Reflections from a whirlwind summer of singing and travel: “It’s hard to be an ’emerging artist.’ Even though I’m working more each season, my calendar is a patchwork of jobs I’m constantly worrying over. The upshot of being young and ambitious is that my schedule is more flexible than established artists…so when last-minute opportunities come up, I can often say yes. Still, it’s hard to know what work to accept.”
Jeannette Sorrell’s adaptation of Handel’s popular ‘Israel in Egypt’ cuts, re-orders, restores, and replaces music and text throughout the oratorio. But Handel didn’t leave us with a ‘definitive’ edition, and Sorrell’s version is so artistically logical that someone new to the work might not know anything is missing. Apollo’s Fire and the outstanding vocal and instrumental soloists make a compelling case.
A Q&A with Music Before 1800’s new artistic director Bill Barclay: ‘If people are going to take a risk of coming to a concert for the first time, they need something to hold on to’… it’s ‘sadly a bit of an exclusionary pleasure — you have to know a little bit to get a lot out of it, unless there’s something that resonates and makes people understand that early musicians are arbiters of ancient insights into human performance.’
People who love Wagner operas can separate his music from his toxic beliefs. Yet J.S. Bach’s ‘superlative ability to move listeners’ and status as ‘a pinnacle of Western art’ brushes aside the composer’s harsh theology and often intolerant personal philosophy. In this collection of essays, Bach scholar Michael Marissen warns us to ‘not soften or assimilate this figure to our own preferences, no matter how much we find inspiration, solace, or transcendence in his art.’