By Peter Alexander
Bach’s B-minor Mass is one of the most studied, most well known works of music there is.
But have all the answers been found to performing this monumental work? Zachary Carrettin, the music director of the Boulder Bach Festival, who will conduct the B-minor Mass this weekend (Friday at Montview Presbyterian in Denver and Saturday at First United Methodist in Boulder, both at 7:30 p.m.), doesn’t think so.
“The great choirs all over the world have been performing the B-minor Mass for over 200 years,” he says. “Each one of those masterful renditions differs greatly in tempo, in the sense of the musical line, in the dramaturgy of the text and the music. So there is still room for us to re-examine the music and what it means to us today.”
Carrettin has invited vocal soloists and other performers to join the Boulder Bach Chorus and Players. The guest artists will be soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg from the Netherlands; American mezzo-soprano Melissa Givens; alto Julie Simson, who returns to Boulder where she taught at CU; tenor John Grau from Minneapolis, who also taught at CU; and American bass-baritone Michael Dean. Violinist Kenneth Goldsmith will be concertmaster.
“I have chosen such autonomous musicians that a lot of my work will involve listening to them, watching them and learning from them,” Carrettin says. “Bringing together the wealth of experiences and the distinct relationships that we all have to Bach and the B-minor Mass—it’s a great honor and a great thing to be part of.”
Read more in Boulder Weekly.
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J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor
Boulder Bach Festival and soloists
Zachary Carrettin, conductor
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27
Montview Blvd. Presbyterian Church
1980 Dahlia St., Denver
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28
First United Methodist Church
1421 Spruce St., Boulder