How strange it is that there is so little music programmed for this year’s Easter season. The history of classical music is intertwined with Christianity, and yet there is no requiem or Passion to be found anywhere on the March calendar.
The exception is a notable one, a program of music from some of the finest liturgical composers, ancient and new. On Friday—the feast day of St. Cyril of Jerusalem—the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys will sing music by John Taverner, recent music from Sir John Tavener, and present the New York premiere of Seven Last Words from the Cross, a BBC commissioned piece written by James MacMillan, the finest contemporary composer working regularly with the Catholic liturgy.
David Hill will be the guest conductor for the concert, leading the choir, the accompaniment by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and soprano and bass soloists Sherezade Panthaki and Glenn Miller (in Tavener’s The Last Discourse). Filling out the program are Tavener’s Svyati, an expression of his Orthodox faith, and Taverner’s 16th century Quemadmodum.
David Hill leads the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, in music of Taverner, Tavener, and MacMillan 7:30 p.m. Friday at St. Thomas Church. SaintThomasChurch.org