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April 18, 2019

This Month, Don’t Miss the Alberta Premiere of a Nearly 300-Year-Old Piece of Music

Luminous Voices, Calgary’s only professional chamber choir, and Rosa Barocca, an ensemble dedicated to performing early music with period instruments that are true to history, will perform the work at the Bella Concert Hall on April 19.

Luminous Voices. Photograph by Bandi Szakony.

The premiere of a nearly 300-year-old piece of music isn’t something that happens every day. But fans of classical music and music-history buffs will have their day this month when, for the first time ever in Alberta, J.S. Bach’s “St. John Passion” will be performed with period instruments at baroque pitch.

Luminous Voices, Calgary’s only professional chamber choir, and Rosa Barocca, an ensemble dedicated to performing early music with period instruments that are true to history, will perform the work at the Bella Concert Hall.

Dr. Timothy Shantz, Luminous Voices’ founding artistic director, says the opportunity to hear a baroque piece played with period-appropriate instruments, and at the right pitch, is truly unique. “There’s something incredible about the sound of these baroque instruments, especially when they’re working with voices because they don’t overpower voices — they’re quite equal,” he says. “The colours and sounds of the instruments are [similar] to the human voice, so it makes an incredible combination.”

Passions are pieces of music that tell the story of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. Appropriately, this piece will be performed on Good Friday.

Luminous Voices presents J.S. Bach: St. John Passion on April 19 at Bella Concert Hall, MRU, luminousvoices.com

This article appears in the April 2019 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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