Saturday, March 2, 2013

J.S. Bach's Matthäus Passion Performed by Christoph Prégardien, Tobias Berndt, Dorothee Mields, Hana Blažíková, Damien Guillon, Robin Blaze, Colin Balzer, Hans Jörg Mammel, Matthew Brook, Stephan MacLeod, and Collegium Vocale Gent, Directed by Philippe Herreweghe

Tomorrow at 3:00, the above will be performed locally — St. Matthew Passion in Rochester, NY. The details:
    Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion will be performed at Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1040 East Avenue in Rochester, N.Y., on Sunday, March 3 at 3:00 p.m. The work will be sung complete and in English. Performers will include the Eastman Chorale, the Cordancia Chamber Ensemble and the Asbury First choirs under the direction of William Weinert. Soloists will include Michaela Anthony, soprano, Caroline O'Dwyer, mezzo-soprano, David Tayloe and Matthew Swensen, tenors, and Zachary Burgess and Anthony Baron, basses. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and seniors, and are available at the door or by calling the church office at (585) 271-1050.

    The St. Matthew Passion was written by Bach in 1727, and is often considered to be his greatest masterpiece. Its text is taken from chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew, which tell the story of the last days of Jesus Christ. The Gospel text is augmented with devotional poetry and twelve hymn settings. The work was last performed in Rochester in 2000 by the Eastman Chorale.

    The Eastman Chorale is a select ensemble of 60 pre-professional singers from Eastman School of Music. Cordancia is a Rochester-based chamber music ensemble founded in 2009 by violinist Pia Liptak and oboist Kathleen Suher and comprised of professional musicians and music teachers. Asbury First’s resident choirs include the Sanctuary Choir, Asbury Singers, Youth Choir, and Children’s Choir.

    William Weinert is Professor of Conducting and Director of Choral Activities at the Eastman School of Music, and also Asbury First’s Director of Music.

    With a congregation of 2,300 people, Asbury First United Methodist Church is the largest Methodist church in upstate New York. The church is noted for the quality of its music programming, presenting an annual concert series featuring notable regional musicians and national touring groups.
Ten bucks! Wow! One of the many great things about this city is the quality of music one can hear from the students at that conservatory established by the founder of Eastman Kodak, often for free or close to free. I heard Maestro Weinert on the wireless say that Mr. Bach wrote it in the vernacular, so it makes sense to perform it in English. I buy that.

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