The final journey into Tunder World

Musica Poetica perform in Bath

A Mighty Fortress on Thursday 30 November marks the culmination of Musica Poetica’s year-long project to perform all of Franz Tunder’s extant vocal works, in the composer’s 350th anniversary year.

Musica Poetica has performed 14 pieces over the course of eight lunchtime concerts ranging from short cantatas for solo voice and continuo to elaborate five-part motets accompanied by viol consort. In this, the ninth and final concert, they perform Franz Tunder’s three remaining vocal works, all richly harmonised re-imaginings of Lutheran chorales.

Franz Tunder
 Helft mir Gott’s Güte preisen 
(Help Me to Praise God’s Goodness)
Franz Tunder
 Wend’ ab deinen Zorn, lieber Herr
 (Turn Away your Wrath, Dear Lord)
Franz Tunder 
Ein’ feste Burg
(A Mighty Fortress is our God)

Musical extract - Ein Feste Burg

Musical extract – Ein Feste Burg

The programme includes one of Martin Luther’s best-known hymns, Ein’ feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress is our God). A fitting end to a year in which we not only remember the 350th anniversary of Tunder’s death, but also the quincentenary of the Reformation.

The story begins in the early Baroque with the creation of the chorale cantata – a fusion of Venetian concerto style and the Lutheran chorale. Composers such as Johann Schein, Samuel Scheidt and Heinrich Schütz first developed the form, creating polychoral works with instruments using Italian compositional techniques they had picked up on their travels.

But Franz Tunder was to take things a stage further – the three works in this concert showcase different aspects of Tunder’s compositional style. Each one starts with the chorale melody presented by solo voice followed by a series of variations on the melody for each strophe, with the singers often deviating far from the original setting. Tunder then surrounds the voices with a magical halo of sound from the strings.

Co-Director of Musica Poetica Christopher Webb tells us:

‘You can hear a hint of the way later composers – not least JS Bach – will exploit the creative potential of Lutheran hymnody, taking their lead from trailblazers like Tunder.’

A Mighty Fortress

Thursday 30 November @ 1:10 PM – 1:50 PM – Free
St Sepulchre without Newgate

Musica Poetica has been thrilled by the support they have received throughout 2017 for their Tunder World project, and the voyage of discovery into the brilliant and unexpected world of Franz Tunder.

Exciting plans are afoot for 2018 – so watch this space!

Brangwyn Hall

Brangwyn Hall

Before then our Welsh fans can join us on 17 December when we team up with the Swansea Bach Choir and wonderful soloists at the magnificent BRANGWYN HALL in Swansea for Handel’s Messiah.

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