The Bach Society of Saint Louis is participating in a 500th anniversary commemoration concert drawing inspiration from the Reformation. The Reformation was a schism from the Roman Catholic Church initiated by Martin Luther in 1517.
“I think [Luther’s] influence in the area of music was probably just as powerful as it was in theology,” said Dennis Sparger, music director and conductor of the Bach Society. “He praised music to the highest level and really encouraged us all to use all of our music to praise God.”
The organization is opening its season with the Reformation observation. The program includes Bach’s Reformation cantata Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott and Heinrich Schütz’s Psalm 136 as well as an opportunity for the audience to join in Reformation hymns.
In its entirety, the concert program represents 500 years of music ranging from music of Luther’s time to 21st century musical settings of texts by Luther.
Some of the earlier selections include polyphonic music that would have been sung in 1517.
“Polyphonic means all four voice parts of a typical choir – soprano, alto, tenor, bass – would be singing different melodies at the same time and the composer would craft the music so it would all flow together and make sense to the ear,” Sparger said.
Local Catholics and Lutherans are also holding commemoration and dialogue efforts about the Reformation.
What: Bach Society of Saint Louis Presents "Music of the Reformation"
When: Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.
Where: First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, 100 East Adams Ave., Kirkwood, MO 63122
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