Com­ing up in Philly Music: A Bach mas­ter­piece for a New Year’s tradition

1 minute read
Choral Arts will take its annual NYE concert online this year. (Photo courtesy of Choral Arts Philadelphia.)
Choral Arts will take its annual NYE concert online this year. (Photo courtesy of Choral Arts Philadelphia.)

In 2014 the director of Choral Arts Philadelphia, Matthew Glandorf, took a big risk and scheduled a Bach masterpiece for New Year’s Eve, a time generally associated with more raucous forms of entertainment. The performance attracted a large, enthusiastic audience, and the Choral Arts New Year’s Eve concert has become a fixture of the Philadelphia music season. For many, it’s become a new holiday tradition. Glandorf generally schedules it for early evening or late afternoon, leaving plenty of time for other kinds of festivities.

This year, it will be presented online. A Concert of Hope features three pieces that express timeless responses to the kind of troubles we are currently experiencing. Henry Purcell’s 17th-century Te Deum is a type of religious work traditionally sung at the end of plagues and wars. Heinrich Schutz’s Tutoniam Dudum Belli was probably composed to celebrate the peace treaty that ended a murderous social breakdown, the Thirty Years War. Bach’s cantata “Nun komm der Heiden Heiland" asks for blessings on the new year.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility:

Choral Arts Philadelphia will premiere A Concert of Hope at 4pm on Thursday, December 31. Tickets are $15 and they’re available at Choral Arts Philadelphia.

Image Description: A composer stands before a large group of performers, all dressed in black, in a church hall.

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