Music: A Big Bash for Bach Backers

New festival brings Musica Sacra into its own

Time: Christmas 1975. Place: a comfortable apartment on Manhattan's West Side. The members of a New York chorus and orchestra, having failed to raise money for expenses, have had to cancel their planned performance of Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall. After a potluck supper, the singers and some of the instrumentalists squeeze into their conductor's dining room to perform the work for themselves and a few friends.

Time: last week. Place: Lincoln Center. The same group, now flourishing, is sponsoring and performing in its own festival, called...

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