Melinda Coffey Armstead, piano & keyboard
Prelude to Worship
Fugue in D Major, WTC Book I . . . J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! . . . R. Heber/John Bacchus Dykes (1861)
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Song without Words Op. 38 No. 6 “Duetto” . . . Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Chorale: Verzage nicht, du Häuflein klein . . . J. S. Bach
Be not dismayed, thou little flock,
although the foe’s fierce battle-shock
Loud on all sides assail thee;
Though o’er thy fall they laugh secure,
Their triumph cannot long endure:
Let not thy courage fail thee.
Little Prelude in D Major . . . J. S. Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach is considered to be one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. For the first 50 years after his death, the majority of Bach’s music remained unpublished and unperformed. The 19th century saw an unprecedented return to his music in what we call “The Bach Revival.” Even though some of Bach’s keyboard pieces were continually played, the wider audience only became exposed to his music through the efforts of Felix Mendelssohn. In Germany, after the humiliation of the Napoleonic Wars, there was a desire to reach back to what made that country great. This renewed patriotism also led to a religious revival, a resurgence of the Protestant, Lutheran Church. Naturally, J.S. Bach became the icon of this movement. A group of intellectuals began to collect manuscripts and organize historical concerts of Bach’s music. In 1823 Felix’s maternal grandmother, Bella Salomon, presented her 15 year old grandson with a gift that was to alter the course of his life: a copyist’s manuscript score of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. The score seized Felix’s imagination. Despite the difficulties it presented he nevertheless conceived the idea of preparing the entire St. Matthew Passion for performance. He succeeded on March 11, 1829 when he conducted the Berlin Singakademie in a full length performance. This moved the audience in a way the original never did a century before and resulted in a full-scale revival and reevaluation of Bach’s works throughout Germany and beyond, and a universal recognition of their genius and significance.