Lutherans in the Twin Cities

NLC to perform Bach’s Mass in B minor

David Cherwien

Hailed as one of the greatest works of all time, Bach’s Mass in B minor will be performed by the National Lutheran Choir (NLC) at 7 p.m. on March 21 at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Bach’s Mass in B minor, completed just one year before his death, is a significant piece written by arguably one of the most notable Lutherans in history. The NLC will be accompanied by some of the region’s pre-eminent orchestral musicians and vocal soloists Susan Palo Cherwien, soprano; Susan Druck, alto; Matthew Anderson, tenor; and Paul Max Tipton, baritone.

David Cherwien, artistic director of the NLC said about the work: “What is it about Bach’s Mass in B minor? I’m excited about our performance as there are so many layers to unwrap. On the surface, the music is amazing. Dig deeper, and you find extraordinary musical structure. Dig deeper, and you find rich symbolism. Dig deeper and you find theology. Dig deeper and you can even find God. Is it a concert piece? Is it liturgical music? Is it a spiritual journey? The answer: what are you open to experience?”

On Saturday, March 16, the NLC joins forces with Luther Seminary offering a seminar on the music of J.S. Bach, with a focus on the B minor Mass. Dr. Christoph Wolff, a leading scholar on J. S. Bach, will lead the lecture.

The day begins at 9 a.m. with a concert of a variety of Bach works; this will be broadcast live on Minnesota Public Radio with host Michael Barone. In this program, the NLC and instrumentalists will be performing selections from the B minor Mass as a preview of the March 21 performance. Lectures and workshops continue throughout the day.

At 4 p.m., an evening prayer service concludes the day and will include a performance of Bach’s Cantata 12: “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen,” performed by a chamber orchestra and select singers of the National Lutheran Choir. Both the morning and evening performances are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Luther Seminary event, go to www.luthersem.edu/sacredmusic or call Kristin Rongstad at 651/523-1612.

For more information about Bach’s Mass in B minor, visit www.nlca.org.

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