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Second Presbyterian Church and Shawnee State University in Portsmouth to Present J. S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion
April 14, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pmFree
Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion, called “the Mount Everest of sacred music,” will be presented at 6 p.m. on Good Friday, April 14, in the sanctuary of Second Presbyterian Church, 801 Waller Street in Portsmouth. A joint venture of the church and the Shawnee State University Choir and Chorale, the historic performance is coordinated and conducted by Dr. Stanley Workman, Second Presbyterian Church Director of Music.
The work will be presented in English in a translation by renowned choral conductor Robert Shaw, said Dr. Workman.
Accompanied by two chamber orchestras, the choral presentation depicts the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It stands as one of the pillars of Western sacred music – at once monumental and intimate, deeply sorrowful and powerful, according to Dr. Workman and Second Presbyterian Pastor Allison Bauer.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend the Good Friday presentation; admission is free.
Dr. Workman will present a lecture about the background and history of St Matthew Passion on Friday, April 7, at 3 p.m. in the Howland Recital Hall (Room 319) in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at Shawnee State University as part of the Edmund J. Kricker Lecture Series in Music.
A sacred oratorio written by J.S. Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, St Matthew Passion sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew, in the German translation of Martin Luther, to music, interspersed with chorales and arias. The full title of the work is “The Passion According to St. Matthew.”
Among the featured soloists for the upcoming local performance are Justin Wiget, tenor; William Meriwether, baritone; Natalee Swallows, soprano; Brittany Keys, soprano; Michelle Imes, mezzo-soprano; Paul Wetzig, tenor; Jonnie Carpathios, tenor and Loren Reash-Henz, bass.
“The word “Passion,” often capitalized, refers to the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death,” explained Reverend Bauer. “or an oratorio based on a gospel narrative of the Passion. “But anyone who knows the Passion story knows that it is a tale filled with suffering; a tale filled with emotions, not reason; the ultimate tale of love and emotion.”
“We are pleased to make historic sacred music available to our community here in Portsmouth,” Reverend Bauer said, “and we hope to see many Second Presbyterian members, friends, community residents and out-of-town visitors in our pews on Good Friday to enjoy this extraordinary experience.”