St. Paul's Artist Series Opens Season Friday With Keith Reas

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Keith Reas
Keith Reas

Music at St. Paul’s announces its 2021-22 Artist Series season presenting four concerts featuring a wide range of music performed by internationally renowned artists. All concerts take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh Street (at Pine) in downtown Chattanooga. Season subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased in advance through the St. Paul’s website. Tickets for each concert will also be sold at the door. For tickets and more information, visit: http://www.stpaulschatt.org/concert-season/

This season’s St. Paul’s Artist Series opens on Friday at 7:30 p.m., with a concert by St. Paul’s renowned former music director, Keith Reas, performing works chosen to showcase the church’s Casavant organ.

Ms. Reas said, "I am delighted to return to Chattanooga and perform on the instrument I came to know so well during my time at St. Paul’s. The Casavant's preponderance of French reeds, as well as the warm acoustic of the room, create the ideal atmosphere for performing works with a French flavor.

"I open with Simon Preston's Alleluyas, a piece I heard him play on his first American tour, which uses some of the language of Olivier Messiaen. The Franck E Major Chorale, one of his last works, is a staple of the Romantic French repertoire. And the De Jong Variations, the only work by a woman composer on the program, uses the language of 20th-century French composers such as Duruflé and Dupré.

"I wanted to involve the choir, so the Nivers Kyrie will be done with chant in alternatim, and they will sing Persichetti's original hymn tune before I play his Chorale Prelude. Of particular significance is the lovely Pastorale by local composer Ethan McGrath, based on one of my favorite hymns, which was written at the request of the Chattanooga AGO when I retired from St. Paul's.

"An organ recital is hardly complete without including some Bach so I have included the beautiful Trio Sonata in E minor I learned in college and revisited during the pandemic. I hope there is enough variety to hold the audience's interest, and to showcase the many lovely sounds this organ has to offer.”

Paul Thomas, St. Paul’s music director, said, "On behalf of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, it is my great pleasure to welcome audiences back for our 2021-22 Artist Series. We are also delighted to welcome the outstanding artists whose music will enrich our spirits after so many months of silence. Our concerts will include pandemic safety precautions, and we encourage, as strongly as possible, that attendees be vaccinated if they are able. We give thanks to God for the ability to make and listen to live music, a blessing that by its recent absence has become even more special. We hope you will come and experience this beauty with us this season.”

The 2021-22 Artists Series continues on Friday, Dec. 3, with Abendmusik with North Carolina Baroque, the annual Candlelight Advent concert featuring music for voices and strings by 
Dieterich Buxtehude and his north German contemporaries. On Friday, Jan. 21, will be Parker Ramsay, harp, performing his own transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations, which he recently recorded to international acclaim at King's College Chapel, Cambridge. Then on Friday, March 25, will be Joshua Espinoza Trio, exploring shimmering harmonies and shifting orchestral contours with the aesthetic of a chamber ensemble as much as a jazz trio.

Series subscriptions are $130, $100, $80 while single tickets are $40, $30, $25 and $10. For more information and tickets visit http://www.stpaulschatt.org/concert-season/ or call 266-8195.


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