Choral Music Premieres

Sundays in March


Sunday mornings are the perfect time to introduce some choral music for worship. La Petite Bande performs two Bach Ascension Oratorios recorded at the famous annual Bachfest in Leipzig. Händel will provide other baroque works such as the Brockes-Passion and his early two-part oratorio The Triumph of Time and Truth. On March 17 Stingray Brava will make a sidestep from baroque and dive into the 20th century with the first broadcast of Britten’s beloved War Requiem!

March 3 at 14:00 | Händel - Brockes-Passion

The Apollo Ensemble performs Händel’s Brockes-Passion (HWV 48) in the Oudhoornse Kerk in Alphen aan de Rijn, The Netherlands. The Brockes-Passion is a German oratorio libretto by Barthold Heinrich Brockes first published in 1712 and revised multiple times in the years after. Brockes was an influential German poet who re-worked the traditional form of the Passion oratorio, adding reflective and descriptive poetry into the texture of the Passion. The most famous setting of the text is by Händel. It is not known exactly why or when the composer set the text of the Brockes-Passion, which was already used by other composers, but it is known the work was performed in Hamburg in 1719. Händel's Brockes-Passion is said to be a worthy contribution to the genre, with passages of great beauty, such as the duet for Mary and her son. Bach was influenced by the work in his famous St John Passion.

March 10 at 11:30 | Händel - Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno

Emmanuelle Haim conducts Le Concert d’Astrée in a rendition of G. F. Handel’s two-part oratorio “Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno” (The Triumph of Time and Truth). The work with a libretto by Benedetto Pamphili was first performed in Rome, in 1707. Director Krzysztof Warlikowski has taken Handel’s first oratorio, written when the composer was only 22 years old, on in a deep, tender staging. In this oratorio, the characters Time and Disillusion try to convince Beauty to abandon Pleasure for less fleeting gratifications. Sabine Devieilhe is unquestionably the star that carries the show, always impressive in technique, range and timbre. Her sparring and harmonizing with Franco Fagioli is magnificent. Other soloists are Michael Spyres and Sara Mingardo. Recorded at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2016.

March 17 at 11: 35 | Britten - War Requiem

Paul McCreesh conducts the Orquesta Gulbenkian and Coro Infantil da Academia de Música de Sana Cecília in a performance of Benjamin Britten’s (1913-1976) War Requiem, Op. 66. Soloists are Tatiana Pavlovskaya (soprano), John Mark Ainsley (tenor) and Hanno Müller-Brachmann (bass).  Recorded at the Grande Auditorio Gulbenkian in Lisbon in 2014 and directed by Yan Proefrock. The War Requiem was performed for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962. Traditional Latin texts are interspersed with extra-liturgical poems by Wilfred Owen. Britten scored the requiem for soprano, tenor and baritone, a chorus and boys' choir, organ and an orchestra and chamber orchestra. The chamber orchestra accompanies the settings of English poetry, while the voices and orchestra are used for the Latin sections.

March 24 at 11:30 | J.S. & C.P.E. Bach: Ascension Oratorios

Sigiswald Kuijken conducts baroque ensemble La Petite Bande and the Ex Tempora choir during the Bachfest 2004 in the St. Nicolas Church in Leipzig. Since 1999, the Bachfest has been one of the most important music festivals for the performance of Bach’s music. This concert opens with J. S. Bach’s Ascension Oratorio “Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen” (BWV 11). The work was written in 1735 and would be the composer’s final contribution to the genre. The oratorio is so short that in 1852 it was accidentally classified as a cantata by the Bach Gesamtausgabe. The concert proceeds with “Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu” (Wq 240), an oratorio by Bach’s most famous son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Soloists are Sophie Karthäuser (soprano), Patrizia Hardt (alto), Christoph Einhorn (tenor), Christoph Genz (tenor), Jan van der Crabben (baritone) en Stephan Genz (bass).