This program of soulful and moving compositions by four of the German Baroque’s most masterful composers begins with a 10-part setting of “Christ lag in Todesbanden” by Johann Pachelbel. Its seven movements unfold the deep richness of the composer’s reflections on the Easter text that Bach would later use for one of his earliest cantatas. And from the pen of one of Bach’s favorite composers, Dieterich Buxtehude, comes a bittersweet setting of the famous Eastertide chorale, “Jesu, meine Freude,” that would have been a great inspiration to Bach when he composed his own motet setting of the same verses several decades later. One of Bach’s earliest surviving cantatas, “Der Herr denket an uns” (Psalm 115: “The Lord is mindful of us”) is a joyful celebration of gratitude and blessedness that was probably composed to celebrate the wedding of the minister who had married Bach and his wife, Maria Barbara, about a year earlier. The Passion-themed orbit of this program finds its greatest resonance in a truly hypnotic and almost trance-inducing setting of the Saint Matthew Passion by Johann Theile. From its first movement to its last, Theile’s music mesmerizes the listener and grippingly captivates that attention until the final note.
Saint Matthew Passion
Johann Sebastian Bach
Der Herr denket an uns, Cantata 196
Christ lag in Todesbanden
Jesu, meine Freude
Friday March 25 2022 8:00 p.m. • St. Stephen's Church, Belvedere
Saturday March 26 2022 7:00 p.m. • First Church, Berkeley
Sunday March 27 2022 4:00 p.m. • St. Mark's Church, San Francisco
Monday March 28 2022 7:00 p.m. • Davis Community Church, Davis
tenor / Evangelista
The Early Baroque era of Italian music brought a zenith of dramatic and technical display in the hands of new generations of virtuoso singers and instrumentalists. Composers and performers united in their course of revealing new depths of expression, color, and theatrical effects through music that is immediately thrilling and enthralling.
From the delicate and spatial interplay of three violins in Marini’s Sonata in Ecco to the full-throated and lovelorn dramatic vocal works of Monteverdi — including two epic narratives from his Madrigals of Love and War — this is a program that moves from mystery to magic and from the sacred to the secular.
Headliner works are Isabella Leonarda’s entrancing Sonata XII, Monteverdi’s Magnificat a 6 from the Vespers of 1610, and the same composer’s powerfully arresting setting of Torquato Tasso’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. An ensemble of evocative ABS artists brings this passionate music to light in a program featuring vocal and violinistic fireworks.
Sonata XXI con tre violini
Magnificat a 6 from Vespers of 1610 & Beatus vir
Sonata in Ecco con tre violini from Opus 8
Altri canti di Marte (from Madrigals of Love)
Hor che’l ciel e la terra e 'l vento tace (from Madrigals of War)
La rossetta Sonata a 3, Opus 8
Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda
Friday April 29 2022 8:00 p.m. • St. Stephen's Church, Belvedere
Saturday April 30 2022 7:00 p.m. • First Church, Berkeley
Sunday May 1 2022 4:00 p.m. • St. Mark's Church, San Francisco
Monday May 2 2022 7:00 p.m. • Davis Community Church, Davis