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1974: Coffee Cantata

  • May 20, 2010
Leading up the start of the 40th Anniversary of the Oregon Bach Festival, we are taking a brief look at each year of the festival over the course of the next 40 days (41, to be precise). But we could not do it without a little help. On the occasion of the Oregon Bach Festival silver anniversary, Marian C. Donnelly compiled a history of the first 25 years. For the next couple of weeks, we will be graciously pulling excerpts from her work, The Oregon Bach Festival 1970-1994.
In 1984, Milos Forman chose to depict a secular, and sometimes profane, portrait of Mozart in Amadeus. Ten years earlier, the Festival elected to pursue a different path.
"The choice of Mozart's Requiem in 1974 indicated the direction that would be taken for future performances of major choral works in addition to those of Bach. With few exceptions, these would be chosen from sacred rather than the secular repertoire."
But not everything about the Festival that year was sacred.
"Among the shorter choral works in 1974 was the mischievous 'Coffee Cantata' (BWV 211), in which Dorothy Bergquist gallantly sang the soprano role, despite her known dislike of coffee. (Helmuth) Rilling himself is believed to have set a cup of coffee beside her at performance time."
If true, Amadeus would have been proud. Tomorrow: 1975 - Oh, d'amore! You can purchase your tickets to the 2010 Oregon Bach Festival here. And for a more extensive history of the Festival, you can find it here.
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