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for Voices, String Quartet, and Tingsha Bells with The Decani

Acclaimed composer James Kallembach and the Decani, the professional vocal ensemble of Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago, offer the recording debut of Kallembach’s groundbreaking St. John Passion for voices (small chorus and soloists), string quartet, and tingsha bells. James Kallembach is widely recognized as an innovative 21st century composer of songs and oratorios, with accolades and commissions coming from groups such as Seraphic Fire, Lydian String Quartet, Brooklyn Art Song Society, VocalEssence, Pacific Chorale, ALEA III, ASCAP, ACDA, and more. The gripping tale of the Passion according to St. John—most famously set by J.S. Bach—is here told in the context of great literature about the nature of evil. Kallembach intersperses arias using archetypal texts from Faust, Macbeth, and Dante’s Inferno, and settings of William Blake’s poem The Sick Rose, with the classic Biblical story. As Kallembach notes, “Faust unwittingly invites in the devil and realizes too late that it is not so easy to get rid of him; Lady Macbeth asks that her entire being be possessed by evil in order to give free rein to her ambitions; and Dante paints a picture of departing hell via the very hair of Lucifer, who lies below the apex of the cross, surfacing to see perhaps the most breathtaking evidence of creation: the stars.”

Garden/The Arrest of Jesus

James Kallembach

Kaitlin Foley

Clara Osowski

The Sick Rose I

        Mathew Dean                     Andrew Schultze

Garden/The Arrest of Jesus

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