/ Bach meets Bernstein

It's been a busy couple of days on #BYSOTour as we are in the midst of our big weekend of performances! Friday marked the opening night of Bach Fest, and we were the first performers at the open air marketplace at our concert "Bach meets Bernstein." We performed for an attentive audience of easily 1,000 people in a location where as Classic FM put it, "Bach would have bought his fruits and vegetables".
You could feel the excitement clear to the back of the marketplace.
At "Bach meets Bernstein" we presented a unique program of J.S. Bach's "Magnificat" for orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists, and Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" for orchestra, chorus, solo vocal quartet, and boy soprano. We will perform these pieces again tonight at the Gewandhaus. Bach's Magnificat Known as "Little Paris", Leipzig was Germany's cultural and intellectual capital during the early 18th C.  J.S. Bach moved there with his family in 1723 and became the Kantor of the Thomasschule and director of music for the city's main churches. Bach would arrange a new cantata for every Sunday and feast day, adding up to 60 pieces of live liturgical music performed each year, quickly reshaping the liturgical tradition in Leipzig. Bach's setting of the Magnificat, or the the hymn of the Virgin Mary, is a perfect example of Bach's rich polyphonic musical texture. It is joyful, powerful, glorious. Bernstein's Chichester Psalms In 1965, Leonard Bernstein was commissioned to write a setting of Psalm 2 to be performed at Chichester Cathedral. Bernstein instead wrote a "suite" of Psalms:  Part 1 (Psalms 108 and 100), Part 2 (Psalms 23 and 2), Part 3 (Psalms 131 and 133) sung in the original Hebrew (there is not even English translation in the score). He presented it with the working title "Psalms of Youth" but then changed the misleading title so as not to suggest the piece is easy to perform (hint: it is NOT!). The piece is simply extraordinary, and if you were unable to hear us perform it in Symphony Hall last April or in Leipzig this weekend, we invite you to go find a recording and listen for yourself. This year would have marked Bernstein's 100th birthday, and the world is celebrating his work for #Bernstein100.
Today we want to give special thanks to our administrative staff here on tour and our tour organizers at Encore Tours for making this trip possible! We feel very well looked after and taken care of by all of our hosts here in Germany.
Heading to the marketplace square for sound check before our first Bachfest performance!
Backstage by the performers' tent.
View from backstage.
Standing ovation from Leipzig's Marketplace!
We met (G)BYSO alum Luis Caceres after the performance. He played oboe with BYSO and now plays with Staatskapelle Halle in Germany!
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