First Chair
Chamber Series

Awe & Wonder

Works by Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi

A three-part series designed to celebrate the triumph of art over adversity. Our First Chair Chamber Concerts are named for Great Bend First Chair Patrons, community leaders who support Great Bend Center for Music’s vision.




Upcoming Concert: Vivaldi’s Gloria

Don’t miss next month’s performances in Shelton and Seattle of Vivaldi’s Gloria from the Great Bend Chorale & Youth Chorale with full orchestra!


Antonio Vivaldi, Sonata á Quatro in E flat major, RV 130

Al Santo Sepulcro

G.F. Handel, Largo from Xerxes, HWV 40

Ombra Mai Fù

Antonio Vivaldi, Sinfonia for Strings in B minor RV 16

Al Santo Sepulcro

J.S. Bach, Cantata 82

Ich Habe Genug


The Sonata and Sinfonia Al Santo Sepolcro, RV 130 and 169, are unusual works in Vivaldi’s output. Both are in two movements, an adagio and fugue, and seem as if they were intended to accompany some paraliturgical service between Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday in the chapel at the Pieta. Probably composed around 1730, both are characterized by musical gestures expressing grief, and their contrapuntal textures and rich chromatic intensity place them far apart from the dazzling virtuosity often associated with the music of the Red Priest. In the Sinfonia, in particular, chromaticism is used as a structural element, from the introductory movement to the two fugue subjects — one ascending and the other descending — that intersect in an undoubtedly specific allusion to the cross as an image of the Passion and Vivaldi’s awe at the message of redemption.

Commonly known as Handel’s ‘Largo of Love’, Ombra mai fù is the opening aria in the 1738 opera Serse. Sung by the character Xerxes I of Persia, the vocal part is composed for a countertenor. To set the scene of the aria, there is a nine bar instrumental from the chamber ensemble (composed of a chamber string group and a harpsichord). The slow and melancholy tone is set for the voice to enter freely. The title of the aria translates into ‘Never was a shade’, and within the context of the opera, Xerxes is singing about the admiration and love he has for the shade of the plane trees with a deep feeling of awe and gratitude.

Translation: G.F. Handel, Largo from Xerxes, HWV 40 — Ombra mai fù

Ombra mai fù
di vegetabile
cara ed amabile
soave piú.
Never was a shade
of any plant
dearer and more lovely
or more sweet.

Of the over 250 cantatas that Bach wrote, it’s astounding that so many of them shine so brightly as musical gems. His Cantata No. 82 is one of them. It was written for the feast day observance of the now hardly known holy day, Candlemass, and was first performed in 1727. The Cantata portrays the story of the aged holy man, Simeon, as he meets and holds the infant Jesus during a ritual at the Temple. Once Simeon has held the Christ child, he feels justifiably ready for death. Though the portrayal of Simeon’s meeting with Jesus might naturally be celebratory, like Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” from his Messiah, Bach uses a lone bass voice, which in itself is a dark and commanding sonority, and the general mood of the entire cantata is muted and gentle. The pure magic of the work is how Bach instead captures the humility and awe of Simeon’s encounter, his quiet joy from his spiritual fulfillment and his respect for the gravity of the moment, and for his own preparation for death.

Translation: J.S. Bach, Cantata 82 — Ich Habe Genug

Aria B


Oboe, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo
Ich habe genug,
Ich habe den Heiland, das Hoffen der Frommen,
Auf meine begierigen Arme genommen;
Ich habe genug!
It is enough.
I have held the Savior, the hope of all peoples,
In the warm embrace of my arms.
It is enough.
Ich hab ihn erblickt,
Mein Glaube hat Jesum ans Herze gedrückt;
Nun wünsch ich, noch heute mit Freuden
Von hinnen zu scheiden.
I have seen him,
My faith has impressed Jesus on my heart;
Now I wish this very day
To depart from here with joy.

