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Boston Baroque to Present DE PROFUNDIS at New England Conservatory, 3/8-9

Related: Boston Baroque, De Profundis, New England Conservatory

Three-time Grammy-nominated Boston Baroque and its Music Director, Martin Pearlman, will present "De Profundis" on Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9, 2013 at 8:00 PM at New England Conservatory's acoustically acclaimed Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough Street, Boston). A pre-concert talk with musicologist Laura Stanfield Prichard will begin at 7:00 PM. The program will feature the orchestra and chorus of Boston Baroque performing Carissimi's Jephte, Charpentier's Missa assumpta est Maria, J.S. Bach's Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, Actus Tragicus, BWV 106 and Handel's Chandos Anthem No. 8: O come, let us sing unto the Lord!

Individual reserved-seat tickets priced at $76.00, $60.00, $42.00 and $22.00 are available at www.bostonbaroque.org. Jordan Hall is wheelchair accessible.

"The sonority of the music in this concert is rich and amazing," notes Martin Pearlman. "'De Profundis' ('Out of the Depths') is deeply moving music that is also designed to put the focus on our popular chorus. The early Bach cantata, written for a funeral, has an extraordinary sonority with just two recorders, two gambas and organ along with the chorus. But the Carissimi and Charpentier also are strikingly rich and luminous. The Handel Chandos Anthem, also a youthful work, ends the concert on a brilliant note."

Giacomo Carissimi's Jephte is an expressive and poignant oratorio which relates the consequences of Jephte's wartime bargain with God leading to the sacrifice of his only daughter. Considered Carissimi's finest work in the oratorio form, Jephte or Historia di Jephte is an important example of the mid-seventeenth-century form composed around 1650 (probably 1648). Based on the story of Jephtha in the Old Testament Book of Judges, the work follows what is considered the classic early baroque oratorio form, with a Biblical text related by the chorus and featuring solos from within the chorus.

French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier studied with Carissimi in Rome. His harmonically rich and introspective Missa assumpta est Maria was first performed at the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, probably during the feast of the Assumption in 1699. This piece is the last of Charpentier's many mass settings and is considered his greatest work in the genre.

Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (God's time is the very best time), also known as Actus Tragicus, is a sacred cantata composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and intended for a funeral. Although Bach's manuscript is lost, the work is agreed to be one of the earliest Bach cantatas, probably composed during the year he spent in Mühlhausen, Germany in 1707and 1708, when he was the organist of the St. Blasius Church. Various funerals known to have taken place at this time have been proposed as the occasion for the composition, for example that of Adolf Strecker, former mayor of Mühlhausen, in 1708, or that of an uncle of Bach's who died in Erfurt in 1707. There are two distinct parts to the cantata: the view of the Old Testament on death shown in the first part is confronted by the second part, representing the view of the New Testament; the separation of the old from the new determines the symmetrical structure of the cantata.

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