St. Thomas Choir 'Leipzig 2017'

St. Thomas Choir 'Bach: Mass in B Minor, with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra'

St. Thomas Choir, Leipzig

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 8:00 pm

Vocal Ensemble Series

Duke Chapel


The Thomanerchor — otherwise known as the St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig, whose most famous cantor was Johann Sebastian Bach — is one of the world’s most enduring musical institutions. Founded in 1212 to provide music for church services, The Thomanerchor hired Bach in 1723; he held the position until his death and is buried at St. Thomas. Bach’s music remains a mainstay of the choir’s repertoire, and its fifty exceptionally talented boy singers, all between the ages of nine and eighteen still perform his works every Sunday. In recent decades the enormous choir has made international touring a central part of its activities, taking the entire ensemble beyond the church walls of Leipzig and out into the world. The New York Times calls the choir’s sound “magnificent, soaring, poignant, ethereal.”

Inside the appropriately gothic setting of Duke Chapel, the Thomanerchor sings sacred works by Germany’s most revered composers. Led by cantor Gotthold Schwarz and organist Stefan Altner, the Choir sings a Psalm setting and a selection of motets and madrigals by early baroque composer Heinrich Schütz. The choristers turn next to a hymn setting and a sacred madrigal by Schütz’s contemporary and Bach’s predecessor at St. Thomas by a hundred years, Johann Schein. At the center of the concert are three Bach motets: Fürchte dich nicht, Komm, Jesu, komm, and Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf, all for double choir. The Thomanerchor also includes several works from the nineteenth century: Felix Mendelssohn’s Mitten wir im Leben sind, and two movements from his Deutsche Liturgie: “Kyrie eleison” and “Heilig.”

Program

Schütz: The One-Hundredth Psalm, SWV 36

Schein: “Herr Gott, du unser Zuflucht bist,” from Cantional oder Gesangbuch Augspurgischer Confession

Schein: “Ich bin jung gewesen,” from Israelsbrünnlein

Bach: Fürchte dich nicht, BWV 228

Bach: Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229

Mendelssohn: “Kyrie eleison” and “Heilig” from Die Deutsche Liturgie

Mendelssohn: Mitten wir in Leben sind

Schütz: “Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt,” SWV 380; “Verleih uns Frieden,” SWV 372; and “Gib unsern Fürsten,” SWV 373, from Geistliche Chormusik

Bach: Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226



“Surely this is what it must have been like to hear Bach lead the ensemble in one of his cantatas."

The New York Times

Want to support forward-thinking artists and enhance Durham's performing arts community?

Donate to Duke Performances

$10
Tickets for Duke Students!

View all discount packages