Notes and Phrases

Recent Posts

March 11, 2019

This March, a wonderful variety of musical talents will team up, joyously, to present Johann Sebastian Bach’s monumental St John Passion.  It should be an exhilarating evening.

First, we have our maestro, Matthias Maute, guiding the performance.  Born in Germa...

March 8, 2019

This is Bach's fair copy score of the opening chorus of the St John Passion.  In the dense 16th notes of the strings (center), one gets a visual sense of the dark, brooding unrest of the opening--g minor, aching dissonances in the oboes soaring over the swirling textur...

December 11, 2018

Sadly, the original Schifferkirche St. Nikola in Oberndorf, Austria near Salzburg had to be demolished due to heavy damage from several floods, but, in tribute to the Stille Nacht carol, a small chapel was built in its place.  The Silent Night Memorial C...

November 5, 2018

In 1598, as a plague epidemic decimated his small town in western Germany, a beleaguered young Lutheran minister, Philipp Nicolai, wrote one of the greatest of all chorales, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Wake up, the voice is calling us).  He wrote it “to leave behi...

April 17, 2018

A couple weeks ago, we tracked down Jake Runestad, home for a few short days in his Uptown condo. It was a great pleasure--Jake is relaxed, warm, articulate, passionate, upbeat. 

Jake is IN DEMAND as composer and clinician--over the weekend he was in NYC having his musi...

April 4, 2018

Classical MPR host Steve Staruch, videographer Andy Buchholz and I spent the last two Saturdays driving around the Twin Cities.  Our goal--to find and interact with choral composers in their native habitats.  

Turns out it's pretty easy--this is CHOI...

February 2, 2018

We are gearing up for another wonderful evening of fun and romance on Saturday, February 10!

We'll have a fabulous combo ready to support our efforts, which will include:

   1) Fields of Gold, the sweet love song written by George Matthew Thomas Sumner, CBE (ak...

December 1, 2017

    In 1873, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) was born into a family clinging to the last vestiges of artistocracy in Russia—the cultured traditions remained, but the money was mostly gone.  After some false starts arising from academic laziness, deaths of two sisters f...

November 27, 2017

From very early on, the Christian Church created a rich liturgy of preparation for Christmas.  This season of Advent was a time for reflection, self-examination, intentionality--something that usually gets trampled somewhere between Black Friday, holiday menu planning,...

November 2, 2017

Consider the basses.  They neither toil nor spin...

As they rumble out their low frequencies, sad to say, these poor guys must also countenance numerous indignities visited upon them by their conductors and, shockingly, their fellow singers.  In choral circles, they are...

Please reload

November 12, 2019

Please reload

Archive