Wednesday, October 16, 2013

J. S. Bach and His Circle - Market Street Music Festival Concert

Market Street Music Director David Schelat
My sneak preview of David Schelat’s upcoming organ recital was a trip through the world of Johann Sebastian Bach through examples of the music Bach heard as a young man, the composers he influenced and the late works of the great composer himself.

The recital opens with a Praeludium in C Major by Dieterich Buxtehude, a composer and artist whom Bach admired greatly.  This large work is as grand as any organ work of Bach, and to hear the varied registrations chosen by Mr. Schelat for the Gabriel Kney organ is a moving experience. The second composer whose music influenced Bach was Georg Böhm.  The chorale prelude shows a contrasting style of French influence. 

Mr. Schelat then played the compositions of three of Bach’s students.  Two of the three preludes Mr. Schelat chose by Johann Christian Kittel sounded as if Mozart had gone backwards in time to write a few operatic songs for organ, but what we really see is how Bach sowed the seeds of the Classical era.  The third prelude is a large and exciting prelude in D minor which calls to mind the great master’s toccata and fugue in the same key.

The second Bach student may not be as well known, but has a large catalog of compositions.  Gottfried August Homilius’ Dearly I love you, O Lord is in trio form and the registration Mr. Schelat chose maintain a brilliant contrast with the two manuals and pedal all in distinctive voices. 

The Fantasia and fugue in F Major by Johann Ludwig Krebs reveal another intersection of styles as Bach’s student tries a wildly rococo fantasia and a more baroque full fugue.

The final works — those of the great master Bach — start with one of his six trio sonatas, Sonata in C Major (BWV 529).  Wilmington is lucky to have an organist who can play such a challenging work with the rich sound of the organ at First and Central.  The other two pieces, the chorale prelude Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness and the Prelude and Fugue in C Major (BWV 547) complete the tour.  In a little more than an hour, Mr. Schelat takes the listener to hear what Bach heard as a young man, how his students interpreted his teaching and how the mature composer created some of the most complex and intriguing works for organ which are still fresh today.  The concert — Bach and His Circle — is at First and Central Presbyterian Church on Rodney Square on Saturday, October 19, at 7:30pm.

1 comment:

  1. This is going to be a wonderful program. Elegant player, great music!