Richness and warmth
The Netherlands Bach Society
at Florida's Tropical Baroque Festival,
reviewed by LAWRENCE BUDMEN
The musical universe of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was shaped by the rich Germanic tradition of church music -- original scores (ie Cantatas, masses, passions, etc) for weekly services. It was into this world of baroque polyphony that J S Bach was born. The young Bach sang and played the scores of Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707) and Johann Kuhnau (1660-1762) -- music that had a profound influence on his creative spirit. The stellar Dutch ensemble The Netherlands Bach Society explored these musical influences in an inspired concert at the Tropical Baroque Music Festival V (presented by the Miami Bach Society) on 9 March 2004 at Coral Gables Congregational Church in Coral Gables, Florida, USA.
This marvelous group of eight choir members (who double as vocal soloists) and a ten member instrumental ensemble performs the music of Bach and his contemporaries with fervor, musical insight, and vocal and instrumental clarity that would be hard to equal. The angelic purity and melting tone of the ensemble's choral singing were balm to jaded ears. The group's conductor Jos van Veldhoven understands the drama and vigor of baroque music. Under his dedicated direction, this marvelous ensemble presented vibrant, living performances of varied and fascinating seventeenth and early eighteenth century repertoire.
Copyright © 19 April 2004
Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA