Each year Cynthia and I plan our summer directors’ concert, thinking about what music and composers are especially on our minds, and who we might invite to join us. It’s always a fun conversation!
This summer we are thrilled to be joined by soprano Laura Heimes, a favorite guest artist of BCOC over the years. BCOC fans will remember her extraordinary performances in La Susanna, Bach’s Wachet Auf, and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate. For our directors’ concert this week, we are excited to have her sing five of the exquisite Nine German Arias by Handel!
The German Arias are unique in Handel’s output. It was rare for him to set his native language to music, but when he did he turned to the poetry of his longtime friend, Barthold Heinrich Brockes. Handel selected poems from Brockes’ collection, Iridishce Vergnugen in Gott (Earthly Comforts of God), celebrating the joy and spiritual connections found in the natural world. The arias (both text and music) radiate with beauty and inner joy.
Our music-making always takes place in the context of “now” — our lives, our communities, even our planet, in the present moment. Part of that context is an increasing disconnectedness of human society from the natural world. To this context the German Arias speak to us across the centuries. As a sort of counterpoint, Bach’s Chaconne in D minor for solo violin taps into the experience of lament and related emotions we may feel in the present moment.
We have also selected three brief poems by Mary Oliver to help connect past with present. Oliver devoted much of her work to being closely attentive to nature. I believe she would have agreed with Brockes that the “language of nature…speaks to us everywhere.” Listening to that language, and those voices, may lead us to new and hopeful pathways.
Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado
Directors’ Concert: Nature’s Voice
Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 7:00 pm
St. Thomas Episcopal Church
2201 Dexter St., Denver (Park Hill Neighborhood)
Tickets available at the door.
Laura Heimes, soprano
Cynthia Freivogel, violin
Frank Nowell, harpsichord
Handel German Arias
Singe Seele, Gott zum Preise
Die ihr aus dunklen Gru£ten
Sü£er Blumen Ambraflocken
Poem: When I am Among the Trees
Handel, Adagio from Suite for Harpsichord in F major
Purcell, Tis Nature’s Voice (from Ode to St. Cecilia)
Bach, Chaconne for Solo Violin from Partita in D minor, BWV 1004
Handel, German Arias
Sü£er Stille, sanfte Quelle
Meine Seele hört im Sehen