Bach Society Gives Thoughtful Concert!

By Henry C. Mayer

The Louisville Bach Society has provided this community with opportunities for inspiration through its performances of classics in the field of religious music. Under the baton of Melvin Dickerson, it seeks to perform seldom heard works that combine inspiration and beauty.

Its most recent concert took advantage of the coming religious seasons of Lent and Easter. Performed at Calvary Episcopal Church, there was hardly a vacant seat - and the audience was generous with its applause. Their soloists were: Edith Davis, soprano; Antoinette Hardin, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Weeks, tenor and Alexander Redden, bass-baritone.

The program consisted of the "Die Harmonie Messe" (The Harmonious Mass) by Franz Haydn and "The Stabat Mater" (The Sorrowing Mother - Mary, the Mother of Jesus) by Rossini.

The Haydn opus is a joyful composition which led the composer to comment, "when I think of God, my heart leaps for joy. I cannot help it if my music does the same."

"The Stabat Mater" shows another facet of Rossini's genius; it is the last piece he wrote. Though it provides an intimate glimpse of Mary as Jesus hung, dying on the cross, the text is basically a prayer of faith and hope. The role of the drums in the score's conclusion vividly emphasizes this aspect of the message. The program thoughtfully provided both an English and Latin text.

Like all other Bach Society concerts, this one was preceded by a lucid and informative introduction by John Hale, who also is one of the Society's vocal artists.