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Brandenburgs

Concert #11: The Brandenburg Concertos

It’s difficult to imagine a better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than listening to these old friends, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and watching some of the finest musicians from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center perform them.  But as magnificent as it was, this was a bittersweet concert:  it is the last concert of this thoroughly enjoyable series.  I hope that soon we’ll be putting on our Sunday clothes to attend live concerts, but it’s been great to sit in front of a computer screen wearing whatever fell out of the closet.

…the sound reminded me of a performance in one of the splendidly acoustical cathedrals of Germany.

At the pre-concert chat, violinist Daniel Philllips, said in reference to the Brandenburg, “It never runs out of meaning.”  He has performed it many times with many ensembles over the years, yet he still finds the Brandenburg “emotionally convincing.”  I thought of his words as I listened to the six concerts in a format that was both orchestral and ecclesiastical:  orchestral because the six or seven performers produced a sound that was grand and colorful; ecclesiastical because the sound reminded me of a performance in one of the splendidly acoustical cathedrals of Germany.

Let’s ponder the experience of this series of performances:  there was something in these concerts for just about every taste and the musicians were (to use an antique term) top notch.  Each concerto had a special emotion and a beautiful line.

We have had the pleasure of meeting the musicians via Zoom and we have been able to watch the performances from even closer than front row. 

The Lincoln Center CMS has saved us from total boredom this past season – or watching golf on TV, which in my humble opinion, equals total boredom.  We have had the pleasure of meeting the musicians via Zoom and we have been able to watch the performances from even closer than front row.  Granted, some of us have less than wonderful sound from our computers, but I was thoroughly entertained by being able to observe up close the musicians, their ease, their nods to one another, their familiarity with the superb compositions and their breakneck fingering.  Watching the Brandenburg Concertos, it was so apparent that this large cast of musicians were treading familiar paths with happiness.

And let’s anticipate the upcoming 2021-2022 season we earnestly hope will begin October 10.

The San Antonio Chamber Music Society plans the following:

Learn how you can become a member and how you can obtain tickets here on the website.  And remember, students and active duty military are always admitted free.

Thank you for having been part of this unusual  2020-2021 season.

– E Doyle

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