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Lacuna Arts Chorale is preparing a program of German rarities for next month

Poster design for the next Lacuna Arts Chorale concert
Poster design for the next Lacuna Arts Chorale concert
courtesy of Lacuna Arts

The next program that Sven Edward Olbash, Artistic Director of Lacuna Arts, has prepared will feature his Lacuna Arts Chorale. In contrast to his Lacuna Arts Ensemble, a chamber chorus formerly the Ensemble-in-Residence at the French National Church, this 40-voice group grew out of the Lacuna Arts Workshop program and was last heard this past December in A Winter Voyage, a Christmas concert that included Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s setting of the Christmas midnight Mass with instrumental accompaniment. The new program will survey works by German composers from the seventeenth through twentieth centuries.

The earliest work on the program will be Dieterich Buxtehude’s BuxWV 114 setting of the Missa brevis text, his only known Mass setting. In contrast Johann Sebastian Bach will be represented by a motet previously attributed to his father’s cousin, Johann Christoph Bach. Entitled “Ich lasse dich nicht, du Segnest mich den” (I will not let you go, unless you bless me), this setting of a verse from Genesis was scored for double choir and continuo. Because of the attribution question, its listing in the Schmieder catalog is BWV Anh. III 159.

Two of the composers on the program will be working with texts in languages other than German. Felix Mendelssohn will be represented by two liturgical texts, the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis canticles, both in English language settings. On the other hand the six pieces for a cappella choir by Paul Hindemith are settings of poems that Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in French. (One of these, “En hiver,” was included in the Winter Voyage concert.) The most recent work on the program will be a set of short motets by Hugo Distler.

This program will be given two performances in San Francisco, both at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 1755 Clay Street, on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue. The Friday, May 16, performance will begin at 8 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. performance on Sunday, May 18. Tickets for both concerts are $40 for center seating and $30 for the remaining seats. These may be ordered from Eventbrite through an order form on the event page for this concert. There will be also be an Early Bird rate of $20 through the end of this month, while supplies last. For any remaining tickets, online sales will close on Thursday, May 15, after which tickets will only be available for sale at the door.