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February
Hong Kong Chamber Choir to stage Bach's St Matthew Passion
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"Bach's 'St Matthew Passion'" by the Hong Kong Chamber Choir will be staged at 7.30pm on March 9 (Sunday) at the Auditorium, Sha Tin Town Hall.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the performance, Mendelssohn's 1841 version, will be in German. Performing in the concert are conductor Michael Ryan, tenors Sam Lau and Alex Tam, soprano Rosaline Pi, counter-tenors Ray Chan and Enico Luk, basses Edmund Kwan and Jimmy Chan, baritones Patrick Chan and Petrus Cheung, as well as the Hong Kong soloists.

The St Matthew Passion stands at the summit of Bach's output. It was composed in 1727 and first performed in the Good Friday service that year. It is Bach's most elaborate and demanding score which requires the longest running time and the largest number of performers.

Felix Mendelssohn was responsible for the initial revival of the St Matthew Passion. He performed a revised version of the work in 1829 in Berlin, and in 1841, he performed the work in Thomaskirche in Leipzig. In his revision, he cut some original material and re-orchestrated some parts of the score. Mendelssohn played an important part in the resurgence of interest in Bach's choral music, Passion settings and his many cantatas that now form an important part of the choral repertoire.

The Hong Kong Chamber Choir was established in 1999 with the specific mission of promoting and performing demanding small-scale and a cappella choral works. The choir believes that a good solo vocalist should also be a good ensemble singer and hence places great emphasis on vocal (as individual) and choral (as chorister) technique. Over the years, the choir has given a number of successful performances.

Tickets priced at $120, $80 and $60 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. (Limited tickets for students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis.)

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries and reservations call 2734 9009. Internet bookings are available at http://www.urbtix.hk . For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp for more information on the programme.

A pre-concert talk on "The Appreciation of Bach's 'St Matthew Passion'" hosted by Sam Lau (in Cantonese) will be held at 7.30pm, March 7 (Friday), at AC1, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ends/Friday, February 15, 2008
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