Coming up in Philly music: Bach and Smith @ 7

Members of Choral Arts Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Bach Collegium on New Year's Eve 2017. (Photo by Sharon Torello.)

The Wednesday evening Bach@7 series is once again programming a Bach cantata with relevant works by other composers. The cantata for the January program will be a festive celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation, enlivened by horns, oboes, and two solo violin parts. It will share the spotlight with four specially arranged selections from a 21st-century tour de force: 2008’s Epiphany Vespers, composed by Kile Smith (who’s also a longtime BSR contributor).

Smith wrote the Epiphany Vespers for Piffaro, which plays Renaissance instruments, and created a thoroughly modern piece for instruments that became obsolete 400 years ago. For this performance (commissioned by Choral Arts Philadelphia’s artistic director, Matthew Glandorf), he’s arranged four sections for the same group of Baroque instruments Bach used in his Annunciation cantata. You can read Smith’s comments on the new version here.

The Bach@7 programs last about an hour, and they’re followed by a reception that features wines donated by one of the Delaware Valley’s leading wine companies. The series has become one of the city’s best midweek breaks, an ideal event for Philadelphians who like a little depth with their socializing.

Bach@Seven presents Bach’s Wie Schon Leuchtet der Morgenstern (How Beautifully the Morning Star Shines) with selections from Kile Smith’s Epiphany Vespers on January 31 at 7pm at St. Clement’s Church, 2013 Appletree Street, Philadelphia. Admission is pay what you wish, with a $25 suggested donation. For more information, visit Choral Arts Philadelphia online or call 267-240-2586.

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