Revered as one of the world’s most innovative and dynamic musicians, Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the Harris Theater — one of just two U.S. engagements — to conduct the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists in two distinct programs: Bach’s Mass in B minor and Handel’s L’Allegro.

Bach’s Mass in B minor, composed towards the end of his life, serves as a compendium of all the styles and approaches he took throughout his decades of music-making. In his setting of the Latin text of the mass, Bach’s resolve was not merely to mime the gestures of belief and to interpret doctrine via music of his own invention, but to extend the very range of music’s possibilities. Through such exploration, he sought to make sense of the world in which he lived and whatever lay behind it. From the opening collective cry of “Kyrie” to the winding fugues and ultimate radiance of “Dona nobis pacem,” the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists reveal all the variety of a work that encompasses wild virtuosity, immeasurable pathos, and exuberant joy. 

“Thirty years on, Gardiner’s take on the mass is if anything more exuberant, more joyful… all concerned seem to share this vision, especially the soloists who step forward from the choir. Essential listening.” — Classical Music

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