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John Nelson will conduct the Israel Chamber Orchestra for a six concert series of Bach's monumental B Minor Mass beginning March 15 and 16 at the Tel Aviv Museum. The Budapest Academy Choir will feature soprano Noemi Kiss, alto Edna Prochnik, tenor Timothy Bentch and bass Christian Immler.
Nelson, currently music director of L'Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, is a recognized authority on the great oratorios, especially those by Bach. He is also a noted opera conductor and has conducted at the Metropolitan and Rome opera houses among others.
The B Minor Mass was never written as a whole. Some scholars say that Bach wrote the Gloria for Christmas 1724 for his St. Thomas church in Leipzig. Then in 1733 he dedicated what would become two more segments of it to Friedrich August II, elector of Saxony. The more than two hour mass was not performed entire until 1859, more than a century after Bach's death.
The other concerts are at the new Zichron Ya'akov Cultural Center (17/3), Petah Tikva (18/3), back at the museum (19/3) and Karmiel (21/3).