Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Caritas to debut May choral festival

Celebrate spring with the music of choral masters

Express Staff Writer

Sometimes spring needs musical inspiration in the Wood River Valley. Celebrating the coming of spring, Caritas Chorale will have its spring concert to introduce its first "experimental" spring choral festival.

"It is slack time, it's still iffy weather and it's a good time for something to go on," said Caritas Chorale director Dick Brown. "Eventually the festival will draw regional choirs and concerts."

The spring show will begin a week of choral performances, beginning with Johann Sebastian Bach's Cantata No. 4 "Christ Lag in Todesbanden" and George Frideric Handel's "Coronation Anthem No. 4."

"We call it a concert of renewal because the Bach is an Easter Cantata, which is about the triumph of life over death and the vanquishing of darkness," Brown said. "It is one of Bach's most difficult works and it is based on a hymn he wrote when he was 17 or 18 years old around 1702."

Though Bach was very young when he wrote Cantata No. 4, the piece is sophisticated for its time. Brown said the singers and string players have top-notch skills to perform this work and the arias and duets are sung by the entire Caritas Chorale.

"Handel's work is one of his most triumphant, and he wrote it as a series of four coronation anthems to be used for the coronation of England's King Geroge II," Brown said. "It had to be very elaborate."

The two works by Bach and Handel complement each other. Performances will take place Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3, at 3 p.m. at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ketchum. In addition, on Thursday, May 7, David Tacher will play a harpsichord recital at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Church with music by Domenico Scarlatti from 1685.

The performance is a benefit concert for the Barry Keller Fund and has a suggested donation of $20 at the door.

The week will wrap up on Saturday, May 9, at 3 p.m. at St. Thomas with an Anam Cara performance with chamber choir music by Heinrich Schütz.

"I've been dreaming in German," Brown said with a laugh. "It's a heavy German week of music but this will be an annual event and eventually we will have guest high school choirs and other community choirs."

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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