The Bach Project Critic's Choice Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., April 20, 7:30 p.m. 2011

Soli Deo Gloria—or "SDG," as Bach frequently signed his scores—is Latin for "Glory Solely to God," as well as the name of a 17-year-old Glen Ellyn-based organization that commissions new works and produces concerts of sacred music (of all faiths) using top-tier orchestras and soloists. Its cofounder and artistic director, conductor John Nelson, has led nearly every great orchestra worldwide (and the sublime 1999 Lyric Opera production of Handel's Alcina with Renee Fleming), and now he fulfills his dream of a concert series in Chicago. The Bach Project is based on SDG's decade of Easter-week performances at Paris's Notre Dame, which rotated each year among Bach's three major liturgical works—the Mass in B Minor, the St. John Passion, and the St. Matthew Passion. The project kicks off tonight with the profoundly emotional St. Matthew Passion at the acoustically magnificent church of the St. Vincent de Paul Parish. The ensemble features musicians from Chicago's top orchestras, a double chorus hand-picked by Nelson and chorus master Donald Nally (who just resigned from that post at the Lyric), and impressive soloists including soprano Nicole Cabell, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Lane, tenor Nicholas Phan, and bass Douglas Williams. —Barbara Yaross

Price: $40-$75

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