Music for Easter Season, Part 1: Bachs

Even in my youth, when Christmas came packaged with the anticipation of new toys, I preferred the Easter season. Why? Because I sang in a church choir, and the music of the Easter season is far, far greater. The gamut of emotions traversed along Holy Week alone offers so much grist for musical expressiveness: Palm Sunday (triumph, but tinged with foreshadowing), Maundy Thursday (dark lamentations), Good Friday (agony), and Easter (the ultimate triumph). And though the great masterpieces, Johann Sebastian Bach's two mighty Passion settings, were beyond the capacities of a simple church choir, I reveled in playing my vinyl versions over and over again. (Neither would be fashionable nowadays; the St. Matthew a Nonesuch recording led by Hans Swarowsky featuring the Vienna Boys Choir, though with an excellent set of soloists starring Heather Harper, and the St. John led by none other than Eugene Ormandy at the head of his Philadelphia Orchestra,
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Three Greats of Music Depart

Bill Dixon October 5, 1925 - June 16, 2010

Maureen Forrester July 25, 1930 - June 16, 2010

Garry Shider July 24, 1953 - June 16, 2010

The pop myth is that celebrity deaths come in threes. That's silly, of course; there are enough celebrity deaths that, with no time limit, a grouping of three will inevitably occur. But in the space of one day yesterday, the world of music suffered three grievous losses, one each from the pop, jazz, and classical genres. By the standards of People magazine, they might not be celebrities, but they were all revered icons in their separate fields.

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