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Preparing to Hear Masterworks

Spring 2024: April 22-May 20
In person: Mondays, 1:30-3:30 pm
Online: Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30 pm
UVMC Bach Room
painting of a quartet

Spring 2024: J. S. Bach’s John Passion

It begins with propulsive, throbbing, motoric figuration in the strings. A moaning swirl of dissonant intertwinings between two oboes unfolds simultaneously above. Soon the bass line leaves its insistent repetitions of a single pitch and initiates a foreboding chromatic descent; withal strings and oboes swell to the movement’s first climax—three shrieks by the chorus, “Herr! Herr! Herr!”—“Lord! Lord! Lord!”

These opening moments launch Johann Sebastian Bach’s extraordinary John Passion. They set the tone for what Robert Schumann termed a “daring, forceful and poetic” work, one which John Eliot Gardiner similarly lauds as the “more radical” of Bach’s Passion settings.

On May 18 and 19, Upper Valley Baroque will present two performances of the John Passion. This seminar aspires to help listeners to savor the work. We will consider Bach’s unrelenting innovation in the domains of rhythm, texture, instrumentation, harmony, and drama. We will ponder the theology implicit in both the text and the music. And we will consider the work’s antecedents in early-18th-century northern Europe.

No prior music experience is necessary (though such experience is welcome!). There will be five sessions; the last of the five will take place after the performance weekend, and thus will afford us an opportunity to discuss what we noticed at the concerts.

Students can choose between two class formats: in person on Mondays, or in an online section, days & time TBA.

Ages: Adults
Length: 5 weeks, 2 hour classes
Cost: $140
Minimum Enrollment: 5
Faculty: Mark Nelson

Tuition Assistance

We believe that everyone, no matter their financial resources, should have access to high quality music education. Click here to learn more about available resources and how to get financial support.

Questions about a class or not sure whether to register yet?

If you are interested in a specific class and have questions, or not sure whether you are ready to register but want to stay up to date, please complete our New Student Inquiry Form and list the name of the class.

Tuition & Payment Plans

Payment plans of 2 or more payments are available by contacting the office or for group classes via online registration. Learn more about Tuition, Fees, Discounts, and Payment plans here.

UVMC Calendar

Wondering about holidays and whether UVMC is open? Find our school calendar including holidays and make-up weeks here.

Offered in Partnership with OSHER at Dartmouth