Summer Chorale to perform ‘grand, celebratory works’

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Summer Chorale will present its annual concerts at St. Saviour’s Church, 41 Mount Desert St., on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 4 and 5, at 7:30 p.m. David Schildkret, the group’s music director, will present preconcert talks each evening at 7 p.m.

This summer, the chorale will present Bach’s Cantata 29 and Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass. “These are both grand, celebratory works that will make for a festive summer evening,” said Schildkret.

Returning to play the featured organ parts in both works is organist Timothy Olsen of the North Carolina School of the Arts and Salem College. The soprano soloist is Anne Leonardi-Merchant, a Northeast Harbor native who has gone on to become a professional singer. The other soloists, Miriam Schildkret, mezzo-soprano, Philip Morgan, tenor, and Ryan Downey, bass-baritone, are all returning to sing with the Summer Chorale and are recent graduates of the Arizona State University School of Music.

Bach wrote Cantata 29 for the inauguration of the Leipzig Town Council in August of 1731. For the opening sinfonia, he adapted a famous solo violin partita into a concerto-like movement featuring the organ, and he later reused the opening chorus in the B-Minor Mass. The Haydn Mass originally celebrated the name day of Princess Maria Esterhazy in 1798, shortly after Haydn completed “The Creation.” It became associated with British naval hero Admiral Horatio Nelson when he visited Esterhazy in 1800. A mass was given in his honor, and it is likely that this is the music performed.

Members of the Summer Chorale are both year-round and summer residents of Mount Desert Island and the surrounding area. They began rehearsing in early July for this summer’s program, the 46th in the group’s history.

Advance tickets for the concerts are available at Sherman’s Bookstore and at the libraries in Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor. Special seating is available for those who make a larger donation to the chorale. Admission at the door is by donation.



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