Especially programmed to be performed during Lent, the Wroclaw Baroque Ensemble, NFM Boys' Choir and soloists under the direction of Andrew Kosendiak present a selection of religious works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Over the duration of the program you will hear works that have enchanted music lovers for over three hundred years. The evening will be arranged for the listener in two halves designed to contrast music associated with the liturgy of the Catholic Church with that of later Protestant religious movement in Germany.
Opening the program will be Jephte, Carissimi’s Baroque work based on the Old Testament story of Jephthah, whom vowed to God that he would sacrifice his only child if he could win a battle against the Ammonites. The stunning musical approach to the dramatic bible story created by Carissimi quickly became a model for later oratorios; especially poignant is the last chorus Plorate (Weep, children of Israel). Following Jephte, the ensemble will present an extraordinary work written by Carissimi’s brilliant pupil, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Litanies de la Vierge H. 83.
In contrast to the first two pieces, which are rooted in the Catholic Italian tradition, the second portion of the evening will be dedicated to the music of the German Protestant Reformation. The second half will feature an impressive work by Johann Sebastian Bach, whose compositions were performed during the liturgy celebrated in the Church of St. Thomas, in Leipzig, where he became the cantor composer at 27 years of age. His work Gottes Zeit ist die Zeit Allerbeste, written during his early period c.1707, will follow the composition Ach, daß their Wassers gnug hätte, written by Johann Christoph Bach, the son of Heinrich Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach's great uncle and thus his first cousin once removed.