Moving Performance Opens Bach Society's 40th Season

By Henry C. Mayer

Melvin Dickenson and the Bach Society open their 40th season with a moving performance of Franz Hayden's "Creation." Even though it began its third century of public performances, it continues to be fresh, vital and inspiring. A demanding work which lasts some two-and-a-half hours, it elicited not one yawn or throat clearing form the capacity audience at St. Boniface Catholic Church.

The work's inspiration derives from the subtlety of its theme and the genius of Haydn, who religious music is reverential rather than theatrical. It has been reliably reported that on the title page of each piece, he wrote "Laus Deo" (praise God).

In Haydn's lifetime, "Creation" was compared with Handel's "Messiah." While such comparisons are intriguing, they miss the point: we are fortunate to be able to be inspired by both.