'Bach at Sem' begins new season

“Bach at the Sem,” featuring presentations of J.S. Bach’s music by The American Kantorei, under the direction of Robert Bergt, is beginning its 18th season at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

All of the concerts will take place on Sunday afternoons in the seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus.  There is no admission charge, but free-will offerings will be accepted to support the series.

Performances, which begin at 3 p.m., are scheduled for:

  • Sunday, October 25 — Psalm 130: De profundis, “From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee,” is performed. This prayer, in plainsong and Anglican chant settings, is confession, meditation, and hope for us and our times. Also offered are composers Schein, Handel, and Bach’s cantata, BWV 38. Together with these significant works, Psalm 130 culminates in Luther’s great hymn for the congregation. The concert’s finale consists of two great choruses by Handel from the “Messiah.”
     
  • Sunday, November 15 — David Fienen, guest organist, performs “Concerto for Organ and Orchestra in C Major” by Franz Joseph Haydn. Also featured will be Bach’s Solo Cantata BWV 51, “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen” for solo soprano and trumpet with stringed orchestra, Kathryn Stieler, soprano; John Korak, trumpet; and Handel’s Psalm 112, “Laudate pueri,” with Kathryn Stieler, soprano, and chorus and orchestra.
     
  • Sunday, December 13 — The American Kantorei presents an Advent and Christmas Celebration. Works will include J. S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio:” Parts I; II, sinfonia; VI, final chorale, and five great choruses from Handel’s “Messiah.”
     
  • Sunday, January 31 — Organ recital by Dennis Bergin, “Klavierübung III.” Chorales by Bach presented by The American Kantorei. J. S. Bach, “Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord in E Major,” Paula Kasica, flute; Mieko Hironaka Bergt, harpsichord.
     
  • Sunday, March 21 — The American Kantorei, with soloists Jeral Becker, evangelist, and Jay Willoughby, Christ, presents J. S. Bach’s “The Passion of Our Lord According to St. John.” Aria soloists are principals of The American Kantorei. This is a celebration of the birthday of J. S. Bach.
     
  • Sunday, May 2 — J. S. Bach, “Mass in B Minor.” Soloists are principals of The American Kantorei.

The American Kantorei is a choral and orchestral ensemble dedicated to the performance of church music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Neoclassical periods. The works of J.S. Bach form the core of its repertoire.

Conductor and music director Robert Bergt is known as a symphonic and chorale conductor with a specialization in the music of Bach and other masters of the Baroque Period. Bach at the Sem is funded largely through the generosity of individual supporters.
 
For more information about Bach at the Sem or to be added to its mailing list, contact Concordia Seminary at 314-505-7362, or visit the seminary’s Web site at www.csl.edu.

Posted Sept. 23, 2009

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