The Chattanooga Bach Choir opens its 35th season of Masterworks concerts on Saturday night, Nov. 16, with Choral Masterpieces Based on Gregorian Chant. David Long will conduct the concert in St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Choral Masterpieces Based on Gregorian Chant will feature Maurice Duruflé's Requiem (chamber orchestra version) and a cappella works including "Missa Pange lingua" by Josquin des Pres and settings of "Ubi Caritas et Amor" by Duruflé, Ola Gjeilo and Paul Mealor. The Bach Choir and Orchestra will be joined by guest artist Paul Thomas, organist at St. Paul's.
Long describes a Gregorian chant as unaccompanied sacred song created in the early days of the Christian church that became the foundation of Western liturgical music.
If you go
› What: Choral Masterpieces Based on Gregorian Chant
› Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St.
› When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16
› Admission: $25, students free
› For more information: www.chattanoogabachchoir.org
"Our program features choral works from the Renaissance to the present that set or incorporate these chants in music that expresses the calm, meditative atmosphere of prayers. We start in the a cappella tradition with the profoundly beautiful 'Missa Pange lingua' by Renaissance composer de Pres, in which he uses the hymn 'Pange Lingua Gloriosi' (Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory) by St. Thomas Aquinas to create one of his most famous mass settings.
"The chant 'Ubi Caritas et Amor' (Where Charity and Love are, there God is) dates from the earliest days of the Christian church and is also found in Anglican and Lutheran liturgies. The Bach Choir will perform 'Ubi Caritas' in three modern motets. The second half of our program is devoted to Duruflé's Requiem, a sonically gorgeous 20th century re-creation of the essence of Gregorian style for solo voice, mixed chorus, chamber orchestra and organ."
The Requiem is based on Gregorian chant melodies from the Mass for the Dead, yet Duruflé infuses the work with peace and comfort and leaves listeners with a mood of hope.
Concertmaster Mark Reneau leads the Bach Choir Orchestra.