“I will sing and speak praises unto the Lord”
While George Frederic Handel was quoting Psalms in his work “The Lord is my light” (HWV 255), he very well could have been referring to the music that was performed at Saint Thomas’ by the Zachow Players and Consort on February 9th.
Named after the German musician Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow (1663-1712), the Zachow Consort & Players is a chamber vocal and instrumental ensemble dedicated to performing works by Zachow, the organist of the Marienkirche in Halle, Germany, and one of Handel’s teachers, as well as works of other musicians of the period. As director Hyeok Lee explained, “I started this project in September 2013 as part of my doctoral program and had the help of my fellow musicians from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. As part of my program, I discovered Zachow and decided to transcribe several of his church cantatas into a modern edition.”
The evening’s concert was organized in two parts – Christ’s Passion and Christ’s Resurrection. In addition to works by Zachow — including the North American première of his “Missa super chorale: Christ lag in Todesbanden” (TV 33) — the concert featured works by J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel. Further enhancing the intimate nature of the concert, the audience was asked to sit in the choir loft on both sides of the players.
Hyeok Lee was invited to perform at St. Thomas’ by Dr. Giles Brightwell, St. Thomas’ Organist and Choirmaster. As Lee explained: “Dr. Brightwell had only been in the U.S. two or three weeks before he attended my concert at the U of H. He was impressed by what we were doing, and encouraged us to perform here.” Summarizing the sentiments of all the family, friends, parishioners, and the community who came to listen, one long time parishioner remarked: “Very Good….Wow.”
For more information about the music program at St. Thomas’, email Giles Brightwell.