Masterpieces by J.S. Bach and Antonio Vivaldi
Choral | Princeton Festival Baroque Chorus and Orchestra
Gregory Geehern, conductor
J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Missa brevis in G major BWV236
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Saturday June 29 at 7:00 pm
Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall
Ticket Sales Begin in Early March
Works by two giants of Baroque music make a compelling program for this year’s concert by the Princeton Festival Baroque Chorus and Orchestra. Buy your tickets early – it’s sure to sell out.
J. S. Bach’s exquisitely expressive Missa brevis (“short Mass”) engages and elevates the listener. The words are set to music of amazing variety that emphasizes their meaning and emotional content. The chorus sings with a smaller instrumental group in the opening “Kyrie,” then is joined by the full orchestra for the opening of the “Gloria.” A bass voice sings solo over strings in the gently rocking third movement, “Gratias agimus tibi,” after which soprano and alto sing a meditative duet. The fifth movement is a song of praise sung by tenor accompanied by an oboe. The chorus and orchestra return in the spirited conclusion.
Vivaldi’s upbeat, joyous setting of the Magnificat opens with a subdued choral passage that quickly transitions to a lively, up-tempo declaration of exuberant acceptance. Contrasts of color, rhythm, and voice combinations keep the listener involved throughout nine short movements. There are exclamatory passages, buoyant melodies, anthemic declamations, and the occasional solemn statement. It’s all lively, bright, and uplifting.
This magnificent music will be played and sung in authentic style, following Baroque performance practices. In addition, the orchestra uses period instruments to produce the kind of sound that Bach, Vivaldi, and their audiences would have expected to hear.