Robert L. Edwards, Conductor, Consultant, Photographer


Bach Portrait

Above left, the most famous of all the portraits of J. S. Bach and on the right is a very accurate modern reconstruction based on his unearthed bones. The painting appears to be quite accurate.

Excerpt from Wachet Auf
 - Live Performance
Greater Hazleton Oratorio Society
Sinfonia da camera, Robert L. Edwards - 1986
Real-time harpsichord realization: Darice Swoboda

Wachet Auf, the cantata written for the 27th Sunday after Trinity tells the story of the foolish virgins who missed their bridegrooms. It is the fourth movement of this cantata that is the most memorable and quite remarkable. Bach created amazing warmth and richness using a joyously rhythmic solo melody in the violins and violas, set against the familiar and popular chorale melody sung as a solo or unison line.

It is amazing how often performers use a slow tempo here, ignoring the bubbling, yet elegant, dance-based form. When performed at the correct tempo, the glorious chorale melody soars!


Thomaskirke 1700s
The church Thomaskirke in Leipzig at the time Bach was there.

Thomaskirke chancel
The chancel area of Thomaskirke today with Bach’s grave at the bottom center, an offering of fresh flowers on top.

In order to provide permanent documentation of the important sociological and musical contributions of the Greater Hazleton Oratorio Society, Singers’ Guild of Scranton and Sinfonia da Camera to the lives of residents in Northeastern Pennsylvania, some of the 1977-1986 live performance analog recordings of these community groups were rescued, restored, and converted to a digital format. Those restorations and the performance excerpts that appear on this website are intended as historical documents not as an entertainment product. The copying or dissemination of these excerpts is strictly prohibited.

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