By Brian McCreath | Thursday, December 23, 2010
While Handel's Messiah rightly holds its place as this country's classical musical soundtrack for the holiday season (quibble if you will about its Easter message; there's nothing wrong with talking about Easter at Christmas - just ask Bach!), it's J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio that rings through concert halls throughout Europe at this time of the year.
The six cantatas that make up the Christmas Oratorio, meant to be performed on six separate days throughout the liturgical Christmas season, tell the Christmas story as only Bach could. With a combination of individual and communal perspective on both the joyful and meditative aspects of the season, it's a piece that always offers performers the chance to find new perspectives, angles, and ways of expressing eternal thoughts and feelings.
If you'd like to hear all six part of the Christmas Oratorio, in a terrific performance led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, feel free to listen to them below.
By Cathy Fuller | Wednesday, December 1, 2010
When flutist Julie Scolnik underwent treatment for breast cancer, music consoled her. Her family and doctors kept her focused on the future. And as she made her way out of the darkness, she resolved to do what she could to help women less fortunate who would find themselves in the same place. Working with the remarkable foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure, she has put together an evening of music that will console and, she hopes, inspire many more people to work toward a cancer-free world. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested nearly $1.5 billion since its inception in 1982. As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, they work to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.
On Sunday, December 5th, some of the world's most brilliant and renowned musicians will gather on the Jordan Hall stage. Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic, will conduct an orchestra of inspired musicians, including members of the Boston Symphony, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, many of Boston's finest chamber ensembles, and emerging young artists. Eight-time Grammy nominee Marc-André Hamelin will play Mozart's Piano Concerto in G, K.453, and the orchestra will play one of Gustav Mahler's most moving creations, the Adagietto from his Symphony No. 5. The evening will end with the thrilling embrace of the Symphony No. 2 by Johannes Brahms.
Rattle will be driving up from his conducting duties at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Hamelin will have arrived that day from New York as well. They know the life-changing power of music, and its ability to reach into the noblest parts of the human spirit. Every musician is donating his/her talent to help everyone who has been visited by the nightmare of cancer, and to do their part toward the ultimate dream of erasing it from all of our lives.