Bach Choir of Bethlehem

German castles are a popular destination for American tourists who are escaping the world of shopping malls and nondescript suburban architecture. Yet, there are also buildings in the United States that are also more than 200 years old. One of the gems among American cities is Bethlehem, which has a population of 70,000. Located north of Philadelphia, it was founded by Moravian settlers during Johann Sebastian Bach's lifetime. As a matter of fact, Bethlehem became a cradle for Bach in America. It was Bethlehem where Americans could hear Johann Sebastian Bach's music for the first time in 1824 - six years before Felix Mendelssohn re-established his music with a performance of the St. Matthew Passion in Leipzig. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, on March 27, 1900, the Mass in b-minor had its American premiere in Bethlehem. The work was performed by a freelance orchestra and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, which today is the oldest American Bach choir. Honoring the important event, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem staged a centennial concert on March 27, and the framework was just perfect, as Georg Hirsch reports.

[ Home - English ] [ Home - Deutsch ]