Brandenburg Choral Festival of London

Bach Motets

Saturday 21 April 7.30pm
St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, Bedford Street, London WC2E 9ED (view map)

With The Brook Street Band:
Tatty Theo cello
Jan Robert Zahourek double bass
Carolyn Gibley organ

For the Ripieno Choir, JS Bach is something of a spiritual ‘home’ – we never fail to enjoy performing his music. So, it seems fitting that in one of our last concerts with David Hansell at the helm, we return to the master.

Bach composed several isolated mass sections that are seldom performed. Yet his Kyrie eleison in F is beautiful, fusing a plainchant melody with his own brand of lively counterpoint. His motets are, of course, highlights of the entire choral repertoire, with passionate chromaticism a hallmark of Fürchte dich nicht and effervescent high spirits ever-present in Lobet den Herrn. Even by this composer’s exalted standards, Jesu meine Freude is an absolute masterpiece, combining a set of variations on a chorale melody with freely composed music in such a way as to produce perfect musical symmetry and profound spirituality.

Partnering Bach this time are two other great choral masters who also served in major German courts and/or churches for many years – Lassus and Schütz – demonstrating the musical progression from Renaissance, through early to late Baroque styles.

The motets by Lassus display the High Renaissance style at its best, with flowing musical lines, colourful touches of harmony, and rich choral textures in six parts. Schütz takes this one stage further with his dramatic psalm setting in eight parts, in which certain words – thanks, stars, swim etc – are singled out for pictorial treatment. His Passion Motets do not so much tell the Biblical story as meditate upon it, building upon Lassus’s experiments with harmony to create music of great intensity.

The concert will start at 7.30pm, and finish approximately 9.15pm

Premium £23
Unreserved £18
Children £5

Purchase tickets via the Brandenburg Festival box office on:

✆ 07528 776625, or
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