Bach Birthday 329 2014,March 22, 8:00 a.m.- 6:30 p.m.

First Lutheran Church of Boston is proud to announce the 6th annual Bach Birthday Celebration in collaboration with the Boston Chapter of the American Organists.

Bach Back Bay Birthday 2014 v3 final no bleed

Saturday, March 22 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Guest speaker: Dr. Robin Leaver, former president of the American Bach Society

Artists include: Exsultemus Period Vocal Ensemble, Emmanuel Music, Cambridge Concentus, Boston Schola Cantorum, Erica Johnson, Peter Krasinski, Wyatt Smith, Heinrich Christensen, László Fassang, Bálint Karosi and members of the Harvard Organ Society.

Reserve your seats and lunch tickets here!

Essential Information

Admission to all concerts and events is free all day, though a donation is requested. More information is available at http://www.flc-bostonmusic.org/worship-music A German lunch will be served ($15/person; reservations are encouraged). Balcony seating for patrons is available ($30). To make balcony and/or lunch reservations visit https://bach-birthday-2014.eventbrite.com Contact:  and 617-536-8851.

Parking: Boston Common Garage (flat rate $12 Saturday).
Public Transit: Green Line to Arlington or Orange Line to Back Bay.

Full directions here;

Full Program and Schedule

8:00 Members of the Harvard Organ Society
Organ Recital

9:00 Erica Johnson, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Walpole
TOCCATA, ADAGIO & FUGUE IN C MAJOR, BWV 564; LEIPZIG CHORALES

9:45 Peter Krasinski, organ, specialist in the art of live silent film accompaniment
“Bach meets Buster, A Silent film Star”

10:30 Dr. Robin Leaver, former President, American Bach Society & Brian McCreath, host, The Bach Hour, 99.5 WCRB
A Bach Conversation

11:15 First Lutheran Church Choir, Soloists & Orchestra; László Fassang, organ; Bálint Karosi, conductor
Cantata “Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir”, BWV 29

12:00 Heinrich Christensen, King’s Chapel, Boston
Goldberg VariationS, BWV 988

1:10 Schola Cantorum of Boston, Frederick Jodry, director, Brown University
Motet “Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied”, BWV 225

2:05 Wyatt Smith, Yale University
TOCCATA IN F, BWV 540; SIX SCHÜBLER CHORALES, BWV 645-650

2:50 Cambridge Concentus: Marika Holmqvist, violin, & Dylan Sauerwald, harpsichord
Sonata in A Major, BWV 1015; Sonata in G Major, BWV 1021

3:30 Exsultemus, Shannon Canavin, Artistic Director
Motets of Bach’s student Gottfried August Homilius

4:10 Bálint Karosi, First Lutheran Church and Yale University
FANTASY & FUGUE IN G MINOR, BWV 542 PASSACAGLIA IN C MINOR, BWV 582 CANONIC VARIATIONS BWV 769

5:10 Danielle Maddon, Emmanuel Music
E Major Partita for solo violin, BWV 1006

5:40 László Fassang, Franz Liszt Academy & Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris
PRELUDE AND FUGUE IN E-FLAT MAJOR PRO ORGANO PLENO, BWV 552

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas

Special Christmas Offering

Gibbons: Magnificat 

O Come+ In Dulci Jubilo 

Hymn: Es Ist Ein Rose 

J. S. Bach: Canonic Variations-I:

J. S. Bach: Canonic Variations-II: 

(Repost from 2012)

Rosie Goumas, piano; Audrey Fernandez-Fraser voice; Balint Karosi, clarinet

O Come All Ye Faithful

Away in a Manger

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

O Little Town of Bethlehem Aria from Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio

What Child is This Hark the Herald Angels Sing Oh Holy Night Lo How the Rose are blooming

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Upcoming: Imperial Splendor at Salzburg Cathedral: December 20, 8 p.m.

