Baroque Splendor: Bach’s Magnificat and Handel’s Coronation Anthems

On October 26 and 27, Crescendo celebrates its 15th anniversary with Baroque music for chorus, soloists, and a period instrument orchestra who together perform two of choral music’s greatest masterworks: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat and George Frideric Handel’s Coronation Anthems.

The splendor and jubilation of Bach’s Magnificat, written in 1723 in Leipzig, anticipated the great choruses of Bach’s later works, such as the Mass in B minor. Handel’s Coronation Anthems were originally commissioned for the coronation of George II of Great Britain, and have become standard for later coronations. The four ceremonial anthems, Zadok the Priest, Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened, The King Shall Rejoice, and My Heart Is Inditing, have been popular and regularly played in concerts and festivals–even during Handel’s own lifetime. They were originally composed for an enlarged choir of the Chapel Royal, with an orchestra of 160 players.

Performers are the Crescendo Chorus, Soprano Julianne Baird, acclaimed as “one of the most extraordinary voices in the service of early music that this generation has produced,” as well as internationally renowned singers countertenor Nicholas Tamagna, tenor Philip Anderson, and bass-baritone Joseph-Charles Beutel. The Period Instrument Orchestra of trumpets, timpani, oboes, bassoons, traversi (Baroque flutes), strings and basso continuo are played by Early Music specialists from Boston and New York. Crescendo’s Founding Artistic Director Christine Gevert will conduct. 

Concerts are Saturday, Oct. 26, 4pm at Saint James Place, 352 Main St. in Great Barrington, and 4pm Oct. 27 at Trinity Church, 484 Lime Rock Rd., Lakeville. Tickets are $35 general; $100 premium, $10 students. For more information and tickets: