The Choir of St. Luke in the Fields, under the direction of David Shuler, presents A Bach Christmas on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 8 p.m. at the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street. The choir will be accompanied by Baroque in the Fields, an ensemble of period instruments. There will be a lecture by Dr. David Schulenberg at 7 p.m.
This concert features two major works by J.S. Bach that he would have performed at Vespers on Christmas Day at the Nikolaikirche in 1723, his first Christmas at his new post in Leipzig - the Magnificat in E Flat Major, BWV 243a with Christmas interpolations and Cantata 63, Christen, atzet diesen Tag. Bach composed the first version of his Magnificat in 1723 in the key of E flat, and included four movements for the Christmas season to be interpolated between the standard movements of the Magnificat. There are also numerous differences in instrumentation with the later, better-known D major version. Cantata 63 is one of Bach’s most festive works, calling for four trumpets.
The Choir of St. Luke in the Fields is the resident vocal ensemble at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in New York City's historic Greenwich Village. Under the direction of David Shuler since 1988, the Choir regularly performs masses and motets dating from the fifteenth century to the present as part of the church's liturgy. They are known for their historically informed performances of Early Music. The Choir presented the North American premieres of Georg Phillip Telemann's St. Matthew Passion (1746) in 2003 and St. Luke Passion (1748) in 2013. In 2011, the ensemble gave the first New York City performance of C.P.E. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (1769). The 2015 season featured a rare performance of Handel’s Esther – his first English oratorio. Excerpts from their 2009 Music at the Sistine Chapel concert were featured on an ABC news documentary aired in May of that same year, Secrets of the Sistine - Michelangelo's Mystery. In addition, the Choir has presented a number of premieres of new works, including the New York premieres of Arvo Pärt's Berliner Messe and Missa Syllabica and Dan Locklair's Brief Mass. Their most recent recording, Music of Pierre de Manchicourt: Missa Reges Terrae and other works, was released to critical acclaim on the MSR label in September 2016.
The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields is located at 487 Hudson Street in Greenwich Village, one block south of Christopher Street. Tickets for the concert are $35, and $25 for students and senior citizens. Tickets will be available at the door or in advance at bit.ly/stluketix. For further information, ticket sales or reservations, please call 212-414-7440 or write to [email protected]
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Choir of Saint Luke in the Fields, directed by David Shuler
Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 8 p.m. (lecture at 7 p.m.)
“A Bach Christmas”
Tickets: $35 ($25 for students, seniors)
Information and reservations, (212) 414-7440, [email protected]