Long Beach Chorale to Present Bach’s Mass in B Minor

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Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra (LBCCO) will present Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor for two performances only—Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19—at Grace First Presbyterian Church in Long Beach.

Led by Artistic Director Eliza Rubenstein, the 70-voice chorus and 23-piece orchestra will perform Bach’s final masterpiece along with a quintet of renowned local soloists: soprano Harriet Fraser, mezzo-sopranos Adriana Manfredi and Nadia Smelser, tenor Jon Lee Keenan, and bass-baritone David Stoneman. The intimate venue of Grace First Presbyterian Church promises to provide audience members with an emotional and visceral experience, in keeping with LBCCO’s motto: Great music, up close.

Bach spent the last years of his life compiling some of his finest vocal compositions into his magnum opus. He never heard his Mass in B Minor performed in full, however, as he died less than a year after completing what is arguably the greatest work of choral music ever written. Contemporary composer Michael Torke, whose style includes jazz and minimalism, remarked, “Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?”

Eliza Rubenstein, Artistic Director for LBCCO, said, “In many ways, the music of Bach has been the most direct avenue to the divine that I’ve found in my life. The awe-inspiring B Minor Mass encompasses the best of human achievement and understanding even as it offers us a glimpse of all that remains beyond our comprehension.”

She added, “It’s also one of the most massive and difficult choral works in the repertoire, but I’ve never known a performer who didn’t feel that the hours and the tears he or she put into learning it were more than worthwhile.”

Rubenstein went on to say, “The B Minor Mass is pure music—Bach’s own belief system distilled to its most perfect form. That can make it a bit more challenging to grab onto initially, but if we come to it with open ears and minds, it operates on us at a near-cellular level. If you already know the work, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, we hope you’ll come experience it!”

The performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor by Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra will take place at Grace First Presbyterian Church, located at 3955 Studebaker Rd, Long Beach 90808. Saturday, April 18 performance begins at 7pm and Sunday, April 19 at 3pm. Tickets, available now, are $25 for general admission and $15 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at www.LongBeachChorale.org, or by calling (562) 427-1931.

About Long Beach Chorale
Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra (LBCCO) was founded in 1988 by Mark Barville, and directed since September 2003 by Eliza Rubenstein. Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra is in its third decade as a fixture of the Long Beach arts scene. Called “our best local chorus” by Gazette Newspapers, LBCCO has sung with the Long Beach Opera and performed at the Long Beach Museum of Art, Rancho Los Alamitos, The Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. The group’s musical programming is drawn from around the world, ranging from the middle ages to present day.

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