Bach at the Sem opens 23rd season Oct. 4
Bach at the Sem enters its 23rd season Sunday, Oct. 4, at 3 p.m. at Concordia Seminary with a selection of works by J. S. Bach performed by the American Kantorei under Music Director Dr. Maurice Boyer.
Featured in the program are two complete cantatas, Herr Christ, der ein’ge Gottessohn, BWV 96 (Lord Christ, the only Son of God) and Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ, BWV 67 (Keep in memory Jesus Christ), along with a duet for soprano and alto from Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BWV 9 (no. 5 – Lord, instead of good works, You look at the faith in our hearts), and concluding with a vibrant chorus from Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens, BWV 148 (Bring to the Lord the glory of His name).
“Experiencing Bach recalls us to the truth that the Word is viva vox evangelii, the living voice of the Gospel,” said Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer. “The genius of Bach lifts texts from print to cut to the heart, bringing us before the One who judges but also forgives and saves.”
Three more concerts fill out the schedule for the 2015-16 season: Dec. 13, Feb. 7, and May 15. Highlights include Advent and Christmas cantatas in December: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland and Dazu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes. In February, the American Kantorei perform three complete cantatas: Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott; Komm, du süßes Todesstunde; and Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn. The concluding concert in May on the Feast of Pentecost features Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen and O ewiges Feuer. Also featured in the season are a selection of arias from cantatas, a solo work for violin, and several organ works. All concerts begin at 3 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus.
The American Kantorei, the performing group of Bach at the Sem, was founded in 1969 by its first musical director, the Rev. Robert Bergt, a member of the Concordia Seminary faculty. Following a hiatus of some 20 years, the Kantorei was resurrected in 1993 and has since presented to the communities of Concordia Seminary and St. Louis at large over 100 concerts of the music of premier Lutheran composer Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as music of Schütz, Buxtehude, Mendelssohn and other Lutheran composers.