Meditating Bach

New York City-based classical duo, violinist Akiko Kobayashi and pianist Eric Siepkes will be performing a cycle of Bach’s Violin and Keyboard Sonatas as part of a mid-week Lenten series titled “Meditating Bach,” at Saint Paul Lutheran Church. Although considered secular works of Bach, his 6 Sonatas for Violin and Keyboard were written in what was known as a Sonata da Chiesa scheme, literally meaning “church sonata.” Bach clearly inserts quotes from his sacred works, such as the aria from the St. Matthew Passion in Sonata No. 4. Other less obvious borrowings from his sacred works include motives and themes that have a distinct religious significance for Bach.

The evening prayer services will begin with a prayer meditation followed by an analysis through the lens of religion, with a performance of a Bach sonata, including sonatas Nos. 1, 4, and 5. The duo will be starting the series with Bach’s Sonata for Violin and Keyboard No.1 in B minor and will conclude the series with his Sonata for Violin and Keyboard No.4 in C minor, which features an aria from Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, “Erbarme dich.” Pianist Eric Siepkes says “these sonatas, like all of Bach’s music, are a way to encourage our faith in God, and to be inspired by Bach’s own faith, which is clearly a thread through his entire output.”

The services begin every Wednesday evening in the sanctuary of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, at 323 South Main Street, in New City, NY 10956 at 7:30 p.m. from February 20 to March 20, 2013. Call 914-434-0573 for more information.

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