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Via Dolorosa

Location: England, United Kingdom
Choir type: Chamber Choirs and Vocal Ensembles
Voicing: Mixed

Sunday March 21st 7.30
King’s Hall, Newcastle University

Cappella Novocastriensis perform German choral music for Passiontide, including Graun’s Der Tod Jesu, and motets by Schutz. 

Julia Kogan - soprano
Martin Wheeler - baritone

Newcastle Baroque

Conducted by Eric Cross

Tickets £15, OAPs £13, students & unwaged £8, 18 & under free.

Although Heinrich Schütz is now mainly known for his church music, his first publication was actually a book of Italian madrigals, the result of his studies with Giovanni Gabrieli in Venice. When he came to publish his Cantiones Sacrae in 1625, many pieces adopted a similar madrigalian technique. This set of five Passion motets brings to mind composers such as Monteverdi and even Gesualdo in their intensity of word-setting and searing chromaticisms.

Carl Heinrich Graun made his name as a singer and then composer of Italian opera in first Dresden and then Brunswick. In 1733 he composed an opera for the marriage of Frederick, Crown Prince of Prussia, and on Frederick the Great's accession in 1740 he became music director to the Prussian court. During the next 15 years Graun dominated opera in Berlin, but his most famous work was his Passion 'cantata' or oratorio Der Tod Jesu first performed in 1755, to a libretto by Karl Wilhelm Ramler. The work, whose musical language is typical of the mid-18th century German sentimental style of composers such as CPE Bach, was a huge success, with well over 100 performances in the first half of the 19th century until its popularity was gradually undermined by revivals of Bach's St Matthew Passion spearheaded by Mendelssohn.
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