Chattanoooga Bach Choir and Orchestra Delighting audiences with Classical and Baroque choral music since 1985

Cantata BWV 80 on October 29


J.S. Bach Cantata BWV 80, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
Mendelssohn Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt (Psalm 100)

The Chattanooga Bach Choir, David Long artistic director, announces its 2017-18 Barnett & Company Cantata Series, featuring four concerts focusing on J.S. Bach’s significant and celebrated choral works. The first concert takes place on Sunday, October 29 at 4:00 p.m., at Christ Church Episcopal (663 Douglas Street, Chattanooga). Admission is $15; Students are free.

Celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the program features Johann Sebastian Bach’s festive Cantata BWV 80, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A mighty fortress is our God) based on Martin Luther’s famous hymn. Completing the hour-long program are Felix Mendelssohn’s a cappella setting of Psalm 100, Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt (Exult in the Lord, all the world); and an organ prelude based on Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott by Johann Gottfried Walther, a contemporary of Bach’s. Joining the Bach Choir are soloists: Cynthia Johnson, soprano; Andrea Dismukes, alto; James Harr, tenor; Zachary James Cavan, bass; and Karla Fowkes, organ.

David Long notes, “October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the date in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. We celebrate Reformation Sunday with a performance of Bach’s festive cantata BWV 80, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, along with a chorale prelude for solo organ based on this same Lutheran hymn by Johann Gottfried Walther, a musicologist and organist who was also Bach’s cousin. Paired with these is a joyful and heartfelt unaccompanied setting in German of Psalm 100 Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt by Felix Mendelssohn, who was also associated with the Protestant church and championed the revival of interest in Bach’s music in the 19 th century.”

The Bach Choir’s Barnett & Company Cantata Series explores J.S. Bach’s more than 250 cantatas written for every Sunday in the church year. David Long introduces each Cantata with a brief musical explanation placing each work in its liturgical context. The series continues in 2018 with three Sunday concerts: January 21: Cantata, BWV 73, Herr, wie du willt, so schick’s mit mir (3 rd Sunday after Epiphany); February 18: Handel: Chandos Anthem, No. 3 Have Mercy upon Me, O God (Psalm 51); May 20: Cantata, BWV 74 Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten (Pentecost Sunday). All concerts take place at Christ Church Episcopal at 4 p.m.

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