The Knox Music Series opresents Christmas Miniatures, works for the Christmas Season for choir, soloists, and chamber orchestra by J.S. Bach, Arvo Pärt, and Ottorino Respighi performed in the acoustically perfect sanctuary space of Knox Church, Michigan and Observatory Avenues, on Sunday afternoon, December 10 at 3:00 pm. Admission is Free.
The Christmas Miniatures program opens with the Cincinnati premiere of an 11-minute setting of the Salve Regina text for chorus, strings and celeste by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Two J.S. Bach chamber works follow, excerpted from the Christmas Oratorio and Cantata #110 for Christmas Day, for soprano/echo soprano duet with solo oboe and baritone solo with trumpet obbligato. Part I of Christmas Miniatures finishes with Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, a 25-minute lyric work for three soloists – the Angel, soprano; Mary, mezzo-soprano; and the Shepherd, tenor – chorus, woodwind sextet, four-hand piano and percussion on a text by Jacopone da Todi, a 13th century Italian Franciscan friar from Umbria.
Following an Intermission of refreshments in the Knox Commons, Part II of Christmas Miniatures features J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, a 30-minute setting of the Song of Mary from Luke 2 for chorus, soloists and full Baroque orchestra of flutes, oboes, trumpets, timpani, strings, and harpsichord. Composed for his first Christmas season (1723) in Leipzig Germany, Bach’s Magnificat has remained a favorite Holiday Work for countless ages of concertgoers and worshippers.
Featured at the Knox Music Series Christmas Miniatures are the 50-voice Knox Choir and Chamber Orchestra, Earl Rivers, conducting, and Knox Soloists – Erin Keesy and Jackie Stephens, sopranos, Amber Fasquelle and Debra Templeman, mezzo-sopranos, Andrew Jones, tenor, and Thom Dreeze and Michael Young, baritones.