by Daniel Hathaway
The eighty-second edition of the Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival, “the first collegiate Bach Festival in the Nation,” comprised four afternoon and evening concerts in Gamble Auditorium on Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26. Set up so that BW’s students will get a crack at performing each of four extended Bach works during their college career, the festival rotates the Leipzig cantor’s two passions, the Christmas Oratorio and the B-Minor mass during each four-year cycle.
This year’s featured work was the St. John Passion, but students also got to perform the Magnificat and the cantata Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1. Other concerts included solo baroque works played by BW alumni, and music and dance from Paris and London during Bach’s time presented by Catherine Turocy’s New York Baroque Dance Company and (from the opposite coast) Musica Pacifica. The weekend was filled out with lectures, master classes, a period church service and an alumni sing.
This iteration of the Bach Festival also marked a milestone: festival director Dwight Oltman is to retire at the end of the academic year, having served for 39 of its 82 years — just short of half its history. [Read more…]