by Daniel Hathaway
It’s Johann Sebastian Bach’s 335th birthday today — we’re sticking to the old date rather than observing the calendar shift which added eleven days to his life and relocated his birthdate to March 31.
Or enjoy a rare performance of the original Magnificat — the E-flat version with four interpolations the composer wrote for his first Christmas in Leipzig in 1723. Ton Koopman leads the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir at the Thomaskirche.
OTHER ONLINE VIDEOS FOR TODAY:
The Canton Symphony was scheduled to play a concert tonight with violinist Augustin Hadelich (the performance, in conjunction with Akron’s Tuesday Musical, has been moved to May 19). One of the works that will not be heard this evening is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ sublime Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, based on a psalm tune by the 16th-century composer.
This seems like an appropriate moment to listen to the Fantasia in a moving centenary performance recorded in the dark, empty Gloucester Cathedral in 2010. Sir Andrew Davis conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The work was composed for and premiered at the Three Choirs Festival at Gloucester in 1910.
New York’s Metropolitan Opera has cancelled the rest of its season, but is offering streams from its archives. Tonight at 7:30 pm, you can enjoy a performance of Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment with Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, conducted by Marco Armiliato from April 26, 2008). Click here to watch. The stream will be available for 20 hours. (For best quality, the company advises the use of one of its apps: Apple, Google.)
Speaking of J.S. Bach, New York Times classical music critic Anthony Thomassini has just published an article about his lesser-known predecessor, Heinrich Schütz, springboarded by Tenet’s cancellation of a concert featuring his Musikalisches exequien.
Schütz, who composed prolifically during wars and plagues, wrote the work in 1635 on commission by a Protestant nobleman for his own funeral — well in advance of that event because he wanted to be able to enjoy hearing it when he was still alive. Here’s a performance by Philippe Herreweghe — who recently made his debut with The Cleveland Orchestra — leading his Belgian ensemble La Chapelle Royale. It comes in three segments with a follow-along score. Listen here, here, and here.
As the restoration of the Cathedral of Notre Dame-de-Paris continues, on March 12, Science published an article by Christa Lesté-Lasserre detailing how scientists are leading the effort, discovering fascinating details along the way.