Tune in on Sundays at 9:00 pm for a wide variety of classical choral music from Washington and beyond — from perennial favorites to new discoveries, from Gregorian Chant to the present.
Georg Philipp Telemann, engraving by Georg Linchtensteger
Sunday, October 4, 2020 - 9:00pm
Like his good friend and colleague Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann wrote a number of passions for Good Friday services - 40, in fact, 22 of which survive. But he also wrote 6 theatrical "Passion-Oratorios," the most famous of which is the Brockes Passion, or "Jesus Who was Martyred for the Sins of the World" (the title of the original poem by Barthold Heinrich Brockes). We'll hear this "sacred baroque opera" on this week's Choral Showcase.
Georg Philipp Telemann: Brockes Passion
Birgitte Christensen & Lydia Teuscher, sopranos; Marie-Claude Chappuis, mezzo-soprano; Donat Havar & Daniel Behle (Evangelist), tenors; Johannes Weisser, baritone (Christ)
RIAS Chamber Choir
Berlin Academy for Old Music
Rene Jacobs, conductor
Christ on the Mount of Olives
Beethoven at 250
Sunday, October 11, 2020 - 9:00pm
Classical WETA's Beethoven at 250 Celebration continues this week on Choral Showcase with a presentation of Beethoven's only oratorio, Christ on the Mount of Olives. Beethoven's depiction of Christ's emotional turmoil in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion and death is presented in a recording released last year on Naxos. We'll also hear a shorter work by Beethoven called Opferlied, or "Song of Sacrifice."
Ludwig van Beethoven: Christ on the Mount of Olives
Ludwig can Beethoven: Opferlied (Song of Sacrifice)
Lorna Haywood, soprano
London Symphony Orchestra
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Steven Fox, Music Director
Sunday, October 18, 2020 - 9:00pm
Passion Month on Choral Showcase continues with Passion Week - a composition by Maximilian Steinberg, based on Orthodox hymns drawn from services during Holy Week. One of the last religious works composed after the Russian Revolution, it remained unperformed and unrecorded anywhere until 2014. We'll hear one of the first recordings, with The Clarion Choir led by Steven Fox. We'll also hear a short passion narrative by Arvo Part, The Woman with the Alabaster Box.
Maximilian Steinberg: Passion Week
The Clarion Choir
Steven Fox, director
Arvo Part: The Woman with the Alabaster Box
Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Graham Ross, director
The St. Matthew Passion
Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 9:00pm
We've been listening to some very different and creative approaches to the Passion form this month on Choral Showcase, and we'll conclude this Sunday with one of the most dramatic and intense recordings ever of Bach's St. Matthew Passion: From 1999, Philippe Herreweghe conducts Collegium Vocale Ghent, with tenor Ian Bostridge as the Evangelist and bass Franz-Josef Selig singing the part of Jesus.
Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
Ian Bostridge, tenor (Evangelist); Franz-Josef Selig, bass (Jesus); Sibylla Rubens, soprano; Andreas Scholl, countertenor; Werner Gura, tenor; Dietrich Henschel, bass
Chorus and Orchestra of Collegium Vocale Ghent
Philippe Herreweghe, conductor
Rossini's Solemn Mass
Sunday, September 27, 2020 - 9:00pm
In the last 40 years of his life, Gioachino Rossini composed little, other than occasional pieces he called, "Sins of My Old Age". We'll hear the last - and the greatest - of these late-life peccadillos, the Petite Messe Solennelle, on this week's Choral Showcase.
Jean Sibelius drew from Finland's national epic poem, The Kalevala, for his choral symphony Kullervo, the tale of an abused young man who grows up to find his lost family, only to lose it again. We'll hear this unique work in a new recording, featured this week on Choral Showcase.
Jean Sibelius: Kullervo
Helena Juntunen, soprano; Benjamin Appl, baritone
Lund Male Chorus
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor
The 1610 Vespers
Sunday, September 13, 2020 - 9:00pm
Join us this week on Choral Showcase for a performance of Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, the Vespers of 1610, with Cleveland's Baroque band, Apollo's Fire directed by Jeannette Sorrell.
Cladio Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine (Vespers of 1610)