Upcoming: Imperial Splendor at Salzburg Cathedral in December

Salzburg Cathedral in the 1700s

Simon Carrington directs the Biber Vespers Friday, December 20th at 8 pm, First Lutheran Church

Simon Carrington reprises his acclaimed 2004 performance of the Biber Vesperae Longiores ac breviores with Canto Armonico in Boston, in a new setting for the season of Advent.

Evoking the baroque splendor of Salzburg Cathedral where Heinrich Biber spent much of his career, the music features elaborate and virtuosic solos for voices and strings by Biber and his contemporaries, including the talented Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

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Festival Reformation Service, Sunday, October 27, 4 p.m.

Reformation Service, October 27 4 p.m.

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Our  Festival Reformation Service on October 27 will hold the world premier of my new cantata “Words of Beginning” based on an original text by Kai Hofmann-Krull that dedicated to  First Lutheran Church of Boston for its upcoming 175th anniversary. Kai text reflects the light and dark imagery in J. S. Bach’s great Reformation cantata BWV 79 “Gott, der Herr ist Sonn und Schild” and is expanded to a narrative on Genesis the star of Bethlehem and Luther’s enlightenment.

Full Cantata TextWords of Beginning-text

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Sample Recording of Clavier-übung III

Dear Friends,

We had an intense and very productive recording session at FLC with Canto Armonico, Ulf Wellner and Christopher Greenleaf last Sunday, September 8, 2013. We recorded over 15 chorale settings to be featured on our Clavier-übung III CD. Here is a sample recording of J. S. Bach’s “Wir Glauben all an einen Gott” chorale prelude from the Clavier-übung III with the sung chorale at the end. Please consider making a donation or pre-order the CD by returning the CD sales sheet. Thank you!

Wir Glauben-with chorale

CD sales sheet

Ulf Wellner guest conductor at the listening:

Ulf Wellner listening to some takes

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Words of Beginning – a new cantata for the 175th Anniversary of FLC

Reformation Service, October 27 4 p.m.

October 27 is the world premier of my new cantata “Words of Beginning” based on an original text by Kai Hofmann-Krull. I am particularly excited about this work as it has been my first fruitful collaboration with a poet on a sacred text that is reflecting on Bach’s  Reformation Cantata BWV 79 . Kai’s text reflects the light and dark imagery found in the Bach cantata text and is expanded to a narrative on Genesis. It is a text of particular beauty and I am very excited to set it to beautiful music.

Full Cantata TextWords of Beginning-text

Bach composed Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild in Leipzig for a performance on Reformation Day in 1725. This cantata has a striking timpani part that suggests its common interpretation as the hammering of Luther’s ninety-five theses to the door of the Wittenberg cathedral. The text, written by an unknown poet, uses a powerful light-dark imagery that is perhaps a poetic allusion to the Lutheran distinction between Law (the commandments) and Gospel (God’s forgiveness through Jesus’s blood). This duality is echoed in clever compositional devices and in Bach’s colorful orchestration throughout the cantata. This includes the opposition of high, but dark-colored natural horn parts (replaced by trumpets in today’s performance) and the low, bright timpani rolls.

The text of the opening chorus (dictum) is a theological statement later referred to in the subsequent recitatives and arias. The words describing God’s protecting power, “God the Lord is our sun and Shield,” accompanied by brass and timpani, are followed by “The Lord gives mercy and honor” with a softer, more lyrical section accompanied by the strings. The opening chorus, with its light-dark imagery, its colorful instrumentation and opposing sections forecasts contrast as the main rhetorical device of the cantata.

