1976: 2 Birthdays, 2 Funerals
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.
According to Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell, life, death, and taxes are never convenient.
But 1976 seemed to be a good year to celebrate two out of the three.
"The University of Oregon centennial celebration coincided with the United States Bi-Centennial year in 1976. To mark the former, the university Centennial Planning Council provided a grant to make possible the performance of Verdi's Requiem…With an emphasis on nineteenth-century music, this year Brahms' German Requiem was also performed."
(Verdi's Requiem returns to the Festival this year in Eugene and Portland.)
At funerals, the 23rd Psalm is often recited. But, in 1976, "Psalm 150" made a special appearance:
"In honor of the U.S. Bi-Centennial, the choir and orchestra gave the premier performance of Berlin composer Hans Werner Zimmerman's 'Psalm 150,' written for the bi-centennial occasion and to honor the festival."
As a progamming note, taxes were not a part of the Festival that year. Although, "a modest charge" was made for the popular afternoon cantata performances.
Tomorrow: 1977 - Bach is beautiful, but…
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.