Choir pays tribute to Haydn, Mendelssohn

Choir pays tribute to Haydn, Mendelssohn

March 29th, 2009 by Susan Pierce in Local - Breaking News

Contributed Photo -- Chattanooga Bach Choir

Contributed Photo -- Chattanooga Bach Choir

The Chattanooga Bach Choir will celebrate bicentennial anniversaries of composers Franz Joseph Haydn and Felix Mendelssohn with a concert today at 3:30 p.m. in First Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The singers will be accompanied by a 17-piece chamber orchestra and organist Karla Fowkes.

Haydn, a master of instrumental and choral music, died in 1809, the year in which Mendelssohn was born. .

"They both are considered major composers and many people across the world are observing anniversaries of both with performances," said David Long, choir director. "There is somewhat of a connection in that Haydn was Austrian and Mendelssohn was German, countries next to each other, so Mendelssohn would have been aware of Haydn's music," he said.

The choir will perform Mendelssohn's 'Richte mich, Gott,' a setting of Psalm 43, said Long.

"Psalm 43 is for eight-part chorus (two soprano parts, two alto, two tenor, two bass) with lots of close harmony, big music, sung a cappella. It takes its text from Psalm 43," said the director.

"Verlieh uns Frieden" is a short but beautiful chorale-cantata that reflects Mendelssohn's romanticism and the harmonies of Bach," said Dabney Carden, choir administrator. "Bach's works, laid aside as old-fashioned after his death, were revived largely through Mendelssohn's efforts."

Soprano Rachael Henderson will be the soloist on "Hear My Prayer," a setting of Psalm 55. The work, which is for organ and chorus, also will feature Fowkes.

After intermission, the choir will present Haydn's "Theresienmesse," or Maria Theresa Mass. The mass is the fourth of the last six masses the composer wrote toward the end of his life.

Soloists featured in the mass will be Desiree Earl Soteres, soprano and native Chattanoogan who performs with opera companies across the country; Penny Tullock, alto; Darrin Hassevoort, tenor; and Brett Hyberger, baritone.

Although admission is free, a $15 donation is suggested to benefit the choir. Carden said students with valid ID will be admitted with no expectation of any contribution.

For more information, check the choir's Web site at

If You Go

What: Chattanooga Bach Choir concert.

When: 3:30 p.m. today.

Where: First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1505 N. Moore Road.

Admission: Free, but $15 donation suggested.

Web site: www.chattanooga