ABS Presents Bach’s Motets for Double-Chorus

The American Bach Soloists’ 2017 season continues with Bach’s Motets for Double Chorus, a program highlighting the superb artistry of the American Bach Choir. ABS Music Director Jeffrey Thomas conducts performances in the Bay Area and Davis from March 31 through April 3, 2017.

Bach’s surviving motets are mesmerizing in their complexity and virtuosity, and they rival the splendor of his greatest cantatas and liturgical works. The motets for double chorus, with their increased number of parts, allow Bach to showcase his unparalleled genius in counterpoint and beguiling polyphonic textures. Many of these works were written for special, non-liturgical occasions. Jauchzet dem Herrn alle Welt, which draws its text from Psalm 100, is noteworthy in that it was a collaboration between Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann. The Psalms are the source for Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied as well, a virtuosic work which juxtaposes an endless array of dazzling melismas with passages of serene beauty.  Several other works round out the program, including the brief yet powerful Komm, Jesu, komm, and the joyous and celebratory Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf and Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir.

The American Bach Choir has been lauded for their exquisite singing and musicality for more than two decades, and Maestro Jeffrey Thomas is proud to spotlight their abilities for Bach’s Motets for Double Chorus. The members of the American Bach Choir are some of the most highly regarded choral singers in the Bay Area, and they will undoubtedly shine in this challenging and provocative repertoire.

Classical Sonoma praised their “stunning choral singing … the Chorus’s articulation and intonation were unequalled.”

San Francisco Classical Voice wrote that a performance was “beautifully phrased and superbly sung, with the ABS Choir at its usual best.”

In the days following the concert set, this program will be professionally recorded for CD and digital download. This recording, which will be the 21st in ABS’s formidable discography, is expected to be released in June 2017.

ABS is one of the cornerstones of the Bay Area’s vibrant and renowned Early Music community. Hailed by The Washington Post as “the best American specialists in early music … a flawless ensemble … a level of musical finesse one rarely encounters,” ABS welcomes all audiences for a magical evening of Baroque music from the composer who inspired its founding.

American Bach Soloists present Bach’s Motets for Double Chorus

BACH: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied
BACH: Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf
BACH: Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir
BACH: Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt
BACH: Komm, Jesu, komm
and others

American Bach Soloists
American Bach Choir
Jeffrey Thomas, conductor

Friday March 31 2017 8:00 pm
St. Stephen’s Church, 3 Bayview Avenue, BELVEDERE

Saturday April 1 2017 8:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church, 2407 Dana Street, BERKELEY

Sunday April 2 2017 4:00 pm
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell Street, SAN FRANCISCO

Monday April 3 2017 7:00 pm
​Davis Community Church, 412 C Street, DAVIS

Single Tickets: $33-$85
Tickets for ABS Subscribers: $28-$72

Discounted tickets available for students (21 and under with Valid ID). Please call the ABS Office, (415) 621-7900.

“Into the Woods” for a Celebration of Music, Wine, and Food

On Sunday, January 29, a group of ABS enthusiasts gathered at the St. Francis Wood home of Nancy Quinn & Tom Driscoll for “Into the Woods,” our annual celebration of music, wine, and food.

Mindy Ella Chu sang works by Purcell and Lawes

The afternoon began with a special concert previewing the 2017 Festival & Academy, “English Majesty.” Mezzo-soprano Mindy Ella Chu, known to ABS audiences for her dazzling performance in last summer’s North American premiere of Handel’s Parnasso in festa, joined a chamber group of ABS musicians in selections from Handel’s Water Music, several English songs, and Johann Christian Bach’s Sonata in D. This intimate concert took place in the grand, richly decorated living room of Tom & Nancy’s San Francisco home, offering sweeping views of the city and a truly memorable concert experience.

An extraordinary flight of wines from Bordeaux

The celebration then migrated to Tom & Nancy’s sensational wine cellar. Tom, a notable connoisseur, selected a flight of six French wines from his private collection for the group to enjoy, including a velvety 1998 Bordeaux and, the star of the show, a beautifully golden 1986 Sauternes. All six wines were paired with small bites from Delicious! Catering, the company of long-time ABS supporter Jan Goldberg. The food and wine served as a splendid backdrop to lively conversation among our supporters, musicians, and staff, once again making “Into the Woods” a resounding highlight of our year.

Master wine connoisseur, Tom Driscoll, readies a bottle of an exquisite 1986 Sauternes

Tickets to “Into the Woods” are available every year at our annual fundraising gala in the fall. This year’s gala, “Sparkle 2017,” will be held at San Francisco’s James Leary Flood Mansion on Saturday, September 23, 2017. For tickets and more information, please visit americanbach.org/gala.