Among other credits, Lewis has soloed with the Utah Symphony, Salt Lake Chorale Artists and Utah Opera. She sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 10 years and soloed often. One notable performance was in the closing hymn of the closing ceremonies in the 2002 Winter Olympics. She retired from the choir a year ago.
"I'm just delighted to be part of it," Lewis said of this performance. "The orchestra has been such an asset for the choir. I've enjoyed my association with them over the years. "
"Erbarme dich" is just a small piece of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, one of many oratorios written about Jesus' passion to celebrate Holy Week during the Baroque period. The aria is sung following a narrative depicting Peter denying Christ a third time and realizing it fulfilled what had been predicted. Peter leaves weeping.
"Have mercy Lord," the translated lyrics read. "My God, because of this my weeping! Look thou here, heart and eyes now weep for thee bitterly.
"It's a beautiful piece asking for mercy from the Lord," Lewis explained, applying it to themes of repentance and forgiveness Gruppman had discussed. "It can resonate with anyone."
The orchestra will also perform the movement from Mahler's Symphony No. 3 as part of the second half.
"It is really a musical allegory of what it would be to meet God," Gruppman said of the piece. "It's an amazing composition." He said the movement is a "really beautiful portrayal of heaven and exaltation."
Gruppman finds the juxtaposition of Bach's and Mahler's works very appropriate. Though the pieces are near opposite in subject and instrumentation, Gruppman believes the messages and feelings of the works are undeniably connected and equally inspirational.
"It's like musical scriptures, really," he said, adding later, "It is not just entertaining, but inspiring."
"An Autumn Concert" is sold out. The orchestra will appear accompanying the choir in a variety of concerts and venues in coming months.
To follow updates about next year's spring concert and when tickets will be made available or to learn more about the orchestra, visit mormontabernaclechoir.org.
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