St. John’s United Methodist Church will soar with the music of Bach, Haydn and Fauré in a Saturday midwinter concert.
The New Mexico Philharmonic will perform backed by the 105-voice Chancel Choir at St. John’s with conductor and church music director Matthew Greer.
The program will open with Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 1, sparkling with baroque dances.
“The suites Bach wrote are all based on dances of the period – the minuet and gavotte,” Greer said.
Greer’s wife, Amy, will follow with Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major (1780-1783). It was originally composed for harpsichord or forte piano and scored for an orchestra in a relatively undeveloped “galant” style with a lively Hungarian Rondo finale.
“It’s a wonderful example of a classical-era concerto,” Greer said. “It’s about on the level of Mozart as far as the technical requirements.”
Amy Greer performs regularly with both the New Mexico Philharmonic and the Santa Fe Symphony.
Gabriel Fauré penned his Requiem between 1887 and 1890, focusing on eternal rest and consolation.
The composer wrote, “Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”
“This is one of the most beautiful requiems ever written,” Greer said. “It’s a very intimate piece. He wrote it for a fairly small church in Paris. There’s no violin section in the orchestra. It gives it a beautiful, darker sound with beautiful writing for the chorus.”
Soprano Shea Perry will take the solo as she finishes her vocal performance degree at the University of New Mexico. UNM professor Michael Hix will sing the role of baritone. His career has included performances at the Tanglewood Music Center, solos with the Boston Pops Orchestra in “Bernstein on Broadway” and a Carnegie Hall debut in Rutter’s “Mass of the Children.”
This marks the fifth time Greer and his wife, Amy, have performed the Haydn Concerto.
“It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to do together,” he said.