“On Friday night, I went to see the opening concert of the Georgetown Bach Chorale’s 2008/09 season; a selection of pieces from the baroque, classical, and romantic periods arranged for solo violin and piano. It was one of the best live music experiences I’ve had to date…
The music was performed entirely on a single baby grand piano and a single violin and came from a variety of composers, including Mozart, Liszt, and Brahms. The complete programme is shown above. The guest violinist, Conrad Chow, was incredibly good, as was Ron Greidanus on piano and they complemented each other very well. I’ve never seen anything like it live — in such a small venue while also a venue of high acoustical quality. I’ve heard plenty on well-recorded baroque and classical CDs and this recital was evidence that recordings will never come close to the live experience for this type of music. I don’t really feel qualified to comment further on the specifics, but I’ll just leave it by saying that I’ve never been as engaged at a concert before, and I was not expecting to have a reaction like this.
I had only bought a ticket for one of the shows in the 2008/09 series, but after what I saw that night, I went and got tickets for three more of the shows*, held at various area churches over the coming months. I can’t wait to see more from this great ensemble!”
read more on Matt’s blog
Handel’s Messiah: The Most Exciting Performance Ever
” … I heard a performance of Handel’s Messiah last weekend that was by far the most exciting I have ever heard. … the interpretations of tempos and styles were terrific, and the performance was technically among the best I have ever heard. [much quicker tempos for some sections, and much more staccato than many people would expect, but all well-researched by the conductor]
The conductor/harpsichordist is Ron Greidanus. He was raised just north of Clinton and despite his late start in music, he developed a terrific reputation for his knowledge and talent.
The “orchestra” for this performance of Messiah is 2 violins, a viola, a cello, a bass, a baroque (valveless) trumpet which was played extremely well, and tympani (in addition to Ron on the harpsichord).
Most of the time during the performance, I was smiling and saying (to myself, I hope) “Yes!” “
John Palmer – former conductor of the Blyth Festtival Orchestra
“It was amazing to hear the ‘chamber’ version (of the Messiah)… everyone there was just having a good time hearing all the marvelous music going on around them. It sure gave John and I a new outlook on the stuffy performances that we have endured in the past! I came because it was (Ron) performing and I knew it wouldn’t be bad, but little did I know what a huge effect it would have. And John came (because) I asked him to…with reservations. So you’ve won over the two of us… I’ll never be able to sit through a BIG performance of it again, now that I know how good it can be! Congratulations!”