The Marshall University School of Music and Theatre’s MUsic Mondays will present the second lecture of the spring series at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 14, at the Cellar Door, 905 3rd Ave., Huntington.
The lecture, “Music for Good Friday: Johann Sebastian Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion,’” will explore Bach’s ability to capture the Easter story by musical means. Lead presenter Dr. Vicki Stroeher, professor of music history at Marshall, said Bach is one of the most revered composers of all time, largely due to his ability to speak to people from both head and heart.
“This work had its first performance on Good Friday, the day on which both Catholic and Protestant faiths commemorate the crucifixion,” Stroeher said. “In the ‘St. Matthew Passion,’ Bach takes us on Christ’s journey through the crucifixion and asks us to be full participants in it. In a brilliant dramatic stroke, he uses a double chorus to convey the conflicting emotions and thoughts of the crowds at the trial and foot of the cross. Interspersed between meditative arias by Jesus, Pilate, Judas and others are chorales meant for the congregation to sing. These chorales offer a commentary on the events and speak to the people directly, asking questions about their relationship with the divine.”
The spring series, titled “Music for the Season,” is investigating music that reflects the season for which it was written. On April 11, the series will explore Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, and on May 9, the series will present Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony, which concludes aptly with the medieval English round, “Sumer is icumen in” (“Summer is Coming In”).
Each lecture costs $10, payable at the door. Checks should be made payable to Marshall University. All proceeds will go to support the music program. Seating is limited. Participants are invited to arrive early to enjoy conversation and refreshments.
Following the lecture, participants are invited to Smith Recital Hall on Marshall’s Huntington campus for a faculty trio recital on historical instruments from the time of Bach. This event, featuring Dr. Richard Kravchak, oboe; Dr. Kay Lawson, bassoon; and Dr. Henning Vauth, keyboard, will begin at 8 p.m.
For more information about MUsic Mondays, call the School of Music and Theatre at 304-696-3117.