Concert in honor of the Pontiff at Castel Gandolfo
in the notes of Bach
“What God does, is done well,” said the German musician Albrecht Mayer presenting the concert which he will direct on August 9th at Castel Gandolfo in honor of the 60th anniversary of the priesthood of Benedict XVI and his brother, Georg Ratzinger.
The composer at the center of the program is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose music – writes Mayer in the libretto-program of the concert – “will always be my patria. I was raised with Bach. I sang his music in the youth choir and ever since I was a child, I have profoundly loved him, playing the piano. It is still so today, when I sit down at the piano, when I listen to the music of the cantatas.”
Bach, continues Mayer, “is the most rich musical genius that I have ever met. All of Western music was fed by him. His work is addressed to everyone, wherever they are from. Further, as a believer, I am greatly moved by the religious aspect of this music.”
According to the director – who will also be the oboe soloist at the concert – the thread that runs through the cantatas of Bach is always, soli Deo gloria – honor and glory of God. “My last CD of Bach,” writes Mayer, “began and ended with the chorus Was Got tut, das ist wohlgetan (“What God does, is done well”). This title contains, I think, a fundamental affirmation, but also a fundamental question with which man is continually confronted: is what God does, done well? If we believe that behind the universe there is a Creator who instills order, must we accept our destiny, whatever it brings? Does this make us believers or fatalists? They are fascinating questions, which in Western art find their closest expression in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.”
The pieces of Bach will be performed by Mayer on the oboe and Arabella Steinbacher, a young German-Japanese violinist who became famous in March 2004 with the Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio France. The ensemble, New Seasons, composed of six musicians from different international orchestras, will also perform at the concert for the Pope.
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