Bach Choir Cantata Concert
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The Chattanooga Bach Choir
David Long, conductor
The 2018-19 Barnett & Company Cantata Series continues on Sunday, February 17 at 5 p.m., with music for the 3rd Sunday before Lent (Septuagesima in the Church year), featuring Bach's Cantata BWV 144, Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin (Take what is yours and go your way), which was first performed in Leipzig on February 6, 1724. Also on the hour-long program are Renaissance master Heinrich Isaac's a cappella motet Circumdederunt me (The sorrows of death have assailed me), which was transcribed by Chattanoogan Corinne Cooze; as well as Bach's Fugue in C Major for organ, BWV 547; and the 1st movement (Allegro) from Bach's Concerto for Violin in A Minor, BWV 1041, featuring the young Signal Mountain-based violinist Kathleen DuRoy. Joining the Bach Choir are solo artists Cynthia Johnson, soprano; Rachel Walls, mezzo soprano; James Harr, tenor; and Karla Fowkes, organ.
Artistic Director David Long notes, "Our third cantata concert of this season takes place on the 3rd Sunday before Lent also known as Septuagesima in the Church year. The Gospel reading assigned for this day was Matthew 20:1-16, the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. The lively opening movement features the SATB chorus tossing fragments of the melodic line back and forth while the orchestra (oboe and strings) is playing the same notes as the choir. The text is taken from the gospel reading, and Bach playfully repeats the words "go away" sixty times within sixty-eight bars of music! The second movement is a lyrical solo for alto and orchestra in a dance-like minuet tempo, which is followed by a hymn-like movement for the chorus and orchestra. A brief dramatic recitative for tenor precedes the fifth movement, an expressive duet for soprano and oboe with the melodic line entwined between the two; and the work ends with a stately four-part Lutheran chorale. Heinrich Isaac, active in the late 1400's throughout Europe, is regarded as a master of Renaissance contrapuntal choral writing, but his music also touches and moves us deeply, especially this serene motet for unaccompanied voices based on verses from Psalm 114, which would have been performed at the beginning of the worship service for Septuagesima Sunday. We are performing this work from an edition recently prepared by Chattanoogan Corinne Cooze. Finally we are pleased to showcase the young artists in our area with violinist Kathleen DuRoy performing the 1st movement from Bach's Violin Concerto in A Minor, a work he likely arranged for a group of young musicians in Leipzig. Our organist, Karla Fowkes, is featured in the Bach organ work that opens our concert. Just as Bach wrote at the end of his liturgical manuscripts: Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone), the Bach Choir offers these musical meditations featuring Bach cantatas and other works as a brief musical respite in our daily lives."
The Bach Choir's Barnett & Company Cantata Series explores J.S. Bach's more than 200 cantatas written for every Sunday in the church year. David Long introduces each cantata with a brief musical explanation placing each work in its liturgical context. The 2018-19 season concludes on March 31 with Bach's Cantata BWV 1, Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern written for the Feast of the Annunciation. All Cantata Series concerts take place on Sundays at Christ Church Episcopal (663 Douglas Street at McCallie) at 5 p.m.
The Chattanooga Bach Choir's concerts are made possible, in part, with support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and ArtsBuild. The Chattanooga Times Free Press is the Bach Choir's exclusive print sponsor.
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