Making Holiday Music Magic

On Sunday, December 13, 2020, the Tallahassee Bach Parley is getting into the holiday spirit with its Holiday Concert, a much-anticipated annual event … with some adjustments for our COVID times!

As they’ve done for other concerts during the pandemic, the Bach Parley will be offering this concert solely online. However, unlike their more recent concerts, five of the Bach Parley musicians were able to gather to present the holiday music as an ensemble. For the recording, all musicians were spaced appropriately and masked, but they were able to record as an ensemble, which was a treat.

“This was the first time we were able to play together since February,” said Valerie Arsenault, Bach Parley Music Director.

Minyoung Cho will join Arsenault on violin, Melissa Brewer on viola, Kim Jones on cello, and Charlie Brewer on harpsichord.

Part of the appeal of Bach Parley concerts is the ability to chat live with the musicians. Arsenault has worked hard to maintain this element even during the pandemic. Before the concert, which premieres at 3:15 p.m. on the Bach Parley website, Arsenault will be available to chat live at 3:00 p.m. on the organization’s Facebook page, where she will introduce the afternoon’s program.

The Bach Parley’s holiday program features instrumental music for Advent and Christmas, with French Noëls transformed into dancing suites, “pastorale” music for shepherds, complete with a stringed instrument version of alpine horns, and a special sonata by Heinrich Ignaz Biber called ‘The Annunciation,’ a musical depiction of the terrifying yet awe-inspiring visit of the Angel Gabriel to a young woman named Mary.

Says Arsenault, “I imagine the first section of this piece begins with a rush of Angel wings, travels through Gabriel telling Mary, ‘Be not afraid,’ and concludes with Mary’s answer, ‘Yes.’”

Join the Bach Parley for some holiday magic this Sunday!

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