The Cathedral of St. John the Divine presents its seventh season of Great Music in a Great Space (GMGS) under the direction of Kent Tritle, Director of Cathedral Music. This seventh season explores the physical space of the Cathedral, located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), its history, and its symbolic resonance. Featuring a broad spectrum of choral and instrumental music in the Cathedral’s grand and inspiring Gothic interior, this season of choral and organ performances draws inspiration from both the great composers of centuries past and from the Cathedral’s longstanding tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees into its sacred space.
Musica Sacra, the longest continuously performing professional chorus in New York City, enriches this season with two concerts: one in the fall focusing on the music of Bach, Brahms and more; and in the spring, a concert contrasting Franco-Flemish ancient works with those of contemporary American composers. Both performances will be enlivened by pre-concert recitals by the Concert Chorus of the Newark Boys Chorus School.
J.S. Bach’s motets are signature works of Musica Sacra; at this concert we feature two of his most exuberant works, Fürchte dich nicht, BWV 228 and Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226. These works are quintessential Baroque motets, and joyful dances permeate the rich choral textures. Heinrich Schütz, one of Bach’s predecessors, composed marvelous psalms for double choir, and these show the influence of the Dresden court on the works of Bach. Brahms’ motet Ich aber bin elend is written in the Venetian Baroque style, echoing Schütz’s own Venetian influences. Rounding out the program are two sumptuous motets by Anton Bruckner – musical jewels of the Romantic era.
Pre-concert recital by the Concert Chorus of the Newark Boys Chorus School
Johann Sebastian Bach
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226
Fürchte dich nicht, BWV 228
Three selections from Psalmen Davids, Op. 2
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, SWV 35
Die mit Tränen säen, SWV 42
Jauchzet dem Herren, SWV 36
Fest und Gedenksprüche, Op.109
Ich aber bin elend, Op.110, No.1