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Save the Dates for our Upcoming Choral Feast Sundays
Sunday, August 4
BACH’S “SINGET DEM HERNN”
Upon hearing this work at Bach’s own Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Mozart exclaimed, “Now there is music from which one can learn something.” And learn he did, taking advantage of the occasion to create a score for himself by copying out all eight choir parts.
Sunday, September 8
PALESTRINA: MISSA PAPAE MARCELLI
The most celebrated of his hundreds of sacred choral masterpieces, this Mass is the quintessential work of the Counter-Reformation, showing that polyphony could have the clarity and prayerfulness of chant, while robed in the splendor of the high Renaissance.
Sunday, October 6
BENJAMIN BRITTEN: REJOICE IN THE LAMB
In the personal theology of Saint Francis of Assisi, all living things praise the almighty. On his feast day, revel in this brilliant cantata’s exploration of these themes and others, through the music of Benjamin Britten and the visionary poetry of Christopher Smart, whose life and outlook bear remarkable kinship to the great friar.
Sunday, November 17
FRANZ SCHUBERT: MASS NO. 4 IN C MAJOR, D.452
Schubert’s sacred music for choir and orchestra carry the torch of Viennese classicism handed to him by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Written at age 19, this work was one of his favorites, and he revised and perfected it over the course of a decade before it became his only published Mass.
A Choral Feast
A Choral Feast is a Sunday 11 am service whose music celebrates a specific theme, composer, or a major choral work, often with instrumentalists joining St. Bartholomew's Choir.
Choral masterworks in Liturgy
Almost all of the greatest composers of the western musical canon have written music for use in worship, including major works such as Mass settings and Canatas. Over the years, St. Bartholomew's has distinguished itself as a musical destination by including hundreds of such works, often with chamber orchestra, as a part of our communal worship. Through A Choral Feast, we endeavor to present these great masterworks as they were originally intended by their creators: offered not in concert, but rather as a part of worship, in gratitude to the almighty.
This year's featured works have included Vierne's Messe Solennelle, Mozart's Missa Brevis in B-flat (K.275), Mendelssohn's Deutsche Liturgie and music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Recent Choral Feasts have celebrated Americana for July 4th, music of gay composers for Pride Weekend, themes of heroism and service for Memorial Day. They sometimes mark red letter days in the cycle of the church year, such as the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, or All Saints Day.
This year's featured composers include Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and Tomas Luis da Victoria, among others.
We sometimes combine choirs for A Choral Feast, adding St. Bart's Singers or our Boy & Girl Choristers to St. Bartholomew's Choir, our professional choral ensemble that sings for the 11am service each Sunday. Our magnificent Aeolian-Skinner organ is always a featured part of our musical offerings, including c.10 minutes of solo organ music before the service, as well as a featured work to conclude worship.
"All are to be welcomed as Christ," wrote St. Benedict. We endeavor to welcome visitors not only into community and connection, but indeed to a feast.