Bach Cantata Series: UMD Choral Activities

Bach Cantata

UMD Choral Activities
Thursday, November 10, 2022 . 1:30PM
Photo by Jared Schaubert.
Principal People: 

Nathan Lofton, Conductor
Catherine Moss, soprano
Valérie Filloux, alto
Andy Boggs, tenor
Louis Cleare, bass

Special Announcement: 

Missed the performance? Watch the livestream here, available until January 9, 2023.

Event Attributes

Presented By

Presented By: 

For more information regarding accessible accommodations, please click here.

Estimated Length: 
30 minutes

Join us in person at The Clarice or watch the livestream from the comfort of your home.

J.S. Bach, known as the great master, wrote more than 200 cantatas, and UMD Choral Activities aims to sing them all in this series of short performances led by conductors in the graduate program. Du Friederfürst, Herr Jesu Christ (BWV 116) was composed for the 25th Sunday after Trinity (November 26th) in 1724, during Bach’s second year as the Thomaskantor in Leipzig. The cantata is a chorale-cantata, meaning that each movement derives musical material from a pre-existing chorale melody. In this case, the outer choruses quote the chorale melody directly while the inner movements use elements of the melody without literally quoting it. The opening chorus takes the form of a Baroque concerto grosso movement, but with the chorus interrupting the instruments in a homophonic statement of the chorale’s first stanza: “O Prince of Peace, Lord Jesus Christ, true human and true God.” The second movement, sharply contrasting with the assurance of the opening chorus, is a mournful aria for alto solo on the words “Alas, the agony is unspeakable, as is the threat of the enraged judge!” Bach heightens the tension in this movement with the use of wildly chromatic harmonies and a doleful oboe d’amore obbligato. A brief tenor recitative implores Jesus to recall his promise of deliverance, which leads into a trio for soprano, tenor, and bass with simple continuo accompaniment: “Ah, we recognize our guilt and ask for nothing but patience.” Trios are rare in Bach’s cantatas, and this one is particularly remarkable for its full use of the individual singer’s ranges and its exploration of imitative writing between the voices. An accompanied alto recitative, which moves from anguish to reassurance, leads us into the closing chorale: “Illumine our minds and hearts through the spirit of your grace.”

About UMD Choral Activities

Choral conducting alumnus Jason Max Ferdinand D.M.A. ’15 makes his season debut as the new director of choral activities. UMD's choral program is internationally regarded and offers students a wide array of choral experiences with music encompassing all styles and eras. In addition to this season’s on campus performances, the UMD Concert Choir participates in annual collaborations with both the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at premier venues including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Health + Safety for In-Person Attendance

Patrons attending University of Maryland arts events are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. We continue to encourage audiences to wear a mask and stay current with vaccinations and boosters. Please see our Health & Safety information page for information about what to expect during your visit.