The Mystical 16 at Saint James Place next week

(Photo contributed) A Crescendo concert will feature 1616 settings of Psalm 116 and baroque composers on May 17.

GREAT BARRINGTON — On May 17, 1616 settings of Psalm 116 take place during a Crescendo concert at Saint James Place, located at 352 Main St. at 6 p.m.

In the year 1616 Burckhard Grossmann, a merchant from Jena, Germany, survived a near death experience. In gratitude he commissioned 16 composers from central Germany to write settings of Psalm 116.

Among them were master composers of church music—Heinrich Schütz, Christoph Demantius and Johann H. Schein.

The works they created for this collection will be at the heart of Crescendo’s upcoming concert program: five-voice motets written in a style similar to Claudio Monteverdi’s.

Artistic Director Christine Gevert notes, “Crescendo is fascinated by the 1616 collection of some of the greatest early German Baroque composers, and its focus on the number 16, which is biblically symbolic of love and loving.
Psalm 116 is one of the psalms of praise, equally important in the Christian and Jewish religions, which has inspired composers from the early Renaissance to modern times.”

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