Notes from the Music Director
Revered as the greatest choral masterpiece ever written, the Mass in B Minor is seldom performed by community choral groups. Bel Canto members, seeking the challenge of studying and performing a major work, found that challenge in Bach’s B Minor Mass, which holds a special place in my heart.
As a small community group with limited resources, we have taken some liberties, using a few women tenors and less than a full orchestra. One section, “Confiteor unum baptisma,” was cut. Orchestral instruments are modern rather than period, and pianist Matthew Wiencke plays from the full score. One tenor solo is sung by soprano Chiho Kaneko. I suspect that Herr Bach sometimes had to compromise and I ask that purists be kind. I also suspect that, had he had a magnificent grand piano and such a player as Matt, Bach might have found a way to use them.
In keeping with Bel Canto Chamber Singers’ unique tradition, all soloists come from within the group.
I hope that listeners may transcend the cares of daily life and be enveloped and transformed by this sublimely beautiful and spiritual work.
— Hal Sheeler
Violin: Judith Wild, Principal; Barbara Chase,
Paul Ruscak, Mary Lou Schaefer
Viola: Julie Dougal, Edward Doughtie
Cello: Margaret Gilmore, Erika Smith
Flute: Da-Shih Hu, Anne Cragin
Oboe: Virginia Poole, Pam Whitfield
Bassoon: Earl North, Aileen Sullivan
Trumpet: Fred Holmgren
Timpani: Norm McMullen
Piano: Matthew Wiencke
Recorded live on April 30, 2011 at the
Lebanon United Methodist Church
Lebanon, New Hampshire