published Friday, March 18th, 2011

Choral tribute to ‘King of Instruments’


What: Chattanooga Bach Choir concert.

When: 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Church of the Good Shepherd, 211 Franklin Road, Lookout Mountain.

Admission: Free but $15 donation requested.

Website: www.chatta noogabach

The Chattanooga Bach Choir salutes the organ in its spring concert, “King of Instruments,” Sunday afternoon at Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain.

David Long will direct 35 singers in a program of music from Brahms to Benjamin Britten. All the selected pieces are written for choir accompanied by one or two organs with no other instrumentation. The singers will be accompanied by organists Karla Fowkes and John Wigal.

“Though most of the selections are suitable for the Lenten season, Britten’s ‘Rejoice in the Lamb’ is remarkable for its unabashed oddness,” said Dabney Carden, choir administrative assistant.

“The piece takes its text from the poetry of 15th-century writer and asylum inmate Christopher Smart, whose devout nature caused him to burst into prayer at any place or time and who found insights into the love and mercy of God in unusual containers, including mice, his cat, the letters of the alphabet, a variety of musical instruments and his own confinement for insanity.”

“Messe Solonelle,” another featured piece on the program written for two organs and choir, is the work of Louis Vierne. Concertgoers can hear the grief that tormented Vierne throughout his life (near blindness and the losses of his brother and son) in the music.

Other pieces on the program include “Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge” by Vaughan Williams, based on Psalm 90; “Wash Me Throughly” by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, a romantic piece based on Psalm 51; and Samuel Barber’s “Agnus Dei,” an arrangement of his famous “Adagio for Strings” that was transcribed for choir. It was performed in the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Featured soloists in the concert will be Rachael Henderson, Laurie Cooper, Robert Sauser, Teri Johnson, Sonya Henry and Christopher Oglesby.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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