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Concert: Death & Life

Sunday, March 12, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
$15 - $18
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Seattle Bach Choir’s second concert of the 2016-17 season celebrates DEATH and LIFE with two monumental works for choir and instruments.

Under the artistic direction of Dr. Anne Lyman, Seattle Bach Choir presents rarely heard music by Schütz, Pärt, Pachelbel and Bach in one of Seattle’s most beautiful sanctuaries at Trinity Parish Church.


  • Heinrich Schütz, Musikalische Exequien
  • Arvo Pärt, Berliner Messe
  • Johann Pachelbel, Gott ist unser Zuversicht
  • J.S. Bach, Opening Chorus from Cantata No. 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden

The program opens with the German Baroque Musikaliche Exequien (Funeral Music) by Heinrich Schütz, composed towards the middle of his long life as service music for Count Henry II, a regional nobleman known to love music. The count selected the texts and planned the service, likely an ostentatious affair, with Schütz in mind. The three-part work uses many of the techniques for which Schütz is well-known: multiple voices, elaborate solo passages followed by declamatory choruses, and quasi-chant-like interpolations, a German/Italian sacred concerto style practically of Schütz’s invention. Seattle Bach Choir’s performs this monumental work with a rich array of authentic early Baroque instruments and Choir singers in the solo roles.

Sharply contrasting the sumptuous Baroque texture of the Schütz is the austere veneer of Arvo Pärt’s Berliner Messe. Pärt composed this multi-movement work for choir and organ for the Catholic Day Festival in 1990. It has since become one of this beloved Estonian composer’s most famous works. Despite its musical restraint—the work contains precious few notes put together as a fragile, pristine façade—the work represents the pure joy doubtlessly felt by Pärt at the lifting of the Soviet embargo on sacred music in Estonia.

The program concludes with two joyful pieces for choir and organ, Pachelbel’s Gott ist unser Zuversicht for double-choir, and the opening movement of J. S. Bach’s Easter Cantata No. 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden.

The concert begins @ 3:00 pm, at Trinity Parish Church, 609 8th Ave., Seattle. Pre-concert lecture begins @ 2:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased at www.seattlebachchoir.org, or at the door for $18 General, $15 Student and Senior.

The Seattle Bach Choir specializes in chamber choir literature from all eras, with special reverence for the beautiful music of J. S. Bach. A scholar of early music, Dr. Anne Lyman begins each concert with an informative discussion about the music to be performed. Under Dr. Lyman’s direction, Seattle Bach Choir concerts are educational and uplifting, a voyage of discovery for a choral newcomer and inspirational for the aficionado.