The Chattanooga Bach Choir will present a concert entitled “Masters of the Renaissance” on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church. The program will feature music from the Italian Renaissance period as well as music from the early Baroque that was stylistically “reborn” through the influence of the early composers. Works by Gabrieli, Palestrina, Viadana, Martini, Monteverdi, Schütz, Vivaldi, Leo, and others will be featured.
Gabrieli brought the polyphonic style of the Renaissance, along with the antiphonal interplay of multiple groups, to its fullest form, but his skill and style did not remain rooted in one time and place. His fame, along with Europe’s unsettled religious/political situations (among them, the Thirty Years’ War), brought a number of composers, including Heinrich Schütz, to Venice to sit at his feet; Gabrieli’s characteristic style, therefore, is evident in Schütz’s setting of Psalm 84, written for double choir and featuring both polyphony and vocal resonance.
Schütz, who is considered the most important German composer before Bach, had a great deal of influence on that esteemed composer, and Bach himself studied and performed a mass by Palestrina as he composed the B Minor Mass, allowing the earlier composer to influence his counterpoint.
Giovanni Battista Martini, whose Domine, Ad Adjuvandum Me Festina is on the program, managed to launch his influence out of the Baroque and into the Classical period. The lively, dance-like syncopations in this work influenced the compositional style of Mozart, whose father Leopold consulted Father Martini about his young prodigy; Martini may even have taught the young man for a brief time.
The Chattanooga Bach Choir will sing under the direction of David Long, artistic director and conductor. Though there is no charge for the performance, a donation of $15 is suggested. Students with valid IDs need make no donation.
For more information, visit the choir’s website at www.chattanoogabachchoir.org