CONCORA Continues Bach Tradition with Concert of Three Festive Cantatas on April 30
A select ensemble of 18 CONCORA singers and soloists performs three celebratory “trumpets and drums” cantatas with members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra
Continuing a decades-long tradition, CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), the region’s oldest all-professional choral ensemble, presents a performance of Bach choral cantatas on Sunday, April 30, at 4:00 PM, at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, CT. Members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will join CONCORA’s professional vocalists and Artistic Director Chris Shepard to present Bach’s cantatas 29, 190, and 191.
CONCORA has long been known for its inspired performances of choral works by Johann Sebastian Bach, with annual presentations of the cantatas and larger works, including the Magnificat, the monumental B Minor Mass, and the Passions. In 2016, CONCORA’s professional vocalists, the CONCORA Festival Singers, guest soloists, and members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra presented the moving Saint John Passion, with an innovative visual accompaniment of selected images from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
“After last year’s large-scale presentation of the Saint John Passion with two choirs, orchestra, and the dramatic art presentation, we are exploring a much more intimate format in this concert, with smaller ensembles that are closer to what Bach employed on a regular basis,” said Chris Shepard, the ensemble’s Artistic Director.
CONCORA will perform with just 18 singers, accompanied by a chamber orchestra of solo string players, pairs of oboes and flutes, trumpets, and timpani.
“The trumpets and timpani create an undeniably festive sound,” said Shepard, “and in fact, Bach wrote these cantatas for specific celebrations. Cantata 190 was first heard on New Year’s Day in 1724; Cantata 29 was performed at the inauguration of the Leipzig Town Council in 1731, and Cantata 191 was prepared for Christmas Day in 1745. These cantatas include some of Bach’s most glorious, joy-filled music.”
Though this will be CONCORA’s first performance of Cantatas 190 and 191, much of the music in this concert will sound familiar, said Shepard, as Bach re-used portions of Cantatas 29 and 191 in his best-known work, the B Minor Mass, most recently performed by CONCORA in 2014. The sinfonia, or overture, that opens Cantata 29 is Bach’s own arrangement of his well-known Partita for Violin, BWV 1006.
“For a busy composer like Bach, it made sense to re-use music when possible, adding new texts and embellishments to suit a new occasion,” explained Shepard, a Bach specialist. “And for modern audiences, it’s often a moment of delightful discovery to hear familiar music in a new guise, and to realize anew just how innovative Bach could be.”
Tickets are on sale now for CONCORA’s all-Bach concert on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 4:00 PM at Immanuel Congregational Church, 10 Woodland Street, Hartford. Discounted early-bird tickets are available through April 23, 2017. Additional discounts are available for seniors, students, and for groups of eight or more general admission adult or senior tickets.
What: Choral Concert: Music of Johann Sebastian Bach performed by professional choir CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) and members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Program: Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach: Wir Danken dir, Gott, BWV29; Singet dem Herrn ein Neues Lied, BWV190; Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV191
When: Sunday, April 30, 2017, 4:00 PM
Where: Immanuel Congregational Church, 10 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT
Tickets: $15-$65. Discounted rates are available for general admission and senior tickets for groups of 8 or more. Early-bird prices ($5 discount on most tickets) end April 23. 2-for-1 general admission tickets are available with the Let*s Go! Arts card; contact the CONCORA office for details.
Info and Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bach-cantatas-tickets-28625855705 or 860-293-0567 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are also available at the door on the day of the concert, though advance reservations are recommended for preferred seating.