Jonathan Chang
Jonathan Chang

The University of Arizona’s Collegium Musicum presents an special Monday evening program of choral music at the Arizona Senior Academy on Monday (April 11) at 7:30 p.m. Directed this year by Jonathan Chang, a doctoral candidate in choral conducting, the Collegium is the university’s early music choral ensemble.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Cantata No. 4” will be the major work on the program. His earliest surviving chorale cantata for Easter Sunday, it consists of a series of chorale variations on Martin Luther’s hymn tune “Christ Lag in Todesbanden.” After an opening instrumental sinfonia, the vocal movements feature intricate choruses, duets and solos, and finally a traditional hymn-like setting of the chorale’s final stanza.

Pieces by two earlier composers will open the program. Jan Zelenka was a Czech composer whose contrapuntal style was admired by Bach for its harmonic inventiveness. The Collegium will perform three selections from Zelenka’s “Responsoria pro Hebdomada Sancta.”

Antonio Lotti was an Italian composer who was an influential maestro di cappella at the famed St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. His eight-part “Crucifixus” depicts the heart-wrenching tension of the Crucifixion through a continual buildup of slow-moving dissonant suspensions that do not fully resolve until the closing sonority of the piece.

The Collegium Musicum’s members include university students as well as community singers from around Tucson who enjoy the challenge and joy of performing choral music of the early masters.

Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer

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Collegium Musicum Features Bach’s ‘Cantata No. 4’ :April 2016
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