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Experience the passion
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The New Trinity Baroque Orchestra and Choir will perform Bach's "Saint John's Passion " at 3 p.m. Sunday at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church.

According to the ensemble's Web site, the group specializes in playing 17th and 18th century instruments and the music of the period.

"We've had one other baroque orchestra come, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, and they were very well received," said Ric Chiapetta, artistic director for the Arts Association in Newton County.

Chiapetta said the timing of the concert is perfect.

"Bach wrote these passions to be performed during Lent," Chiapetta said.

Lent is the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter - often observed as a time of fasting, sacrifice and penitence by many Christian denominations.

"This concert provides a unique opportunity because it's not a piece that is performed very often," Chiapetta said.

He added Bach's Saint Matthew's Passion - while a more popular piece - is almost three hours long, where Saint John's is about an hour and a half.

Chiapetta defined the baroque style for those who may not be familiar with the music of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann, Monteverdi or Buxtehude.

"The baroque style was a very ornate and flowery style," Chiapetta said. "Music was becoming much more melodic at the time after the Renaissance period."

He said in "Saint John's" Bach makes tremendous use of the fugue and many flourishes including chorales which the entire congregation would have sung.

The high baroque period lead to the rococo period, which was even more elaborate than the most embellished baroque period works, according to Chiapetta.

This year marks New Trinity Baroque's ninth concert season in Atlanta. The ensemble was originally formed in 1998 in London by Serbian-born Artistic Director Predrag Gosta.

Since 1998, the ensemble has performed in New York, Boston, London and Belgrade and become known as one of the best early music orchestras in the United States.

New Trinity Baroque has served as the ensemble-in-residence at Oxford College of Emory University since 2004.

Chiapetta said the "Saint John's Passion" concert should appeal to a broad audience.

"This concert would appeal to all choral and orchestral fanciers," Chiapetta said. "It's also a wonderful way to celebrate the season of Lent."

To purchase tickets, visit, call (770) 786-8188 or stop by the Arts Association office on Washington Street just off of the Square.