The Seattle Bach Choir is pleased to present SWIFT AS A SHADOW, a concert of music for choir a cappella and with piano featuring settings of text by Shakespeare and his contemporaries in honor of the 400th anniversary of his death. Our program features many well-known pieces by English composers, including Three Shakespeare Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Rutter’s Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind and Rutter’s jazzy It Was Lover and his Lass. English composers are also strongly featured in works set to texts of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, including Robert Pearsall’s Lay a Garland, with words by playwrights Beaumont and Fletcher, and William Harris’s Faire is the Heaven, with words by poet Edmund Spenser.
In deference to the important role women played in Shakespeare’s time, both a patronesses and artists, this program also features pieces by female composers, including Emma Lou Diemer’s Three Madrigals and a little-known work by Rebecca Clarke set to the popular anonymous Elizabethan text, Weep You No More, Sad Fountains. In recent years the Seattle Bach Choir has featured more contemporary works on our programs, and this one is no exception. We are pleased to present a premiere of a work by composer Gregory Brown entitled Fabric of Streams for a cappella choir and solo soprano, alto, and tenor. Also on the program include newer works by Paul Carey and Matthew Harris’s hugely-popular Shakespeare Songs. Rounding out the program will be a couple of English madrigals and a lively setting of The Witches’ Chorus for women’s choir by Giuseppe Verdi from his opera Macbeth.
The Seattle Bach Choir specializes in performing little known chamber choir literature from all eras with a special reverence for the music of J.S. Bach, resulting in concerts of a surprisingly educational and uplifting nature. These concerts are a voyage of discovery for the choral newcomer and inspirational for the choral music aficionado. This is the Seattle Bach Choir’s seventh season under the directorship of Dr. Anne Lyman.