Classical Music

An exciting but uneven nod to the Reformation

Almost 500 years to the exact date that Martin Luther posted, as tradition suggests, his 95 theses on the doors of the All Saints’ Church, Wittenberg, thus starting the Reformation, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra chose as its musical theme that very reference Friday in the Ferguson Center.

“From the Music of Bach to the Reformation Symphony” was a beautifully balanced program that opened with a nod to the Reformation period in Bach’s “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott,” more commonly known as “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” written by Luther and later appropriated by Bach, among others. Developed as Cantata No. 80, the work is among Bach’s 50-some cantatas. It wastes not a moment in...