J.S. Bach: Cantata No. 11

Written by Michael Barrett

Associate Artistic Director, NYFOS

September 22, 2017

To end the week on an upbeat, let’s have a group sing. Here is the opening chorus from Bach’s Cantata No. 11. It is from the marvelous complete cantata recordings by Gustave Leonhardt and Nicholas Harnoncourt. I had the good fortune of participating in masterclasses with both of them on various occasions. I wasn’t exactly a baroque-nik, but their music making was so fresh and vital, I felt I needed to learn from them. They have both passed on, and I miss their generous musical positivity. But their recordings remain among my favorites. And what a contribution: ALL the extant cantatas. Wow.

And whether you believe in Luther’s religion, or God, or anything, the music is about praising the best in all of us through song. That lines up with me, and the ethos of NYFOS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiLMm6wUYyI&t=21m55s

Cantata for Ascension
1. Chor
Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen,
Preiset ihn in seinen Ehren,
Rühmet ihn in seiner Pracht;
Sucht sein Lob recht zu vergleichen,
Wenn ihr mit gesamten Chören
Ihm ein Lied zu Ehren macht!
1. Chorus
Praise God in His riches,
Praise Him in His honor,
Extol Him in His splendor;
Seek to rightly imitate His praise
When with full chorus
You make a song in His honor!

Michael Barrett

Michael Barrett is the co-founder and associate artistic director of New York Festival of Song, as well as the co-founder and music director of the Moab Music Festival in Utah. A conductor and a pianist, Michael was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein and serves as music advisor to the Leonard Bernstein Estate.

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