FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 5, 2017
Choral Arts Philadelphia Continues Unprecedented Journey With
“1734-1735: A SEASON IN THE LIFE OF J.S. BACH”
A Rare Presentation of 18-Cantata Cycle from Bach’s Most Creative Year
February 1 through April 26, 2017
PHILADELPHIA, FEBRUARY 1-APRIL 26, 2017: Choral Arts Philadelphia, a premier chamber choir led by Artistic Director Matthew Glandorf, presents the Winter (Epiphany Season) and Spring (Eastertide & Ascension) segments of the 1734-1735: A Season In The Life of J.S. Bach series which was launched in October of 2016. The 2017 portion of the extraordinary series, in partnership with the Philadelphia Bach Collegium, includes five programs each offering two Bach cantatas composed and/or performed during that liturgical season. The cantatas bookmark brief insightful talks given by guest scholar speakers. A distinctive variation on Choral Arts’ popular series Bach at Seven, the five Winter/Spring programs are presented on Wednesdays, 7-8 pm, at S. Clement’s Church (2013 Appletree Street, Philadelphia) with pay-what-you-wish admission and a post-concert reception.
snapshot of the Master’s weekly cantata output during just one year of his service as cantor at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany. The 2017 portion will offer five programs – three in February, and two in April – with ten surviving cantatas from the 1734-35 liturgical season. All of these cantatas were either freshly composed or “recycled” from earlier material and, according to Glandorf, exhibit “fascinating diversity and creativity of Bach’s writing.”
The February and April programs feature guest speakers who are highly regarded and well-known among Bach music lovers, scholars, authors, and players worldwide: Dr. Michael Marissen (Swarthmore College), Dr. Steven Zohn (Temple University, also a leading flauto traverso soloist in the series), and Dr. Ellen T. Charry (Princeton Theological Seminary), in addition to Matthew Glandorf (The Curtis Institute of Music). Each brief talk, given between the two programmed cantatas, will offer thought-provoking topics supported by infrequently presented well-researched material, relating the Master’s daily life, work, music, and philosophical views to our lives today.
“This rare opportunity to experience a ‘year in the life’ of Bach shines a new light on both the individual cantatas and the entire repertory of eighteen works,” said Steven Zohn, guest speaker on February 8. “We marvel not just at the beauty and ingenuity of the arias and choruses, but also at how older works relate to newer ones. The project allows performers and listeners alike to feel a kinship with Bach, his musicians, and his congregations in a way that is possible only with this type of rich contextualization.”
“We have observed that there is a strong desire and need in our community for the message of Bach's music,” Matthew Glandorf commented. “Joy and sorrow, victory and loss, intimacy and longing – these are the themes that permeate the cantatas, and, despite the fact that they are products of their time, the music continues to ring through the centuries.”
Major support for 1734-1735: A Season In The Life of J.S. Bach has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
“1734-1735: A Season In The Life of J.S. Bach”
When: Wednesdays, 7-8 pm, with post-concert reception
Where: S. Clement’s Church, 2013 Appletree Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Admission: Pay-What-You-Wish, $20 suggested donation per person at the door.
Open seating, no ticket sales.
Information: www.choralarts.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 267-240-ALTO (2586).
WINTER 2017 – Epiphany Season
Program 5 - February 1
BWV 82 Ich habe genug (I have enough), for solo bass
BWV 125 Mit Fried und Freudfahr ich fahr dahin (With Peace and Joy I Depart), for solo quartet
Talk: “J.S. Bach as Religious Thinker” by Dr. Michael Marissen
Program 6 - February 8
BWV 66 Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen (Rejoice your hearts)
BWV 134 Ein Herz, dass seinen Jesum lebend weiss (A Heart Knows that Jesus is Living)
Talk: “Cantatas in the J.S. Bach Circle” by Dr. Steven Zohn
Program 7 - February 15
BWV 14 Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit (Were God not with us)
BWV 147 Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and Mouth Deed and Life)
Talk: “The power of Bach’s Cantatas” by Matthew Glandorf
SPRING 2017 – Eastertide & Ascension
Program 8 - April 19
BWV 6 Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden (Stay with us)
BWV 238 Sanctus in D
BWV 68 Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt (God so loved the World)
Talk: “Bach as Choir Director” by Matthew Glandorf
Program 9 - April 26
BWV 215 Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen (Praise your Good Fortune)
BWV 11 Ascension Oratorio - Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen (Praise God in His Riches)
Talk: “Bach’s Theology” by Dr. Ellen T. Charry
Choral Arts Philadelphia is the City’s premier 40-voice chamber chorus, consisting of a core of professional singers mixed with highly experienced volunteer members. The ensemble presents concert experiences that delight and engage the audiences while contributing to their appreciation of the repertoire. Led by artistic director Matthew Glandorf, Choral Arts Philadelphia is committed to musical excellence and to furthering the great tradition of choral music. Choral Arts and its project, the Bach Festival of Philadelphia, along with its professional resident ensemble of period instruments, the Philadelphia Bach Collegium, celebrate the life and music of J.S. Bach with programs focused on his works and related repertoire, presented in the traditions of well-researched, historically informed performance practice. Contact email@example.com or (267) 240-2586. Website: http://www.choralarts.com/
Press Release (October 2016)
“Choral Arts Philadelphia launches unprecedented 1734-1724: A Season in the life of J.S. Bach series”
Preview Video (YouTube, 2:36 min)
The Center’s Press Release announcing the 2016 grants in Philadelphia
About the series and full schedule
What is a Cantata, Anyway? Blog post by Matthew Glandorf
What is Historically Informed Performance Practice? Blog post by Matthew Glandorf
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