Choral Concert, 2016

Youthful Masterpieces, Authentic Performances

Choral | Princeton Festival Baroque Chorus and Orchestra

The Princeton Festival Baroque Chorus
The Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra

Gregory Geehern, conductor

Saturday June 30 at 7:00 pm

Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary
64 Mercer Street, Princeton


AS OF 6/21, this event is sold out

Check out our 6/23 Baroque Chamber Ensemble and 6/27 Baroque Orchestra concerts!


Tickets: $35 Preferred | $25 General | $15 STUDENTs

General Admission Seating

Approximate length: 1.5 hours


» Read more about the Princeton Festival Baroque Chamber Ensemble concert on Saturday June 23 at 5 pm and the Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra concert on Wednesday June 27 at 7:30 pm


Johann Sebastian Bach
Der Herr denket an uns, BWV 196
George Frideric Handel
(1685 – 1759)
Dixit Dominus, HWV 232


Bach and Handel, the two towering geniuses of the Baroque era, were born in Germany in the same year, just 80 miles apart. They never met, and their lives were as different as their musical styles. Yet between them they created the music that both defined the late Baroque era and inspired generations to come.

The Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra and Chorus present one masterpiece by each, both composed in the first flush of genius around 1707, when the two men were 22 years old.

About the music

Bach’s cantata Der Herr denket an uns (The Lord is mindful of us), BWV 196, may have been written for a

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wedding celebration. It opens with an instrumental Sinfonia that has a noble, processional quality. Four vocal movements make up the rest of the work, beginning with a lively choral section. The succeeding aria for soprano is a stately assurance of the Lord’s blessing. A duet for tenor and bass asks the Lord to bless “you and your children.” The closing chorus is calmly reassuring in asking for the Lord’s blessing. All text comes from Psalm 115.

Handel’s Dixit Dominus, HWV 232, displays a brilliance of style that was no doubt influenced by the music of Italy, where he was living when it was composed. The nine-movement work, based on text from Psalm 110, opens with an orchestral prelude leading into a lively, spacious-sounding choral section. The work includes arias for alto and soprano, a duet for sopranos, and choral sections. While the Italian influence is prominent, the Handel of Messiah can already be heard in this early piece.

Parallel lives

Bach’s compositions had little circulation outside central Germany, where he spent his whole life. He was influenced by the music of France and Italy, but adapted those styles to the purposes of his own intricate works, which were written primarily for court and church.

Handel, by contrast, crisscrossed Europe early in his career. He became an international celebrity, achieving widespread fame in Italy and England as well as Germany. He quickly absorbed the methods of Italian opera and concerti, achieving popularity in both fields.

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jessica-franko-06-22-16_baroque_245_editThe Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra

Juan Carlos Zamudio, concertmaster

Playing to sold-out crowds since 2015, the Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra features rising young stars of historically-informed performance playing period instruments.