Thursday, March 8, 2012
The Crucifixion is Marked in Music at First Congregational Church
First Congregational Church in downtown Saginaw, Michigan, will mark Good Friday with a musical offering of John Stainer’s oratorio The Crucifixion: A Meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer. The twenty-movement work, which is free and open to the public, will be performed on Friday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m., in the congregation’s historic sanctuary. Composed in 1887 by one of Britain’s leaders in musical instructors and church music, The Crucifixion celebrates its one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary. Rev. J. Sparrow-Simpson selected the oratorio’s words earlier that year from the gospel narratives and several familiar Passion hymns.
Exultate Deo, the Saginaw Valley’s premier chamber choir specializing in sacred music, tenor Michael Huntress, and baritone David King will present the Victorian-era composition. Robert Sabourin will conduct the choir. Nicholas Schmelter will accompany the choir on the sanctuary organ.
“God So Loved the World,” the most recognizable and widely-performed choruses of the oratorio, is a favorite of choirs throughout the English-speaking world. Hymns from The Crucifixion are included in several denominational hymnals.