The subsequent alto aria restates the words of the opening chorus and expands them emphasizing a militaristic overtone, evocative of Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is our God. In the third movement, the powerful music of the opening chorus accompanies the Chorale Now Thank We All our God in a rhetorical contrast between thanksgiving peace (chorale) and of God’s supreme, military power (orchestral accompaniment). The subsequent recitative prays for redeeming faith for the enemy, with a desire to share the message with all people, so that they also confess Jesus Christ as their savior. In the 5th movement, the soprano and bass, in their duet, confess our weakness without God’s help, using an unusually large gap between the two vocal ranges as if to emphasizes the opposition of light and darkness, or weakness and power. It is interesting that Jesus’s name is mentioned only at the very end of the final chorale. It is perhaps the climax of opposing forces that only intersect and reconcile in the name of Jesus Christ, the last word of the cantata.

Copyright by Bálint Karosi

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Recording projects brings Chorales and Organ Preludes together on a new CD

Dear friend of music at First Lutheran,

We are fundraising for a new recording project of the Clavier-übung III by J. S. Bach with the vocal settings of the Chorales, to be published by Hungaroton, distributed by Naxos in the United States. The CD will be available both as a high quality hard copy, including a booklet with program notes, the German texts and English translations of the chorales, and a digital version available online at the Naxos Library, iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby and more. All future CD sales and royalties from online sales support the music program at First Lutheran Church of Boston. My goal is to release the CDs by February 16, 2014 to coincide with the 175th anniversary of First Lutheran Church of Boston.

Sometimes referred to as the “Lutheran Organ Mass,” the Clavier-übung III is considered J. S. Bach’s single most important corpus of solo organ music including the great Eb Major Prelude and Fugue and some of the most elaborate and artistically challenging chorale preludes in the entire organ repertoire. My motivation to record this monumental organ collection with the vocal settings of chorales stems from my desire to present the organ preludes in the liturgical context Bach might have experienced as a student. Also, this release will be the only recording on the market that features both the organ preludes and the sung chorales on which they are based.

This CD recording will have special relevance for Boston music lovers because 1) it is recorded on the Richards & Fowkes Opus X instrument in Boston, one of the most authentic organs for Bach in the USA, 2) the recording will be a first featuring the a cappella versions of the chorales by the composers whose choral settings most influenced the young Bach: Michael Praetorius, Samuel Scheidt, and Johann Hermann Schein and 3) it will commemorate the 175th anniversary of Boston’s oldest continuous German Lutheran congregation.

I have already started recording the organ chorales on the Richards & Fowkes instrument in Boston this August and FLC’s own Artist-in-Residence choral group Canto Armonico  has recorded the chorales on September 7th and 8th under the direction of Ulf Wellner, Kantor of the St. Jakobi church in Lübeck.

Wir Glauben-with chorale

I thank you for any contribution you are able to give us. In addition to tax credit, you will receive the following rewards:

For a contribution of $250 and up you will receive 5 hard copies of the double CDs ($150 worth of retail value).

For a contribution of $500 and up you will receive 10 hard copies of the double CDs ($300 worth of retail value).

For a contribution of $1000 and up you will receive  20 hard copies of the double CDs ($600 worth of retail value) and be listed as a contributor on the CD with an invitation to the CD release party.

For a contribution of $2000 and up you will receive 40 hard copies of the double CDs ($1200 worth of retail value), be listed as a contributor on the CD with an invitation to the CD release party.

Where your money is going:

To a $3,000 flat fee for mixing and editing the final master (to recording engineer Jamie Tag).

To a $475  fee for the September recording session (to Christopher Greenleaf).

To a $ 1,000 budget for artwork and booklet design including program notes (TBA)

To cover the $ 2,000 publication, post-production and marketing costs (to Hungaroton).

To support the music program at First Lutheran Church of Boston, who will collect royalties from all future CD sales. My total fundraising goal by October 1, 2013 is $6,500

Please make checks payable to First Lutheran Church of Boston returning this form: CD sales sheet

I thank you for your support of great music at First Lutheran Church of Boston and beyond.

