First-timers from Houston enjoy Dutch Treat (video)
Can't make the finale? hit Austin
• WHAT: Beethoven: 'Missa Solemnis'
• WHERE: Long Center for the Performing Arts, Dell Hall, Austin
• WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday
• TICKETS: $24-$75; $10 for students with ID
: Visit conspirare.org.
Despite the vacant stage, it was far from silent inside First United Methodist Church.
High above the Victoria Bach Festival guests, in the choir loft, Keith Womer played the organ as part of Friday's noon performance titled Dutch Treat.
During one of two solo performances, Womer played "Allein Gott in der Hoh' sei Ehr" by Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck on the church organ.
As the organ's music filled the church with warm notes from the baroque period, Muhammad Sharaf shared the experience with his arm wrapped around Mary-Ellen Mort. The two had traveled from Houston to Victoria for the end of the Victoria Bach Festival.
The two are fans of Bach and thought Friday's concerts would be something right up their alley.
"The performance was very nice," Mort said. "I especially enjoyed the piece with the two cellos."
Lead violinist and Victoria Bach Festival concertmaster Stephen Redfield introduced the program as being influential to Johann Sebastian Bach.
"He even traveled to the Netherlands to hear and learn from the renowned organist Reincken," he explained.
During the performance, two pieces by Dutch composer Johann Adam Reincken were performed by Womer on the harpsichord, an instrument that Mort explained she had a love-hate relationship with.
"I'm not big on the harpsichord, but you can't really do without it," she said jokingly.
Unfortunately, Mort said she and Sharaf weren't able to attend any of the other shows, but she hopes next year they can visit again.
"Maybe we can come back for the whole week," she said.
Dutch Treat was the last noon performance at the First United Methodist Church of the festival, which executive director Nina Di Leo described as a great week so far.
She is excited about the final performance, Monumental Beethoven "Missa Solemnis," saying it should be a great show.
"The music itself is so powerful," she said. "This definitely is the premiere event of the week, one that's not to be missed."