Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bach's B-Minor Mass

The world of music has many classic works, ranging from Beethoven and Brahms to the Beach Boys and the Beatles. A few musical works that stand as monuments to western culture: one of them is the B-Minor mass by Johann Sebastian Bach. It is perhaps the most difficult piece I've ever performed; it is also one of the most stunning.

The Madonna Chorale performed the B-Minor mass today, along with singers from the Archdiosis of Detroit, and younger singers from a local academy. We sang with a small orchestra at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, just north of Downtown Detroit---a church visited by John Paul II on his trip to Detroit, whos chair is on display in a corner of the church.

The performance went well...with a few exceptions: one of the tenors entered early in an exposed section during the last movement---a spot that had caused problems (including problems with this singer) in rehearsals---and owning to the increased sound, and the overlay of the orchestra, I wasn't able to pull us back together, as I often could in rehearsals. But, from what I could tell it wasn't terribly noticable to the audience---and we were able to get more or less back on track by the end of the piece.

One of our singers died last week, just after our first rehearsal at the Cathedral. He was a bass, named Patrick Wright, and he collapsed and died of a heart attack after returning from our first trip to the Cathedral. We dedicated the last song---a version of Dona Nobis Pacem, to his memory.

All in all, quite an exhausting season.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a veteran public prosecutor in Detroit, Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the exciting second volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.

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