I woke to the news that the famed Austrian conductor, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, passed away yesterday. Harnoncourt was a leader in the revival of Bach’s music in the 20th century. He and Gustav Leonhardt set out, in 1971, to record the complete Bach cantatas. The completed their monumental project in the 1980s.
I never had the pleasure of hearing a live performance conducted by Harnoncourt. In this video, however, the pure joy on his face speaks volumes about the man. He leads Concentus Musicus Wien and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir in Cantata BWV 147, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben.
What a legacy!