Oratorio Chorale

Bach +

Oratorio Chorale Chamber Choir Presents Bach +

with members of the St. Mary Schola and Bruce Fithian, continuo, Philip Carlsen, cello, and Timothy Burris, lute

Saturday, February 25, 2017, 7:30 p.m., St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Falmouth
Sunday, February 26, 2017, 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Brunswick

In celebration of the Oratorio Chorale’s partnership with the Portland Bach Festival, the Oratorio Chorale Chamber Choir presents Bach +, a concert featuring two Baroque vocal masterworks: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jesu Meine Freude, one of his most beloved and intricate vocal works, and Heinrich Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien, which inspired the composition of Brahms’s Requiem 200 years later.

Describing the program, Artistic Director Emily Isaacson notes:

“During a devastating period in European history, when communities were destroyed by the Thirty Years War, the Plague, or both, Prince Heinrich von Reuss turned to music for clarity, comfort, and hope. He commissioned his friend, the composer Heinrich Schütz, to compose funeral music for his own, inevitable death. Nearly a century later, J. S. Bach would build upon Schütz’s ideas to explore personal grief.  At the age of ten Bach became an orphan, and by his mid-thirties he had lost his wife and three young children.  In Jesu, meine Freude, Bach explores emotions from his own experiences with death.

“But this music is not mournful; rather, it is celebratory. It is hard for us today to fathom the meaning of death for Christians of that era. Death was a reward, for death meant peace. Musikalische Exequien and Jesu, meine Freude celebrate life, faith, community, and the human capacity for joy.”

The chamber choir, a 30-voice ensemble drawn from the full Chorale, is the choir-in-residence for the Portland Bach Festival. They present Bach+ with members of the St. Mary Schola, a professional early music ensemble devoted to the performance of music from the medieval, renaissance, and baroque eras.

Featured instrumentalists are St. Mary Schola director Bruce Fithian, who will provide continuo accompaniment, with Philip Carlsen, cello, and Timothy Burris, lute.


Individual concert tickets: Adults $20 advance, $25 at the door if space available. Students: $10 advance, $12.50 at the door. Children under 12 are free if accompanied by a ticketed adult, but tickets are required for seating.

To purchase advance tickets:
or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006

For more information:  
www.oratoriochorale.org or call 207-577-3931


Concert Sponsor: Brann & Isaacson
Partner: The Highlands
Season Concert Sponsors: Androscoggin Bank • HeadInvest • Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, Alexa Oestreicher & Joi Kressbach
Season Underwriters: Diversified Asset Planners • Penmor Lithographers • New England Cancer Specialists

Additional funding provided by the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust