Musica Sacra Celebrates Christmas in Baroque TraditionNovember 1, 2011

Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra celebrates the joys of the season with a Baroque Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at St. Francis Xavier Church, 1001 E. 52nd St., west of Rockhurst University campus.

The concert features Magnificat by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi. The Magnificat survives in two versions. Musica Sacra will perform the original setting, Mary's canticle of praise from the Gospel of Luke, which was most likely composed around 1717.

The performance will also feature the music of Dietrich Buxtehude, one of the primary influences on the sacred music of J. S. Bach. Buxtehude's Advent cantata Kommst du, Licht der Heiden is composed for chorus and strings. It sets the popular Lutheran chorale in five strophes or verses. Additionally, Musica Sacra will perform Henry Purcell's rarely heard Behold, I Bring You Glad Tidings originally composed for England's Chapel Royal for Christmas 1687.

Keeping with tradition, Musica Sacra will conclude the concert with Christmas carols, an audience favorite. Director Timothy L. McDonald, Ph.D., will present live program notes at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are available through the central ticket office by calling 816-235-6222 and online at www.rockhurst.edu/mstickets or at the door.

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