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, the “Carnegie Hall of the West.”

Bach composed this cantata in Leipzig for the 27th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on November 25, 1731. It was composed to complete his second annual cycle of chorale cantatas, begun in 1724.

The cantata is based on the hymn in three stanzas “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” (1599) by Philipp Nicolai, which covers the prescribed reading for the Sunday, the parable of the Ten Virgins.

For this performance Kahane enlisted the services of three very capable soloists: Kathryn Mueller, soprano; Colin Ainsworth, tenor; Andrew Craig Brown, bass; along with the USC Thornton Chamber Singers and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. Both choruses were in good voice too.

The evening was designed to lead patrons to a greater understanding of Bach’s musical masterpiece and to appreciate the work with “new ears.” Kahane, a great music historian and educator, explores a different work each year.

In the first half of the program Kahane explored the legend and score of the masterpiece Bach wrote using the orchestra and singers to provide examples of his intentions.

After intermission, he conducted the 30-minute composition without interruption followed by a brief question and answer session with a few of the audience members who stayed, in which he so eloquently enlightened and edified them.

As a special treat Kahane invited the audience members to join the chorus in re-singing the final chorale using the score that was included in the program.

It was such a joyous occasion that several members of the audience were heard continuing the song outside by the grand reflecting pool after the performance.

For information about future performances, go to: http://www.laco.org/

 

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