The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park is pleased to present its first nationally distributed CD, Sing, O Ye Heavens: Moravian Sacred Vocal Music Performed by the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra. The product of a partnership between the Bach Festival Society and the Moravian Music Foundation, this CD features some of the most beloved music of the Moravian Church performed by the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra along with visiting Moravian singers.
Miles Hoffman, Music Commentator of NPR’s Morning Edition said of this recording: “Sing O Ye Heavens indeed: this is a wonderful recording. At a time when much of the continent was still wilderness, the Moravians of Pennsylvania and North Carolina were writing sophisticated and beautiful choral-orchestral music. John Sinclair and the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra, along with a group of first-rate soloists – have brought this music brilliantly to life.”
The music of the Moravians in America is one of the most significant, yet least known, aspects of American music history. The Moravians’ rich and diverse musical heritage is an essential part of any comprehensive understanding of the development of American music. The music is sacred in nature and of Germanic heritage, consisting of both elaborate anthems and congregational hymns. The importance of this music, and the absence of quality recordings, is noted by James Wierzbicki, Executive Editor, Music of the United States of America: “The Moravian community in America had an influential effect on musical culture far beyond its own borders. A recording of Moravian vocal music would certainly be a welcome addition to the repertoire.”
This recording came about through collaboration between Dr. John V. Sinclair, the Society’s Artistic Director and Conductor, and Dr. Nola Reed Knouse, Director of the Moravian Music Foundation and the editor of many of the works performed. This recording affords the Bach Festival Society a tremendous opportunity to share a unique repertoire. Regarding the importance of the project, Dr. Knouse states that “the CD will be the most significant new recording of Moravian music in over 40 years and it is hoped to strengthen support of current Moravian music lovers as well as gain new audiences worldwide.”
The Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra and the Rollins College Concert Choir deliver an unparalleled performance on Sing, O Ye Heavens, singing with enthusiasm and passion. Writing about the Music of the Moravians, Mark Pinsky of the Orlando Sentinel noted, “the sacred music is intoxicating and inspiring.”
Support for the CD was generously provided by the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund, Rollins College, the Hugh and Jeannette McKean Grant awarded by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation, the Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation, and the Moravian Music Foundation.
For more information about the pieces performed on this CD, contact the Moravian Music Foundation at www.moravianmusic.org.
About the Bach Festival Society
Thrilling audiences with its expressive and powerful sound since 1935, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park is one of America’s great oratorio societies. Under the direction of Dr. John V. Sinclair, the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra have achieved international recognition for their artistic excellence. Additionally, the Bach Festival Society brings internationally known artists of the highest caliber to perform on its Concert Series, offers acclaimed education programs to public school students, and nurtures young artists through competitions and by providing special programming for children and families.