“Prepare ye the way of the Lord…”
This year’s Christmas concerts celebrate the joyful anticipation of Christ’s birth with glorious pieces from Bach and Handel. Bach’s Magnificat and Part One of Handel’s Messiah offer us musical journeys that focus on the meaning of Christmas, as Mary learns she is blessed to bear the child she will bring into the world in Magnificat, and the world anticipates the arrival of the Savior in Part One of the Messiah.
Note that this is the first time in the 120+ year history of the Choir that they will perform the Messiah in its entirety! (Part Two will be performed at the Spring Concert in March.)
J.S. Bach's Magnificat :
First heard in Leipzig in 1723, Bach sets Mary’s radical, rhapsodic song of praise with an extraordinary sense text painting--from the ecstatic joy of an overflowing first movement, a contrapuntal evocation of the generations of history, to tender devotion in remembering God’s promises. The Magnificat is Bach at his most theatrical, which makes it an excellent partner to Handel’s masterpiece.
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759):
Violinist, organist, harpsichordist and composer, Handel composed operas, oratorios and instrumentals, including one of the most famous oratorios in history, Messiah, in 1741. For the first time in its history, The Bach Choir will perform Messiah, Part One, with its familiar and much-loved movements including Comfort Ye, My People and For Unto Us a Child Is Born. Handel’s years of experience writing for the theatre are manifest in his most famous work, also a masterpiece of text painting. Part one celebrates biblical prophecies of Christ, including texts from Isaiah that mirror the rhapsody of Mary’s Magnificat. From a rigorous and lyrical curtain-raising overture to the beauty of the tenor’s first words of comfort, Part One also includes some of Messiah’s most rousing and challenging choruses, all of which will be given the Bach Choir’s consummate treatment.
In conductor Funfgeld’s hands, these evocative works will be interpreted with passion, joy and unparalleled musical excellence.