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Chamber
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Chamber
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Symphony
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Choral and Vocal
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Recital
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Choral and Vocal
SILVER ANNIVERSARY BACH RECITAL AT INCARNATION'S EVENSONG SERVICE
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Symphony
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Other
DINOVA PIANISM CHARMS SATED AUDIENCE AT J-B MARIN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
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CHORAL AND VOCAL REVIEW

TWICE IS THE CHARM AT RIVER CHOIR'S BACH CANTATA PERFORMANCE

by Terry McNeill
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It’s pretty rare that an entire classical music program contains just one work, and just 22 minutes at that. Sonia Tubridy’s River Choir thought so much of Bach’s Cantata No. 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden, that they sang it twice in a program April 19, and repeated the Cantata April 26. And they performed it twice each time, and I’ll return to that later.

In the Guerneville Community Church before 35 listeners on the 26th the 13-person choir was joined by violinists Peter Wehausen and John Konigsmark, violist David Hill, cellist Valerie Marshall and Ms. Tubridy directing from the piano and supplying ardent continuo.

An early Leipzig-era Cantata from 1724, the Easter day work originally was played with three trombones and trumpet as well as strings and continuo, and adding brass instruments would have stretched the sonic limits of the small church space. As it was the strings often overpowered the soloists, though Gael Reed’s rich soprano carried well. Joining Ms. Reed in solo parts were Jean Ashley, alto, Tom Lowrie, tenor, and bass Dan Fein.

What about the two performances at each concert? Tactfully excluded from the first performance, the audience was invited to stand with the choir and soloists for the repetition, raising Bach’s “Soli Gloria Deo” with hearty voices. Several did, making this wonderful music under Ms. Tubridy’s sure hand all the more resonant.