In the year 2000 when we performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, I likened it to climbing Mount Everest. With our upcoming performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor, we will have another Everest to scale.
Today after church we had a Concert Committee meeting, mainly to update the members on where we are with this final season. The good news is that the deficit on last fall’s Monteverdi Vespers has been reduced to about $2500 and most of the money came in after the performances were over, which was quite amazing! And “The Starks Go Baroque” concerts were wildly successful, both artistically as well as financially, with full houses at both concerts.
We fully expect both of our Mass in B minor performances on May 13 and 14 to sell out, in fact, we are even considering selling discounted tickets for “no view” seats in the Board Room and the courtyard.
Yet even with selling preferred seats at $35 and general tickets at $25 we are projecting a deficit of $30,000. For starters three of the committee members made commitments to personally ask “special friends” for donations of $1,000 each, totalling $13,000. A letter is going to be mailed out to the “Music Mailing List” by March 1st, reminding people to book their tickets early, and to consider extra donations to bring this great work to reality. Readers of the blog may go to www.lchwelcome.org/music2010 to do just that.
We are also going to accept paid ads in the program booklet in an effort to raise more funds. Choristers and others will be invited to show their support for the LCH choir or to congratulate Carl Crosier for his 38 years of service by taking out an ad.
Meanwhile in researching portraits of J. S. Bach, I found out the artist, Elias Gottlieb Haussmann, apparently did not paint in his usual, meticulous style of careful brush strokes and attention to detail, because “Bach was always in a hurry, would never sit for long, . . . Haussmann complained he was never able to finish the work properly.” For an interesting explanation of the various portraits of Bach through the years, I recommend The Face of Bach website.
In fact, for our promotional materials and program booklet, we will be using the portrait of Bach as an old man, because the Mass in B minor was written in 1749, one year before his death. The composition was a re-working of previous music and therefore the culmination of his whole life’s work.
You could say the same for these performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor — they are the culmination of Carl Crosier’s work at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. The Bach Mass in B minor is his “swan song.”