Passover and Eastertide Concert Notes

For the past several seasons, the Oakland Symphony Chorus has been presenting and touring with African American Spirituals and new works based on Spirituals.  With that work embraced, I wanted the Chorus to connect with music from other traditions. The choice of Jewish music felt natural because so much of the standard choral literature uses the Old Testament texts.  Also, the season of the concert includes the Jewish and the Christian holidays. 

One surprising connection is that an African American Spiritual, “Go Down, Moses,” is often used in the Passover Seder.  We will perform that Spiritual during our concert, which features Passover songs and choral movements from Handel’s “Israel in Egypt,” Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” and Handel’s “Messiah.”  The concert includes songs from the Passover Seder and traditional choral music that tell stories of the Exodus from Egypt, as well as the Crucifixion and Resurrection.