Recitativo B


Ich habe genug.
Mein Trost ist nur allein,
Dass Jesus mein und ich sein eigen möchte sein.
Im Glauben halt ich ihn,
Da seh ich auch mit Simeon
Die Freude jenes Lebens schon.
Laßt uns mit diesem Manne ziehn!
Ach! möchte mich von meines Leibes Ketten
Der Herr erretten;
Ach! wäre doch mein Abschied hier,
Mit Freuden sagt ich, Welt, zu dir:
Ich habe genug.
It is enough.
My one consolation is this:
That I am Jesus’ beloved and he is mine.
In faith, I hold him.
For in Simeon, I already see
The joy of life to come.
Let us go forth with Simeon!
Ah! if only the Lord
Would free me from my body’s enslavement;
Ah! if indeed my liberation were soon,
With joy I would say to you, O World,
It is enough.

Aria B


Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo
Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen,
Fallet sanft und selig zu!
Slumber, my weary eyes,
Fall softly and close in contentment.
Welt, ich bleibe nicht mehr hier,
Hab ich doch kein Teil an dir,
Das der Seele könnte taugen.
O World, I will linger here no more.
For indeed, I find nothing in you
Pleasing to my soul.
Hier muss ich das Elend bauen,
Aber dort, dort werd ich schauen
Süßen Friede, stille Ruh.
Here I am resigned to misery,
But there, there I shall feel
Sweet peace and quiet rest.

Recitativo B


Mein Gott! wann kömmt das schöne: Nun!
Da ich im Friede fahren werde
Und in dem Sande kühler Erde
Und dort bei dir im Schoße ruhn?
Der Abschied ist gemacht,
Welt, gute Nacht!
My God! When will I hear that precious word: “Now!”
Then I will depart in peace,
And rest both here in the humus of the cool earth
And there within your bosom.
My departure is at hand,
O World, good night!

Aria B


Oboe, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo
Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod,
Ach, hätt er sich schon eingefunden.
With gladness, I look forward to my death,
(Ah! if only it had already come.)
Da entkomm ich aller Not,
Die mich noch auf der Welt gebunden.
Then shall I escape all despair
That still enslaves me now on earth.

English Translation: Peter Graney (January 2005)

Save the Dates

10/26: Fall Family & Friends Night live on Zoom | Sound Scholars™

11/12: Nightmare Before Christmas Movie Musical Singalong at Potlatch Brewing Co. | Great Bend Beer Choir

11/18–20: Vivaldi “Gloria” RV 589 opening night performance at Faith Shelton and Plymouth UCC Seattle (Livestream tickets available!)  | Great Bend Chorale & Youth Chorale with Full Orchestra

12/3: Holiday Magic Christmas Parade Carols at Downtown Shelton’s Christmas Parade | Great Bend Root Beer Choir

12/17: Cocoa & Carols Beer Choir at Potlatch Brewing Co. | Great Bend Beer Choir

our vision

First Chairs are the principals of each section of the orchestra, responsible for each section’s unity and musicianship.
Likewise, Great Bend First Chair patrons will provide leadership throughout our community, each communicating as an insider about Great Bend’s vision to establish North America’s first center for applied research in community music in Mason County, and helping to ensure that news and information about our progress is delivered in the most orchestrated of ways.

Each First Chair patron will receive a number of acknowledgments, but the primary is a named chair or chairs in the proscenium theater of our planned center. Patrons also receive:

  • Advance access to both individual and season tickets, including the option to reserve their named chair(s) for their chosen performances.
  • Pod Squad Third Wave status, which is our membership program for complimentary access to classes, lessons, ensembles, concerts, and events.
  • Invitations to First Chair events throughout the capital campaign (such as this concert) for community insiders to get news and updates first about everything from capital progress to collaborations with Jazz Alley acts to assemble a world class jazz season.

Membership Levels

$1000 Level:
One named chair, orchestra aisle

$5000 Level:
Four named chairs, center orchestra