BANGOR, Maine — The Chamber Choir at St. John Catholic Church will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at the York Street church.
“Our program, which takes place each year on the fifth Sunday of Lent, provides a reflection on the suffering and death of Christ as we approach the liturgies of Palm Sunday and Holy Week,” Kevin Birch, director of the choir, said earlier this week.
In addition to compositions by William Byrd, Claudio Monteverdi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johannes Brahms, the program will feature the rarely heard “Stabat Mater” by Josef Rheinberger, according to Birch, who also is the music director at St. John’s.
The choir performed the same program last week in Bar Harbor.
“The ‘Stabat Mater’ — a representation of Mary’s suffering at the foot of the cross as she witnessed the Crucifixion of her son — is recognized as the most tender and pathetic hymn of the Middle Ages,” the director said in an email. “Rheinberger’s profoundly beautiful setting is scored for four-part choir, string quintet and organ.”
The choir will be accompanied by a string quintet led by Anatole Weik, a violinist with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.
Birch said that in planning for the annual event and a similar concert in December, he looks to “the great composers who left us works which can continually challenge and inspire us.”
Formed in response to the Second Vatican Council’s challenge to find practical means to preserve and use the rich heritage of Latin chants and motets and to explore the repertory of music used in other communions, the choir performs sacred choral music ranging from chant to modern works, according to Birch.
“I am grateful to the Chamber Choir for their devotion to the whole process of music making — and for their generosity in sharing these works with the wider community,” he said.
The suggested donation for the program is $10.
For information, call 942-6941.