Episode #11

Listen: Late Night Performances of J.S. Bach and Morton Feldman

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Robert Spano leads the Ojai Festival Singers and soloists in a performance of "Rothko Chapel" (Courtesy of the Festival)

On June 14, 2014, space, form, and contemplation were the focal point of an Ojai Music Festival late night concert. Solo violinist Jennifer Frauschi opened the program with J.S. Bach's Sonata No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1005. She then joined members of the Knights and the Ojai Festival Singers with conductor Robert Spano for a performance of Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel.

In the program note from this concert, musicologist Christopher Hailey writes:

"Morton Feldman described the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, as 'a spiritual environment,” “a place for contemplation where men and women of all faiths, or of none, may meditate in silence, in solitude or celebration together.'"

One might say the same of Ojai, and this summer evening concert is devoted to music that encourages both contemplation and communion through the act of attentive listening. Bach’s music, however, reaches us from a single source, whereas Feldman’s work draws its poignancy from its exploration of ambience.

Listen to Rothko Chapel above and the Bach sonata below. 

Johann Sebastian Bach - Sonata No. 3 in C major, BMV 1005

This on-demand music is part of a new partnership between Q2 Music and the Ojai Music Festival to share live recordings from the festival dating back to the 2012 season.

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