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Bach at the Sem Begins its 22nd Season

Bach at the Sem enters its 22nd season with a full schedule of Sunday concerts: Oct. 19, Dec. 14, March 15, and May 17. Bach at the Sem is sponsored by Concordia Seminary and features the American Kantorei. All concerts start at 3 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the Concordia Seminary campus in St. Louis.

Highlights for the 2014-2015 season include works for brass by Praetorius and Advent Cantatas 36 and 62 of J. S. Bach in December; Cantatas 72 and 187 in March; and Bach’s Mass in G Minor and Easter Oratorio in May.

The Oct. 19 concert will feature a seasonal selection of works by J. S. Bach and a choral work by Hugo Distler. Under their new music director, Maurice Boyer, the American Kantorei inaugurate the season with the rousing opening chorus from Cantata 137, Lobe den Herrn, den mächtigen Konig (Praise the Lord, the Mighty King).

The program features two complete cantatas of J. S. Bach, an aria from his German Magnificat, and two cantata choruses to open and close the program. Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 33 (Alone to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ) and Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten, BWV 74 (He Who Loves Me Will Keep My Word), cantatas for the Trinity and Pentecost seasons, will be performed in their entirety. Also featured are the Distler’s “Praise to the Lord,” adding a dash of 20th century spice to the program, and the soprano aria from Cantata 10, “Herr, der du stark und mächtig bist” (Lord, You Who are Strong and Mighty). To close the program, the Kantorei perform the vibrant opening chorus of Cantata 69, Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele (Praise the Lord, My Soul). Audience members are invited to join their voices in Neander’s well-known hymn, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.”