St. Bart's Summer Festival Continues with SINCERE IN MEMORIAM, Opt. 187

St. Bart's Summer Festival Continues with SINCERE IN MEMORIAM, Opt. 187

The 23rd annual Summer Festival continues on Sunday, July 9, at 11 am with a performance of Josef Gabriel Rheinberger's Missa Sincere in Memoriam, Op. 187 for women's choir and organ.

Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901) was a German organist and composer, born in Lichtenstein. At an early age, Rheinberger showed extraordinary musical ability. At age seven, he served as organist for his parish church in Vaduz. At the age of 12, he entered the Munich Conservatory, where he eventually became Professor of Piano and Composition. A influential teacher, he numbered among his pupils the German composers Engelbert Humperdinck and Wilhelm Furtwängler (also, well known as a conductor) and the American composers Horatio Parker, William Berwald and George Chadwick. Rheinberger was also a prolific composer. His sacred works include twelve masses, a requiem and a Stabat Mater. His substantial compositions for organ include 20 sonatas, 22 trios, 12 meditations and 24 fughettos.

His Missa Sincere in Memoriam, Op. 187 was composed in 1897 in memory of Johannes Brahms. It is scored for a choir of women's voices in three parts and organ. It possesses unparalleled maturity within the great German Romantic choral tradition from a composer whose works have been compared to that of Felix Mendelssohn.

The Women of St. Bartholomew's Choir will be conducted by William K. Trafka. Jason Roberts will be the organist.

The Summer Festival of Sacred Music takes place each Sunday morning at 11 am at St. Bartholomew's Church during the summer months. At a time when most churches reduce their musical offerings, St. Bartholomew's Church provides outstanding sacred music sung by St. Bartholomew's Choir and Boy and Girl Choristers, two of New York City's most renowned choirs. Works include an array of mass settings from the 15th century to the present embracing a diversity of cultures from around the world. The music is sung as part of the Eucharist or Mass, the liturgical context for which it was composed. All Summer Festival events are free and open to the public.

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