Jan Wilson, Mezzo-Soprano
Arthur Shen, Tenor
Michael Reder, Baritone-Bass
Johann Sebastian Bach
in 1723, the St. John Passion was originally intended for a Good
Friday service for Saint Thomas’ Church in Leipzig. The
texts recounting the passion story in recitative were chosen from
existing passion poems of the time.
and instrumentalists present the passion story as told by gospel
writer, John. The tenor soloist is the voice of John, with other
soloists taking the parts of Jesus, Pilate, Peter and other
story participants. The chorus sings the “group” roles
of crowd, soldiers and others. In addition to their character
roles, the chorus and soloists express, in arias and chorales,
the sentiments of active listeners to the story. Instrumentalists,
too play important roles, especially in the commentary sections.
It is interesting
to note the structure of the St. John Passion with its nine
choral movements symmetrically arranged around a central, pivotal
chorus; the last four movements mirroring the first four. In
addition to it being a work of structural ingenuity, St. John’s Passion is powerful example of Bach’s
word and tone painting.
Working within the confines of the
short gospel account of St. John, Bach created a highly emotional
and deeply meditative work, which inspires the modern day listener.
Joy of the Season...
11, 2004 @ 8 p.m.
Reception following the performance Christ
Kings Hwy, Middletown NJ
centerpiece of our program was Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols. The
work was a Christmas
present for Elizabeth Mayer, written on an trans-Atlantic voyage through U-boat
infested waters in May of 1942. The
first performance of the work was in December of that year by the Fleet Street
Choir of London, an address made
famous by its demon-barber resident, Sweeny Todd.
The program also featured traditional holiday favorites such as
Leroy Anderson's Sleigh
rideand Jerry Herman's We Need a Little Christmasfeatured in the Broadway hit Mame. Carols
from many countries will be showcased,
including the American spiritual Sweet Little Jesus Boy and the
Austrian folk song Still Still Still. PDQ Bach
(1807-1742?), the last and least of JS Bach's many children will
by his spirited Yule song,
Throw the Yule log on, Uncle John.
A CEREMONY of CAROLS
(Hodie Christus natus est)
There is no rose
That yongë child Peggy
Noecker, Soprano Soloist
Balulalow, Peggy Noecker, Soprano Soloist
As dew in Aprille
This little babe
Interlude (Harp solo)
on our program:
The Gift Carol Arr. Lloyd Pfautsch Sweet Little Jesus Boy Robert MacGimesey Two Christmas Miniatures T. F. Candlyn The Little Road to Bethlehem Michael Head Willie, Take your Drum arr. George Strickling A Song to the Sleeping babe Fredrick Snell Mary’s Little Boy Child arr. Ed Lojeski
The Three Kings of Orient arr. Samuel L. Forcucci Shepherd’s Chorus from Amahl and the Night Visitors Gian
Steve Leech - Tenor, Pete Arnold - Baritone,
and Ray Radcliffe - Bass Still Still Still arr. Norman Luboff Whisper! Whisper! Jay Althouse The Sleigh Richard Kountz Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson Monotone Angel Don Mcafee Throw the Yule Log on, Uncle John PDQ Bach We Need a little Christmas Jerry Herman