It was unusual for Johann Sebastian Bach to write a cappella choral music. Nevertheless, this superb evocation of chapel music from an earlier time bears the inimitable stamp of J.S. Bach in the harmonies and subtle dissonances he employs that never fail to reflect and illuminate the meaning of the text. The nature of this setting of the ancient chorale tune "Christ is risen" is solemn, contemplative, and prayerful -- an important aspect to the celebration of Great Events we've largely lost sight of in these brash, hectic, modern times. This beautiful performance provides a fine example of my conviction that musical notes and phrases -- like isolated "facts" in a discussion -- have little or no meaning in themselves. They must relate with great sensitivity to one another with infinite dynamic gradations and subtle nuances presented with a clear sense of direction to be alive. Each vocal line -- soprano, alt, tenor, and bass -- must maintain a distinct life and character of its own while being aware of its relation to the whole.Musical interpretation on the highest level like this is a very great, highly art that demands more than mere skill. To make music in this high a level one must have an uncanny ability to read between the notes and phrases where all true meaning lies.
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