The Glorious Mysteries: Music of Biber and Lassus


Church of Saint Luke in the Fields
487 Hudson Street New York
United States
Thursday, May 03, 2018

Violinist Leah Gale Nelson and the Choir of St. Luke in the Fields, under the direction of David Shuler, present The Glorious Mysteries: Music of Biber and Lassus on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 8 p.m. at the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street.  There will be a lecture by Dr. Rebecca Cypess at 7 p.m.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz van Biber (1664-1704), the preeminent violin virtuoso of the 17th-century and Kapellmeister of Salzburg’s beautiful baroque cathedral, left a body of extraordinary works for the violin, most notably his Mystery Sonatas (also called the Rosary Sonatas). St. Luke's resident baroque violinist Leah Nelson will present the set representing the “Glorious Mysteries” of the Rosary. The program will also include motets for the season by Renaissance master Orlande de Lassus.  The texts of the Lassus motets are based on the subjects of the Rosary Sonatas.

Baroque violinist Leah Gale Nelson is a familiar face to New York early music audiences, specializing in historical performance practice since the mid-1990's.  She has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and leader throughout North America and in Europe, and has led landmark performances in New York City, including U.S. premieres of passions by Telemann (Luke, 1748; Matthew, 1746) and C.P.E. Bach (Matthew, 1769) at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields where she is Artist in Residence.  She has served as concertmaster for Gotham Chamber Opera, Aspen Festival Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater, as guest director for Lyra Baroque Orchestra in Minneapolis, and performed with Boston Camerata, Musica Angelica (LA), the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Skid Rococo, the Opera Theatre Company of Dublin, and for the Scarlatti Festival in Palermo, Sicily.  Her critically acclaimed recording of Biber's "Rosary Sonatas" (Biber: The Sacred Mysteries) was released in 2011 by Lyrichord, with the Oxford Journal Early Music hailing it "an elegant and beautiful recording."

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.   In the fall of 2018, they will release a recording of Palestrina’s Missa Tu es Petrus and motets, also on the MSR label.

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  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.



Violinist Leah Gale Nelson and the Choir of Saint Luke in the Fields, directed by David Shuler
Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 8 p.m. (lecture at 7 p.m.)
“The Glorious Mysteries: Music of Biber and Lassus”

Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, NYC

Tickets: $35 ($25 for students, seniors)

Information and reservations, (212) 414-7440, [email protected]


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