Mass in B Minor Reviews

Chicago Bach Project 2016
Chicago Bach Project Mass in B Minor

The 2016 Chicago Bach Project presentation of the monumental Mass in B Minor on Friday evening, March 11, 2016, was filled with drama on many levels. At the last moment, we regretfully had to announce that Maestro John Nelson was unable to direct the concert, due to illness. Fortunately, Delta David Gier, Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony and Chicago Bach Project Assistant Conductor, was able to step in beautifully on short notice.

 

 

 

 

The headline of the Chicago Tribune review said it all:

"Bach's B Minor Mass soars"

 

Gier is an experienced choral and orchestral conductor who clearly knows his way around this grand summation of Bach's achievement in the realm of Baroque Lutheran sacred music...Gier's deployment of smaller groups of singers within the larger choral body...allowed for contrasts in texture and balance that were integrated into the musical flow and did much to heighten the expressive effect of Bach's spiritual drama."
—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

 Delta David Gier
Delta David Gier conducts
the Mass in B Minor

As Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Delta David Gier is known for his programming of new music (including seven ASCAP awards), and he has chaired the music jury of the Pulitzer Prize. He has also served as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic for fifteen seasons and was a Fulbright scholar in Eastern Europe. He has often worked with John Nelson, and he capably brought Maestro Nelson's vision for this great work to fruition.

 

This year's all-new team of vocal soloists, the 32-voice Chicago Bach Choir prepared by Donald Nally, and the Chicago Bach Orchestra of 28 seasoned instrumentalists joined with Gier to deliver a fresh interpretation of what many consider the greatest composition in Western classical music.

 

 

  

Kathryn Lewek    Margaret Lattimore    John McVeigh     Daniel Okulitch
Kathryn Lewek
Soprano

 

Margaret Lattimore
Mezzo-Soprano
  John McVeigh
Tenor
  Daniel Okulitch
Bass-Baritone

  

 Chicago Bach Choir and Orchestra
 Chicago Bach Choir and Orchestra

 

Completing the Bach Project's second cycle of the great trilogy, the B minor Mass provided a satisfying, often moving, musical and spiritual experience."
—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

  

Donald Nally
Donald Nally conducting
Laudate U.S. premiere

The concert opened with the U.S. premiere of Welsh composer John Metcalf's Laudate (Psalm 150), sung by the Chicago Bach Choir under the direction of Donald Nally. This contemporary a cappella choral work was commissioned by SDG for its ongoing Psalms Project. Of the fifteen Psalms Project compositions, Laudate is the only one set to a Latin text, so it was a fitting partner for the Mass in B Minor, which is Bach’s only musical setting of the Latin Ordinary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The choir’s performance was simply superb. Each harmony was fastidiously tuned, and their wide dynamic range lent dramatic power to the piece."
—John Y. Lawrence, Chicago Classical Review

 

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