Tag: oratorio

Concertos that laugh with joy

Some of the best concertos for multiple instruments were not called ‘concerto’ at all. Instead they take the form of a sinfonia or sonata or ouverture that opens a vocal composition, constructing the sonic tableau for the first scene, whether that scene is staged or unstaged. The church music of Johann Sebastian Bach provides many […]

The Passion reimagined

This post, for Maundy Thursday, is in a series for Lent to Easter, 2021 Passion dramas in the Lutheran tradition, designed for performance in church during Holy Week, generally adhere to the Biblical text of one of the four Gospels, much of it sung by a narrator: in this method, actual persons (Judas, Caiphas, Pilate, […]

Crucified (Holy Week, Good Friday)

For Good Friday. This is the sixth post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. In Messiah, the significance of the crucifixion — from the ‘us’ perspective, for all people — is anticipated in powerful, anthem-like choruses using Isaiah’s words: Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows … and […]

Jesus alone (Holy Week, Wednesday)

For Wednesday of Holy Week. This is the fourth post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. Isaiah 53:3: He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.Isaiah 50:6: He gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: […]

Behold the Lamb (Holy Week, Sunday)

For Palm Sunday. This is the first post in a series for Holy Week and Easter Day, 2020. Palm Sunday, when we remember Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, is commonly celebrated with joyful praise, in emulation of how Jesus was welcomed with palms and loud cheers of ‘Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is He […]

Weep with songs of sadness

Vox Luminis, performing in Auxi-le-Ch√Ęteau in 2012. In these days and weeks many people are weeping, especially from heartbreak over the loss of loved ones, friends and colleagues as the COVID-19 epidemic increasingly takes many lives in many countries — in many cases lives cut short in their prime and before their time. For each […]