A standing-room only crowd basked in the brilliance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor last night, Carl Crosier’s last concert as cantor of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. At 3:43 pm, LCH webmaster, Bill Potter, sent an email saying the last available ticket had been sold, so people who came to the door last night had to stand. On the previous night, 14 people had to be turned away and were begging to get into the concert!
At intermission, Carl made a surprise announcement to recognize Joseph A. Hansen, former choirmaster of LCH, who flew in from California specially for the concert. They performed the first Bach cantata together (Cantata 140) on December 9, 1973, with Joe conducting and Carl playing continuo organ. If you would like to see a short video of Carl’s presentation, click here.
The performance felt different to me tonight, but there were still many moments of glory and sublime beauty. Here’s what Carl wrote in an email: Everyone was so focused on bringing out the great beauty and exhilaration in this epic work. And we truly had the best players and choristers in Honolulu! What a treat for me. The audience was absolutely enthralled!
Many people were weeping during the absolutely sublime moment when Meg Bragle sang the Agnus Dei with such sensitivity and such a pianissimo level, yet still able to be heard over the muted violins.
Here are some other reactions: Congratulations! You did it! That was about the best performance and interpretation of the Bach B Minor Mass I have had the privilege of enjoying. It was truly exhilarating and awe-inspiring. You did everything right. I “danced” along as the music propelled us to such heights. We were blessed to be able to enjoy such a tremendous effort by the choir, the soloists, and the orchestra. Thank you again for bringing such excellent music to Hawaii. (S.L.)
Congratulations on a beautiful performance last night. (E.Y.)
Truly awesome performance — thanks to you all for A JOB WELL DONE! (J.L.)
A colossal achievement! So many gorgeous details, and wonderful pacing that kept sight of the whole. Breathtaking passages of sublime music, one after another. Superb! (T.C.)
Absolutely beautiful. (D.S.K.)
What a pity Carl didn’t have a larger hall for the B-minor. He certainly filled our little church with music! (P.L.)
After all the hard work, it felt good.