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by Daniel Hathaway

B-WBachFestivalBigThe eighty-second edition of the Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival, “the first collegiate Bach Festival in the Nation,” comprised four afternoon and evening concerts in Gamble Auditorium on Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26. Set up so that BW’s students will get a crack at performing each of four extended Bach works during their college career, the festival rotates the Leipzig cantor’s two passions, the Christmas Oratorio and the B-Minor mass during each four-year cycle.

This year’s featured work was the St. John Passion, but students also got to perform the Magnificat and the cantata Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1. Other concerts included solo baroque works played by BW alumni, and music and dance from Paris and London during Bach’s time presented by Catherine Turocy’s New York Baroque Dance Company and (from the opposite coast) Musica Pacifica. The weekend was filled out with lectures, master classes, a period church service and an alumni sing.

This iteration of the Bach Festival also marked a milestone: festival director Dwight Oltman is to retire at the end of the academic year, having served for 39 of its 82 years — just short of half its history. Read the rest of this entry »


by Daniel Hathaway


For the eighty-first time, Baldwin Wallace (formerly College, now University and no longer hyphenized) honored the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and some of his forebears and contemporaries with four main concerts on its campus in Berea on April 19 and 20 — plus a lecture, a Bach Institute open house, a master class, ancillary events held in area churches and a reunion of former Bach Festival participants. The Cantor of Leipzig would have been proud.


The opening concert was an organ recital of music by Bach and music that inspired Bach given by Hungarian-born, Oberlin-trained organist Bálint Karosi, who now lives and works in Boston. Playing the 1974 Rudolf Janke organ in Berea Methodist Church, Karosi presented music by Nicolaus Bruhns, Dietrich Buxtehude and Bach, as well as music by others — Johann Friedrich Fasch, Prince Johann Ernst and François Couperin — that Bach had arranged for the organ. Additionally, Karosi improvised on a chorale theme given to him on the spot. Read the rest of this entry »

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