I don’t know when it began really, but the music from the Baroque Era has been one of my favorite styles of music for a very long time. Its appeal led to my immersion in the music and craft of the period for over 15 years when I was a harpsichord builder. This music has a particular sense of beauty and order, of movement and expression that I find very enriching and moving. One of the times I find this music most meaningful is the Advent and Christmas season. So this year the choir and orchestra will be bringing to our worship a Baroque Christmas.
Gloria in excelsis Deo! Thus, in a grad flourish with an orchestra of strings, trumpet, oboe, bassoon, and keyboard, begins the famous “Gloria” by Antonio Vivaldi. This piece was composed for the chorus and orchestra at the Ospedale della Pietà, a convent, orphanage, and music school in Venice where Vivaldi was employed. The text of the “Gloria” comes from a hymn whose words probably date from the 4th Century and which are an integral part of the Ordinary of the Mass and, in some form, in all communion services.
This beautiful work will be the centerpiece of our Christmas Music service at the 10:30 service on December 10th. The service will also include “The Christmas Gospel,” a Baroque setting from the 17th century of Luke’s Christmas story by Martin Mayer with guest soloists Charles King, Mariami Bekauri, and Marilla Lipker-Gonzalez. The Overture from Handel’s Messiah and the Pastorale from Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto played by the orchestra will be the Prelude and Offertory for the service. As the response to the Benediction, the choir will sing the final chorus and hallelujah fugue from Philipp Heinrich Erlebach’s cantata “Siehe, ich verkuendige euch grosse Freude.”
Come and join us on December 10th for this service celebrating the promise and birth of Jesus!