Live Broadcast: Thomanerchor in concert

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
November 4, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Nov. 4, 2013, Classical MPR will welcome the Thomanerchor to Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. The concert will be live streamed on Classical MPR and hosted by Alison Young.

The Thomanerchor — or St. Thomas Choir — of Leipzig is one of the oldest ensembles in the world, founded in 1212. It is an extraordinary group of men and boys who sing for the services at St. Thomas Church, as well as who study and live at the attached school.

This is the choir of Bach, who directed, taught, disciplined and shepherded the then 16 boys for 27 years in the 18th century. Nowadays, there are a total of 93 choristers singing concerts all over Germany in addition to their three-service-per-week duties, but tonight, they sing in Minneapolis on their first ever tour to the United States.

What is so remarkable about this group is the inherited almost uncanny skill to sing anything put in front of it, but especially the complex and rich music of its greatest leader, Johann Sebastian Bach. That young boys can make a sound so pure and clear at the same time they tackle such difficult repertoire is uncanny.

Tune in tonight for a concert of Bach and Vivaldi, a composer Bach never met in person but whom he studies assiduously, copying his scores by hand to get to the magic and even transcribing his concerti for Bach's favorite instrument, the organ. What he discovered was a whole new world — warm, Mediterranean, filled with virtuosity, flair and color. This made its way directly into Bach's music. So it's fitting that this concert would pair Bach and Vivaldi side-by-side for all that's wonderful in the Baroque.

Join me tonight at 8 p.m. on Classical MPR for a live broadcast from Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis — the next best thing to being there.

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