Strictly speaking, coffee is a bitter beverage. Hence the frequency with which sweetening agents are added to the popular drink. As an object of intensive desire, however, it can rightly be said: Ah! how sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, smoother than muscatel wine. As it is aptly put in J. S. Bach’sContinue reading “The Unbearable Sweetness of Coffee”
Rinaldo Alessandrini, harpsichordist and conductor of Concerto Italiano, has recorded enough albums to fill the seven seas. And each one sounds as if he spent a lifetime perfecting every detail. Although competition for this distinction is stiff, I think he must be considered one of the greatest interpreters of Vivaldi. His reconstruction of a VivaldianContinue reading “Bach ‘N Roll!”
Ring out, you songs, resound, you strings ! Oh blessed times! God will prepare our souls to be his temples. J. S. Bach, Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! Whatever you do, don’t miss the bass aria beginning at 4:22! The text can be found here. What do you think? Please comment, subscribe, & forward to friends!
And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19 Praise God in his kingdoms, extol him in his honors, acclaim him in his splendor. Seek to express his praise rightly when with assembled choirs you make a song toContinue reading “A Song to His Honor”
Although Epiphany season is well behind (and, in the cycle of sacred time, even further ahead) of us, no time is a bad time to celebrate manifestations of divine glory. That’s why I’m pleased to have discovered the work of Three Notch’d Road: The Virginia Baroque Ensemble. Their most recent CD, released a couple yearsContinue reading “Spiritually Essential”
Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, and said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver. And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him (Mt. 26:14-16). Bleed now, loving heart! Ah!Continue reading “What Will You Give Me?”
The opening of Bach’s Johannes-Passion plunges us into the midst of Christ’s violent death. The swirling strings and plaintive winds establish an air of helpless distress. The first word, “Herr!” (Lord!), is a cry for help. Its repetition and extension into the slightly longer “O Lord, our Lord!” only accentuates the state of extreme crisis.Continue reading “O Lord, Our Lord!”
I shall live only to honor thee,My Savior! Give me strength and courage,So that my heart may do right eagerly.Strengthen me,So that I may worthilyAnd thankfully extol thy grace! J. S. Bach From the fourth cantata of his Christmas Oratorio (streaming, CD, download). What do you think? Please comment, subscribe, & forward to friends!