Chatham Chorale Presents "The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach"

June 1st and 2nd in Dennis
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On the first weekend in June, the Chatham Chorale Chamber Singers, Music Director Joseph Marchio, and an outstanding roster of vocal soloists and instrumentalists celebrate “The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach” at Dennis Union Church. Audiences will hear a pair of early cantatas and works for chamber orchestra and organ in much the same way as people of Bach’s own time would have experienced his music: played on instruments such as recorders, baroque flute, and strings using baroque bows. Concerts are Saturday June 1 at 7:00 pm and Sunday June 2 at 3:00 pm.

“Our ensemble will transport listeners into the sound world created by Bach, with typically deeper and darker tones than those produced by today’s instruments,” says Marchio. The music director opens the program on the organ playing the mighty Toccata in D Minor (BWV 565)—perhaps Bach’s most instantly recognizable work.

The Chamber Singers and vocal soloists are featured in two of Bach’s earliest sacred cantatas, accompanied by recorders, violins, and organ continuo. Cantata 106 (Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106) was probably written in 1707, when Bach was just 22, for the funeral of an important citizen of Mulhäusen. The text, taken from Bible passages and hymn verses, meditates on death and dying with expressive intensity. Regarded as one of Bach’s greatest early works, it may be most remarkable, says one authority, in that “it was created by a largely self-taught young composer who … had only a glimmering of the marvels he was yet to create.”

In Cantata 150 (Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150), says Marchio, “you can hear the young Bach experimenting with musical forms that rarely show up in his later works.” Among these is a chaconne, a dance in triple meter favored by Baroque composers, in the final movement. When Johannes Brahms heard this cantata for the first time, he was so struck by Bach’s masterful chaconne that he borrowed from it for his own great Symphony No. 4. Cantata 150 also features a stunning aria for solo soprano, sung by Ilana Davidson.

In between the vocal works, audiences will hear the Andante from Bach’s Flute Sonata in E minor (BWV 1034), performed by LeeAnn McKenna on the baroque flute, and violinist Heather Goodchild-Wade playing the Largo from Sonata no. 3 (BWV 1005). Also showcased is a rising star returning to the Cape: organist Julian Petrallia of Chatham plays the Prelude and Fugue in C Minor (BWV 546). Julian began studying the organ at age 15 and has just graduated from the renowned Eastman School of Music with a degree in organ performance. Says Marchio,

“We’re thrilled to have this incredibly talented young musician performing with us again, back on his home ground.” Julian last appeared with the Chorale in 2018.

The vocal soloists are among New England’s leading exponents of early music. Grammy-winning soprano Ilana Davidson brings her gifts to repertoire spanning the 12th to 21st centuries, performing in opera, oratorio  and recital around the country and internationally. She appeared with the Chamber Singers in Rossini’s Petit Messe Solonnelle in 2017, in the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. Mezzo soprano Krista Rivers is a soloist with Emmanuel Music in Boston and a frequent guest at the Meetinghouse Chamber Music Festival led by Donald Enos. Tenor Patrick Waters holds degrees in composition, conducting, and sacred music, and is a member of the Handel and Haydn Society and Boston Lyric Opera choruses. Baritone Colin Levin, who has performed often with the Chorale, is heard widely on concert stages, in operatic lyric baritone roles, and in newly created American works. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in November 2018.

Chatham Chorale is one of Cape Cod’s longest-established choral ensembles, for 49 years presenting an annual concert series with programs ranging from choral masterworks to Broadway, pops stylings, and premieres of new works by regional composers. The Chorale also regularly collaborates with the Cape Symphony and sings in service to the community.

Tickets ($25 open/$30 reserved) can be purchased at, by phone (774-212-9333) or at the door the day of the concert. Students and those under 18 admitted free with a ticket; call the number above. For more information, visit



Chatham Chorale presents


with chamber orchestra and period instruments



Chatham Chorale Chamber Singers

Music Director Joseph Marchio

Julian Petrallia and Donald Enos, organ

Heather Goodchild-Wade and Irina Fainkichen, violins

LeeAnn McKenna and Beth Taylor, recorders and flute

Ilana Davidson, soprano

Krista River, mezzo soprano

Patrick Waters, tenor

Colin Levin, bariton



Saturday June 1, 7:00 pm

Sunday June 2, 3:00 pm

Dennis Union Church

713 Main St., Dennis



Tickets $25 open/$30 reserved

Students and those under 18 admitted free with a ticket




[email protected]



Audiences will hear two early cantatas and several instrumental works in much the same way as people of Bach’s own time would have experienced his music. Program includes: Cantata 106 (Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106) and Cantata 150 (Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150), Toccata in D Minor (BWV 565), Flute Sonata in E minor (BWV 1034), Largo from Sonata no. 3 (BWV 1005), and Prelude and Fugue in C Minor (BWV 546). welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on