Tuesday, November 12, 2013

German culture at its zenith

Munchener Bach-Chor and Orchester conducted by Karl Richter; with Gundula Janowitz (soprano), Hertha Topper (contralto), Horst Laubenthal (tenor) and Herman Prey (bass). Recorded September 12-28, 1969 in the Klosterkirche, in Diessen am Ammersee. (The entire 129 minute performance is available on DVD).

Despite the fact that the instruments used were not manufactured according to “period” standards, this is a magnificent Bach interpretation, faithful to the traditional German standard of performance in its profound devotion. Bach composed for an audience of four: himself and the three divine persons of the Holy Trinity. 

When we hear the human race described as “made in the image and likeness of God” here is the proof. 

Consider watching the video all the way to the end (a little more than eight minutes). After the violin soloist and soprano, the whole choir and orchestra perform (beginning at 4:51). 

If you don’t have time for this, you don’t have time for anything.

Along with medical and humanitarian aid, this what the West should be exporting, instead of guns, bombs, drones and troops.

 —Michael Hoffman


 The Latin texts are pronounced in the Latin style – most memorably so in the case of Hermann Prey's solo, "Kvoniam tu zolus zanctus." 

"Credo," say the faces of the chorus members and the soloists, and Richter asserts his belief through the rock-solid steadiness and devotion of his conducting.  A gloriously vital testament of Christian belief. 

—Raymond Tuttle


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