Sincerely,

Bálint Karosi

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Sept. 2, 7 p.m. Labor Day Concert featuring Händel’s Complete Recorder Sonatas

Join us for our 6th traditional Labor Day Concert featuring French recorder player Heloise Dégrugillier and Bálint Karosi on the harpsichord in a program of the complete recorder sonatas by G. F. Händel. These sonatas exhibit a variety of styles including fugual writing, the French style, dances and the fashionable Italianate style. Few other collections demonstrate the wit and the complexity of the fifty-year-old master than the Op. 1.

To purchase discount tickets for $13 go to http://handelflutesonatas.eventbrite.com

The concert is followed by our traditional rootbeer floats reception in our picturesque courtyard in the Back Bay. Tickets at the door are $15 for General Admission and $10 for students and seniors.

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Heloise Degrugillier has worked extensively as both a recorder performer and teacher throughout Europe and the United States. She has performed with leading period ensembles, including the Boston Early Music Festival Opera, Newport Baroque, Harmonious Blacksmith, and the Dunya Ensemble. Recent performances included concerts with Mercury Baroque in Houston, Texas, and a concert at the Indianapolis Early Music festival that was praised by the Indianapolis Nuvo – “Recorder players Justin Godoy and Heloise Degrugillier blended their dissimilar-looking instruments to near perfection.” Heloise also enjoys an active teaching career, working with the Amherst Early Music Festival, Boston Recorder Society, Recorder Guild of New York, Pinewoods Early Music Week, and others. She has recently completed her studies in the Alexander Technique and has a Masters in Music from the Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands. She studied recorder with Heiko ter Scheggett, Saskia Coolen, and Pedro Memelsdorff.

 

 

 

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FLC in the New York Times in relation to BEMF Organ Mini Festival

An article about the Boston Early Music Festival mentions First Lutheran Church of Boston in the New York Times:

“Other concerts that deserve more than the mere mention that space allows here included a splendid account of Bach’s “Clavierübung,” Part III (21 chorale preludes wrapped in the great “St. Anne” Prelude and Fugue), on Thursday on the wonderful organ of the First Lutheran Church, by John Scott, the director of music at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue”

Full article

 

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A North German Organvespers for the Feast of St. John the Baptist

A North German Organvespers for the Feast of St. John the Baptist Saturday, June 15, 5 p.m.

Canto Armonico at Pentecost Vespers 2011

Saturday, June 15th at 5 pm, First Lutheran Church

A Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Event

Canto Armonico reprises its successful Organvespers from the Early Music Festival week of 2011, now in a setting for the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist which falls on June 24th. To be held at First Lutheran Church, the program is structured like a German vespers service from the Hamburg area in the late 17th century. The feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, like the feast of St. Michael at the end of September, marked the end of a fiscal quarter in much of Germany, and enterprising church music directors could reserve funds to supply more elaborate music for those feasts, bringing in professional singers and instrumentalists to augment the regular choral and organ music in the churches and cathedrals. Thus the long Pentecost season, lasting from June to the end of November, could be distinguished by two festal dates.

We also celebrate the 350th anniversary of the death of Heinrich Scheidemann, highly regarded organist of the St. Catherine’s in Hamburg and former student of Sweelinck whose compositions for the organ chorale introduced an expressive, virtuosic ornamentation style embraced by his followers across northern Germany.

Canto Armonico is pleased First Lutheran Church Organto present this program as a fringe event during the Boston Early Music Festival, with music ranging from chant to polychoral motets. We will be joined by an instrumental consort of recorders, gambas, theorbo and harp, and the unique Opus X Richards & Fowkes organ, one of the finest instruments in the world for the rendering of 17th-century German repertory.

Vespers Music by Canto Armonico

Jakob Handl: Emitte Spiritum
Michael Praetorius: Der heil’ge Geist von Himmel kam
Michael Praetorius: Komm, heiliger Geist
Heinrich Schütz: Becker Psalm 111: Ich will vom Herzen
Hieronymus Praetorius: Jubilate Deo

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