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Early Music >> Chicago Area Early Music >> Chicago Bach Project Bach Mass in B Minor March 27
(Message started by: Nat Silverman on Mar 11th, 2013, 4:21pm)

Title: Chicago Bach Project Bach Mass in B Minor March 27
Post by Nat Silverman on Mar 11th, 2013, 4:21pm
Soli Deo Gloria, Inc.
800 Roosevelt Road, A-100
Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137
Office: 630-984-4300

For Immediate Release
Attn: Music, Arts & Entertainment Editors

Chicago Bach Project to Present J.S. Bach's
Monumental ‘Mass in B Minor’ on March 27
at St. Vincent de Paul Church

John Nelson to Conduct Renowned Soloists,
Choir, and Orchestra in Newest Installment
of Sacred Masterworks Cycle

Jane Henschel, International Mezzo-Soprano,
to Make Chicago Debut

Soprano Nicole Cabell, Chicago-Based Opera Star,
to Make Return Appearance in Soli Deo Gloria’s
Easter-Season Series

Editors: Photos are available. Please email natsilv@aol.com or call (847) 328-4292

Glen Ellyn IL, March 7, 2013 — The Chicago Bach Project will present the third installment in its three-part cycle of J.S. Bach’s monumental sacred masterworks when Grammy award-winner John Nelson conducts Bach’s Mass in B Minor at 8 p.m. on March 27 at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 1010 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, presented by Glen Ellyn, Ill., based Soli Deo Gloria.

Soloists will include soprano Nicole Cabell, Chicago-based international opera star; American-born, Europe-based dramatic mezzo-soprano Jane Henschel; distinguished American tenor Stanford Olsen; and English bass-baritone Matthew Brook. Musical forces will include the Chicago Bach Choir and Orchestra. Chorus master is Donald Nally, former chorus master at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Henschel, an opera singer and concert soloist of international stature, will make her Chicago debut in the March 27 performance.

Henschel has made 100 appearances with England's Royal Opera at Covent Garden.  Recent major U.S. appearances include the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2012 concert staging of Richard Strauss’s opera Elektra. The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “Jane Henschel’s mezzo, extremely powerful and communicative, was the rarest of pleasures. Here is a singer for whom all musical decision flows from the text — with a low range that seems to come with its own resonance chamber.”

Nelson says he hasn't worked with Henschel before, but has frequently heard her sing. “She is a consummate musician and a very sensitive singer,” he says.

Cabell and Olsen sang in the Chicago Bach Project’s 2011 St. Matthew Passion. Brook sang in the 2012 St. John Passion.

“Nicole Cabell is really one of the most gorgeous soprano voices of our time,” says Nelson, who has conducted at many of the world’s major opera houses, including the Metropolitan and Chicago Lyric Operas. “Hers is just a golden, golden instrument.”

Nelson says Brook has “an extraordinary intelligence behind his singing.  He has a passion that’s also extraordinary.  He has this music in his head and in his heart.”

The conductor calls Olsen “one of the great lyric tenors of our time.  His voice is perfection in this kind of music.”

A pinnacle of western classical music, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, BWV 232, has been described by music scholars and critics as “remarkable,” “profound” and “a cathedral in sound.”  The work consists of more than two dozen choral and solo numbers — choruses, arias, and duets. Some of the movements feature violin and other instruments in semi-solo “obbligato” roles. Bach wrote the component parts of his Mass in B Minor from 1723 until just before his death in 1750.  He never lived to hear the complete work. National Public Radio commentator Ted Libbey wrote that the Mass in B Minor “is as lofty in design, scope and expression as anything written by the hand of man.”

Nelson, who has conducted most of the world’s great orchestras, has made interpreting the great sacred choral literature central to his work. He has conducted the Mass in B Minor in Paris, San Francisco, Dallas, and Lisbon, Portugal, among many other locations.

The March 27 concert will be Nelson’s first Mass in B Minor in Chicago.

“My own vision of the work is at once dramatic and at once spiritual,” Nelson said in a recent interview with Soli Deo Gloria. He says he seeks to “reproduce the character of this music as it was heard back in Bach’s day, to make it as spiritual an experience as possible.”

Joseph A. LoSchiavo, president and CEO of Soli Deo Gloria, Inc., says the Chicago Bach Project offers concertgoers the opportunity to experience “sacred music in a sacred space” at the highest professional level of musicianship. “The visual splendor of St. Vincent de Paul provides audiences with an alternative environment to a concert hall or auditorium. It’s a setting more in keeping with where the Mass would have been performed in Bach’s day.”

Tickets and Information

Single ticket prices for the Mass in B Minor are $40 to $75. Tickets are available online at ChicagoBachProject.org or by calling (630) 984-4300.

Chicago Bach Project

The Mass in B Minor is the much-anticipated third installment of the Chicago Bach Project’s rotating concert cycle in which one of Bach’s three epic sacred masterworks will be staged each year during the Easter season. The series launched in April 2011 with the St. Matthew Passion. The St. John Passion was performed in April 2012.  Both of those concerts were presented at St. Vincent de Paul.

The Chicago initiative is modeled on the decade-long series that Nelson conducted at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris.
Nelson’s 2006 performance of the Mass in B Minor in Paris was released internationally on DVD that same year on the Virgin Classics label to an enthusiastic reception from critics and record collectors alike. Among the soloists was mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.

Nelson’s many awards include a Grammy for his recording of Handel’s Semele on the Deutsche Grammophon label and France’s Diapason d’Or de l’Année award for Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict on Erato.

The Chicago Bach Project is organized and supported by Soli Deo Gloria, Inc., a Glen Ellyn, Ill., nonprofit organization co-founded by Nelson in 1993. Soli Deo Gloria’s mission is to enhance, promote, and preserve classical sacred music in the biblical tradition, at the highest level. The organization sponsors concerts around the world and recordings on CD and DVD while commissioning new sacred music from the world’s leading composers.

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