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.