Bach+ Series


We’re excited to present the 2017-2018 season of Bach+ concerts!

Please visit our new Bach+ website for additional information on all the offerings in this series.

This year’s series has grown and expanded to include four elements – the Thursday Series, Masterworks, Cantata Vespers and Organ Vespers.  We’ll celebrates two anniversaries – the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and the 325th anniversary of St. Anne’s parish – with a “musical offering” that features J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass, the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), The Art of Fugue, Musical Offering, and also includes Handel’s immortal Messiah.

The series explores the infinite creativity and joy that is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Now entering its fourth year, Bach+ offers much more than performances of Bach’s music within a beautiful environment (even though we are privileged to perform in historic St. Anne’s Church).  Bach+ is about communication—exploring the musical dialogue among Bach and those who came before him as well as those who were influenced by him or respond to his music—and collaboration—between performers and the audience as well as among performers working in variety of genres.

**New this season** Organ Vespers – Sundays, 4 p.m. (unless otherwise noted)

This new series launches on September 24 at 4 p.m. with the first of eight hour-long Organ Vespers that are designed to show off St. Anne’s newly-refurbished Freiburger organ as well as the organ works of J.S. Bach.  Throughout his entire career, Bach was regarded as the “prince of all clavier players” (as a colleague once called him). This first Organ Vespers program features some of the virtuosic “foundational” works that Bach wrote before his years in Leipzig.  The program shows how Bach incorporated the styles of the previous generation of German masters along with Italian and French styles into his compositions.  Works, performed by organist Larry Molinaro, include chorales from the Orgelbüchlein as well as the famous Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582.

Organ Vespers – winter/spring concerts:
January 21
February 18
March 11 (3 p.m.)
April 15MOVED TO JUNE 10
May 20
June 10


The Thursday night at 6:15 p.m. concerts include these Bach-focused evenings:

October 5 –   Bach+ – The Art of Fugue

The Art of Fugue (Die Kunst der Fuge), BWV 1080, is J.S. Bach’s supreme didactic work on counterpoint and fugal devices.  The Art of Fugue comprises 14 fugues and four canons for keyboard.  Similar to the models of Conrad Paumer, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Heinrich Schutz, Johann Fux and Johann Mattheson, this collection forms an elaborate essay on the techniques of musical composition.  But rather than a dry, pedantic instructional manual on counterpoint, The Art of Fugue overflows with diversity of styles and rich musical gestures that only Bach could achieve within the strict constraints that he set for himself.  This performance is a highly idiomatic interpretation, based on subjective decisions about the individual style of each “contrapunctus” and taking into account the colors of a chamber orchestra (featuring distinct consorts of strings and winds), piano and the wonderful colors and diverse elements of St. Anne’s recently refurbished Freiburger organ.

November 2 – Bach+ – “For the Love of All Things Italian” The Vivaldi Project

The Vivaldi Project explores the important Italian influence on the mid-18th century String Trio. Beginning with J.S. Bach’s appreciation for Italian contrapuntal techniques and concertante styles, and his youngest son, J.C. Bach’s love of Italian opera, the Vivaldi Project brings to life the richly varied, yet overlooked Classical string trio as it emerges from the Baroque trio sonata.  Works by members of the Bach family are performed alongside those of Vivaldi, C.A. Campioni, Haydn, and others, revealing an abiding love for all things Italian.

December 14  –  Bach+ – Abendmusik

The Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, dating from 1734-35, celebrates the liturgical seasons associated with the Nativity (Advent, Christmas and Epiphany).  Comprised of six individual cantatas, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio conveys the theology of Preparation, Incarnation, and Manifestation relating to the Messiah.  This Thursday evening Abendmusik performance of Cantata #1 (“Jauchzet, frohlocket”) starts our Bach+ exploration of this monumental work.  The series continues with Cantata #2 on December 24 (Christmas Eve Service, 10:30 PM at St. Anne’s), Cantata #5 on January 7, 2018 (Celebration of the Epiphany, 11:15 AM service at St. Anne’s) and Cantata #6 on February 1, 2018 (Bach+ evening performance, 6:15 PM).


Handel’s Messiah             TICKETS
December 15 & 16, 8 p.m.
December 17, 3 p.m.

at St. Anne’s Church, Church Circle, Annapolis

Few places are more magical than downtown Annapolis during the holidays. There’s no better place than downtown Annapolis to share a holiday tradition with family and friends. J. Ernest Green conducts the Chorale’s Chamber Chorus and the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra in a very special trio of performances of Handel’s “Messiah” at historic St. Anne’s Church in Church Circle. The nearly perfect acoustics and historic beauty of St. Anne’s make it the perfect location to experience this much-loved oratorio, which takes on extra intensity and meaning under Mr. Green’s direction. All performances include a unique addition in large-screen displays of music, images, translations and biblical quotes that bring the work’s message to modern audiences. Note: Seating at St. Anne’s is limited so get your tickets early!

All students are invited to attend this concert FREE! Sample the Hallelujah Chorus!

FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE! With our free shuttle service from the Bladen Street Garage (located off Rowe Boulevard), patrons easily get from car to concert and back whatever the weather


Mass in B-Minor (BWV 232)
JS Bach    
March 10, 8 p.m. One night only!
at St. Anne’s Church, Church Circle, Annapolis

As part of its Bach+ Series at historic St. Anne’s Church, Live Arts Maryland presents J.S. Bach’s Mass in B-Minor. The Annapolis Chorale Chamber Chorus and Annapolis Chamber Orchestra will perform the work under the direction of J. Ernest Green. Organist and Bach expert Larry Molinaro will also perform.

One of the crowing achievements in all of Western Civilization, Bach’s Mass in b-minor is full of glorious music and musical puzzles that inspire and astonish both performers and listeners alike to this day! It really is as one performer described it – the Mount Everest of music.

This is only the second time in history that this work has been performed by members of the Annapolis Chorale.  Please join us for this very special concert event. Note: Seating at St. Anne’s is limited so get your tickets early!

All students are invited to attend this concert FREE!

FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE! With our free shuttle service from the Bladen Street Garage (located off Rowe Boulevard), patrons easily get from car to concert and back whatever the weather


Cantata Vespers:

Sunday, Nov. 5, 6:15 p.m. – Ein Feste Burg (follows the Sunday evening 5:30 service)
Sunday, Dec. 24, 10:30 p.m. (Christmas Eve Service prelude music) Christmas Oratorio, Part II
Sunday, Jan. 7, 5:30 p.m. – (Epiphany)  Christmas Oratorio, Part V