Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing By Jack Melichar

When I am having one of my more cynical moments, I am want to think of Tucson as a one pony town striving mightily to become powered by one horse. Then something comes along which derails all of my negative thinking. Just such an event occurred last Friday when I attended a performance of Bach's B Minor Mass performed by the St Andrew's Bach Society Chamber Choir and Orchestra.

I have seen this opus in New York and Chicago – both presented by mighty orchestras and choirs. I was therefore curious how so few people would be able to pull it off. The total number of participants was 26 and I am accustomed to seeing at least thirty in the choral section alone – forget the orchestra.

Ah Ha! I knew – I was absolutely certain – that I was about to witness Tucson' pony slipping in the mud while trying to carry a load that required a team of Clydesdales! Alas, woe is me! I was wrong (I know just how you feel. I didn't think I could possibly be wrong either )! The performance was outstanding!

Bach's sacred magnum opus glorifies both voice and instrument, and they wing the listener to heaven with brilliant harmonies and depth of sound. From the solemn Kyrie to the ebullient Gloria through the last chord of the Dona nobis pacem, I was riveted by this tour de force setting of the Latin Mass.

My special thanks to St Andrew's Bach Society Chamber Choir and Orchestra and the extremely talented musicians and vocalists for a memorable evening of superb entertainment.

Tucson, you old broad, there's hope for you yet.

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