Dana presents Passion According to St. Luke

March 21, 2014  |  

saint-luke-the-evangelist-18The Dana School of Music presents the modern premiere of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s “Passion according to St. Luke (1775)” at 8 p.m. Monday, March 31, in Trinity United Methodist Church, 30 West Front St., in downtown Youngstown.

Celebrating the 300th birthday of CPE Bach and the 145th anniversary of the Dana School of Music, the free concert features performances by the Dana Chorale and University Chorus, Dana faculty, students and guest artists, with Hae-Jong Lee, conductor. The Dana School of Music also welcomes guest ensemble, the Trinity United Methodist Church Choir.

Related events include a lecture called “A Passion Shared,” focusing on the context and history of Bach’s Passions, given by Randall Goldberg, Dana assistant professor, prior to the concert, at 7:15 p.m. at the church. Also, an exhibition of 18th-century scores and books from the collection of Walter Mayhall and Marcellene Hawk will be on exhibit in the church foyer.

A reception sponsored and hosted by 88.5 WYSU-FM will immediately follow the concert at V², 100 West Federal Street, Youngstown, Ohio 44503. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available.

The lecture, concert and exhibit are free and open to the public, although a free will donation will be collected. For more information, contact the Dana School of Music at 330-941-3636.

Soloists and their roles include: Evangelist (tenor), Corey Shotwell (Cleveland); Jesus (bass), Jason Budd (Hubbard); Magd (soprano), Elena Mullins (Cleveland); Pilatus (bass), Max Pivik (Pittsburgh); and Alto solo, Rachael Pavloski.

Guest members of the orchestra include Susan Brenneis-Fisher, June Byo, Wanda Sobieska, Jeff Johns, James Dunlap, Becky Harker, Fr. Vit Fiala, and Jason Howard. Dana faculty members include Kathryn Umble, Ted Perkins, Donald W. Byo, and Stacie Mickens. Student members include Jerry Koziorynsky, Abigail McLaughlin, Patrick Strasik, Morgan Fleming, Leslie Dubiel, Tyler Matthews, Rachael Swanson, Caitlin McCoy, David Verzilli and Dean LaSalandra. The organist is Marcellene Hawk.

The music to be premiered on March 31 was published in 2011 for the first time as part of C. P. E. Bach: The Complete Works by the Packard Humanities Institute. The score was edited by Randall Goldberg, assistant professor in the Dana School of Music, and Daniel Melamed, professor of Music at Indiana University.

Bach’s 1775 “Passion according to St. Luke” depicts the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus through the dramatic conventions of opera: solo voices and choruses narrate the biblical text, which is often interrupted by stirring arias that reflect emotionally on the action and edifying chorales. The German Passion tradition, which includes J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel, and G. P. Telemann, marks a place in history where Europe’s finest composers contributed to important civic rituals in their communities.

“All of Bach’s Passions went missing during the final years of World War II and were not fully recovered until 2001,” Goldberg said. “This particular Luke Passion has not been heard since Easter 1775 and offers us a unique, sonic window into the historical past. Bach did not write a new Passion from scratch every year, and this particular setting shows us how he was able to adapt his friend Gottfried August Homilius’s music to fit the local practices, tastes and limitations of the city of Hamburg.”