Onstage at Green Music Center

Sonoma Bach

Sonoma Bach’s mission is to bring together and nurture a community of music-lovers in our beloved Sonoma region to share in the magnificent experience of early music. We know that this music from the distant past—sacred and worldly, vocal and instrumental, solemn and joyful—can speak powerfully to today’s audiences, and we reach out not only to those already familiar with its pleasures and beauties and traditions, but also to those for whom the music is brand-new.


Sonoma Bach – Spring Returns<br>An Affirming Flame

Sonoma Bach – Spring Returns
An Affirming Flame

David Parsons, organ
Circa 1600

Saturday, April 27 at 8pm
BachGrounder pre-concert talk at 7:25pm

Sunday, April 28 at 3pm
BachGrounder pre-concert talk at 2:25pm

Our concert design begins with two collections of miniatures—Leonhard Lechner’s Deutsche Sprüche von Leben und Tod (1606) and Hugo Distler’s Totentanz (c.1935)—separated by centuries, but complementary in their efforts to describe how the world works, and how to have hope. Each consists of tiny, koan-like pieces on a single thought or intuition. We weave these pieces together with larger motets from J.H. Schein’s magnificent Fontana d’Israel (1623) and organ meditations from Yale’s Neumeister manuscript by J.S. Bach and his cousin Johann Michael Bach. Over and again we are offered lessons of how to find light in the midst of gloom, and how to shine such light out to the world.

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Sonoma Bach – Major Works<br>A Human Requiem

Sonoma Bach – Major Works
A Human Requiem

Danielle Sampson, soprano
Paul Murray, bass
Sonoma Bach Choir
Live Oak Baroque Orchestra

Saturday, June 1 at 8pm
BachGrounder pre-concert talk at 7:25pm

Sunday, June 2 at 3pm
BachGrounder pre-concert talk, 2:25PM

We present Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem in Joachim Linckelmann’s wonderful new version for reduced orchestra, allowing us to perform the piece at a scale appropriate to our beloved Schroeder Hall, an ideal venue in which to experience the direct emotional and spiritual appeal of this amazing work. Rather than setting to music the traditional Mass for the Dead, Brahms made his own selection of biblical texts, with special emphasis upon comfort and hope for those who survive. In a letter, he said that he would have been glad to call the piece ‘A Human Requiem’—and this seems a comment upon his music’s power to provide light and hope and solace to all of us even in the midst of deepest sorrow.

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