The music program of Trinity Wall Street has developed a reputation for what the New York Times has called "transcendent" and "moving" performances of sacred music, with Trinity often reframing the experience of familiar works by bringing out their liturgical contexts. The Trinity Choir, led by music director Julian Wachner, will mark Holy Week next month with two passions that dramatically illustrate the diverse musical responses to this rich, long-lived genre. On Palm Sunday, April 1 at 11:15am, the Trinity Choir will present an "Improvised Passion," based on a text created by the National Conference of Christians and Jews; this passion has been offered previously as a dramatic reading -- but never before musically. Taking advantage of improvisatory skills developed over its past year of Sunday night Compline services (which the choir begins again this autumn), the Trinity Choir will create a musical setting for these words extemporaneously, improvising modally over drones. This extraordinary service will be webcast live (at www.trinitywallstreet.org). Then, at 3pm on Palm Sunday, Wachner will lead the Choir and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra in a service featuring J.S. Bach's St. John Passion, presented within its original liturgical context with sermon and congregational participation. This is a free, unticketed event at St. Paul's Chapel.
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