Rebekah Ahrendt holds the artist's diploma in viola da gamba and historical performance practice from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Currently, she is a graduate student in historical musicology at UC Berkeley.
The members of the California Bach Society deserved all the applause they received on Sunday afternoon, plus more. Until then, I had not had the opportunity to hear the group since Paul Flight became artistic director.
In the first of its two programs at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church this past weekend, Le Concert des Nations presented a potpourri of baroque classics titled “Les Goûts Réunis.” The title really ought to have been “Greatest Hits of the Baroque,” or — better — “Savall’s Number Ones.” Of the program’s six pieces, four were bona fide classics, the others evident favorites of Jordi
What a perfect day. On Saturday I had the pleasure of listening to the Miró Quartet at the Florence Gould Theater of San Francisco's Legion of Honor. All my regrets about missing part of a beautifully sunny afternoon were dispelled by the performance of this first-rate ensemble.
Continuing a long-standing tradition, the San Francisco Bach Choir presented a joyful holiday program on Saturday night. The large sanctuary of Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco resounded with Renaissance and early Baroque works, as well as traditional music of the season. SFBC's program, titled "Psallite!
Those inclined to universalize have often pointed to the nearly uninterrupted performance tradition and seemingly unending appeal of Bach as evidence of his greatness. As part of her three-day Bach Festival, Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt was joined at Berkeley's First Congregational Church last Thursday by German cellist Daniel Müller-Schott.
In 1781, Joseph Haydn wrote to his publisher Artaria about recent performances of his Stabat Mater in Paris: "They were amazed to find me so exceptionally pleasing in vocal composition, but I am not amazed, and they have heard nothing yet; if only they could hear my short opera L'isola disabitata ...
On a January morning a few years ago, I received a telephone call from an eminent professor of classical music. "Guess whose birthday it is!" he giggled. "No idea." His hint, "Your least favorite of the great composers!" caused me to reply, "Ah — it must be Mozart!"
But the many pleasures of the first program of the Midsummer Mozart Festival, as well as advancing age, have changed my mind.