Last night we finished the last of three concert performances with our dear friends of the Leipzig Baroque Orchestra. We will join with them once again in the St. Thomas Church on Saturday for a final performance of the cantata, Mit Fried und Freud (BWV 125). The Chorale will also get a final chance to perform all of its sacred repertoire. It is hard to believe, but this amazing journey is nearing its end.
At this point in our trip I am filled with thoughts of our friends with whom we have worked here in Germany. It is said that music expresses that which cannot be spoken, and I think we have felt deep connection to our musical collaborators, our partners in ministry here in Germany and those who have listened with such attention and enthusiaism to the Chorale. Any musician reading this will understand when I speak of the deep, unspoken connection that occurs in great music-making. This is the rarest of gifts. I feel so grateful to have had an opportunity to share this level of musical understanding. We have given three performances of BWV 125 this week — each has offered some new insight, a new and deeper emotional connection. What a thrill and blessing.
I have spoken about the Chorale and their high level of performance during this trip. I am really proud of them for a new and deeper maturity that has been proven through heart-felt and beautifully consistent performances.
And, I have to believe that the lessons learned through working with the LBO have also been powerful. These musicians give themselves to every performance with spontaneity, passion and energy. I know they inspire me and I rejoice that the members of the Chorale can collaborate with professional musicians in this way. I must especially mention the leadership of the concertmaster of the LBO, my friend Konstanze Beyer. Her attention to detail and ever-present musicality are amazing. And she produces incredible results with a joyous and ebullient spirit.
As we approach the end of this trip, I am mindful of how music and the spirit provide a means to build bridges. We have not spent years and years getting to know any of the folks with whom we have worked closely during these days, but our connections to them are real and deep. When words fail us, music and its message connect us to one another in a profound way. Thanks again for following us on this incredible journey. Soli Deo Gloria!