The Chattanooga Bach Choir, David Long artistic director, continues its Barnett & Company Cantata Series, on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. at Christ Church Episcopal, 663 Douglas St. in Chattanooga. Admission is $15; students are free. For more information, visit www.chattanoogabachchoir.org
The program features Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata BWV 73 Herr, wie du willt, so schicks mit mir (“Lord, as you will, so let it be done with me”) written for the third Sunday after Epiphany.
Completing the hour-long program are a motet by Renaissance master Josquin des Prez, Usquequo, Domine? (Psalm 13, “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?”) and J.S Bach’s Fantasia on Komm, heiliger Geist (“Come Holy Ghost”), BWV 651, from the Leipzig Chorales for solo organ, performed by organist Karla Fowkes. Joining the Bach Choir are guest soloists, Cynthia Johnson, soprano; James Harr, tenor; and Zachary James Cavan, bass.
Mr. Long notes, “What makes exploring Bach’s cantatas so endlessly fascinating is the amazing variety in that no two are exactly alike. Cantata BWV 73 is in five movements with opening and closing chorales surrounding solo tenor and bass arias. Set for choir, soloists, horn, two oboes, keyboard continuo and strings, Cantata BWV 73 was written in Bach’s first year as Kapellmeister in Leipzig, to be performed on the third Sunday after Epiphany, which fell on January 23, 1724. The Gospel Reading from the Leipzig Lutheran Lectionary for that day was from the Gospel of Matthew 8:1-13 (The healing of a leper/The centurion of Capernaum). The librettist of Cantata 73 based his ideas on the leper’s words to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You will, You can cleanse me’. Bach opens BWV 73, with an orchestral sinfonia (little symphony), then the choir joins in singing phrases of the chorale (hymn) interspersed with vocal solos for soprano, tenor and bass. After solo arias for tenor and bass, the choir returns with a four-part chorale bringing the work to a peaceful conclusion. We hope people will join us to experience these beautiful spiritual works in person as we continue our Cantata series this season.”
The Chattanooga Bach Choir’s Barnett & Company Cantata Series explores J.S. Bach’s more than 250 cantatas written for every Sunday in the church year. Conductor Mr. Long introduces each Cantata with a brief musical explanation placing each work in its liturgical context. The series continues in 2018 with two more Sunday concerts: Feb. 18, Handel: Chandos Anthem, No. 3 Have Mercy upon Me, O God (Psalm 51); and May 20, Cantata, BWV 74 Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten (Pentecost Sunday). All concerts take place at Christ Church Episcopal in Chattanooga at 4 p.m.