The Seattle Bach Choir, under the direction of Dr. Anne Lyman, is pleased to present SINGET DEM HERRN, an uplifting concert featuring some of the lightest and brightest pieces by well-known Baroque and Classical composers.
Our program opens with a performance of Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir, a light-hearted work in which voices and violins perform a perpetual narrative of duets and trios in a modern style that is reflective of the composer’s stile concertato.
Mozart’s Missa Brevis in B-flat is one of several such so-called “diminutive” masses the young composer wrote for the church during his early career in Salzburg. Scholars believe the composer was as young as 16 when he wrote this work, a full setting of the mass for choir, two violins, and continuo. It is a superb example of Mozart’s evolving lyrical, operatic voice, a work that, though celebrated today, was misunderstood by clergymen in its time, being called an “open mockery to the holy text.”
German composer Georg Philip Telemann was an exact contemporary of J. S. Bach. The two composers were friends, and Telemann served as godfather to his son Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach. Telemann was primarily self-taught and composed in a wide range of musical forms and served most of his career at the five main churches in Hamburg. His Laudate Jehovam is a short psalm setting that was likely composed towards the end of Telemann’s life.
Singet dem Herrn is one of Bach’s six surviving motets, and arguably the most ambitious and musically complex. It is a three-movement structure composed for two choirs of equal voices and is based on several texts from Psalms 103, 149, and 150. The voices are treated in an instrumental fashion and display many of Bach’s compositional hallmarks, including antiphonal echo motives, lengthy and complex melismas, and a truly ingenious central fugue that unfolds over many minutes from the first sopranos on down to the basses.