For the first time in recent memory, the Knoxville Choral Society is bringing a concert to Downtown's Bijou Theatre this weekend--and with the added attraction of two major Baroque choral works. The 130 voice group, along with orchestral forces, will populate the Bijou stage for J.S. Bach's Magnificat in D Major, BWV 243, and the Christmas portion of Handel's Messiah.
In 1723, Bach took the position he would hold for the last 27 years of his life, that of Cantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. For the Christmas season of that year, he composed a Magnificat in E-flat, adding some Christmas-specific text to the traditional Latin Magnificat. Ten years later, Bach dropped the added Christmas texts in a new adaptation in D Major. It's scored for five soloists, a five-part choir, and orchestra. In the KCS performance, the soloists come from the ranks of the choir: Julia Lawson, Karen Cook, David Glover, Steve Boyce, Nathan Martin, Nancy Middlemas, Ronda Johnson, and Kathryn Paden.
The Messiah performance is the Part I section (the Christmas section) that concludes with the Chorus "His Yoke Is Easy..." Soloists in this performance will be Nathan Martin, Alan Eleazer, David Glover, Anne Siddell, Leslie Cutshaw, Jennifer Bruce, Nancy Middlemas, and Anne Scott. Dr. Eric Thorson, KCS artistic director, will conduct.
Bijou Theatre, 803 S. Gay Street
Saturday evening, November 9, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20, available at the door or from KCS members