MOTETS: Bach & Poulenc

MOTETS, is a sacred music concert of motets by two contrasting composers, Johann Sebastian Bach & Francis Poulenc.

Amongst the numerous compositions of JS Bach, his motets stood out as a gem-like set. In this concert we shall share two (of only six) of Bach’s motets composed in the 1700s, namely, Komm, Jesu Komm (BWV 229) and Jesu, meine Freude (BWV 227).

Komm, Jesu Komm (BWV 229) is known for its emotional depth and complexity, while originally set for double choir, this concert shall be performed by a one-voice-per-part vocal octet from the KL Madrigal Singers. Jesu, meine Freude (BWV 227) is one of Bach’s most celebrated and longest motets, known for its intricate structure and profound text. In this concert, this will be performed by a petite chamber choir, promising an intimate and focused rendition. The Bach motets will be supported by the basso continuo with Darrel Chan on the keyboard and guest collaborator UK-based Ibrahim Aziz ( on the viola da gamba. The team aims to add historical authenticity by the use of period instruments in this performance.

The Quatre motets pour Noël are a wonderful representation of Poulenc’s style and innovation – notably his effective and economic use of voices to achieve incredible soundscapes. Four motets in this set were composed in four different cities across France between 1951 – 1952, each motet captures a unique atmosphere and mood, possibly influenced by the locations where they were written. The a cappella performance of these motets will allow the audience to fully appreciate the intricate harmonies and the distinct colors of each piece. Poulenc’s work often combines traditional choral elements with a modern sensibility, creating a captivating and evocative soundscape. We believe this choice for a Christmas-themed segment provides the contrast, diversity and versatility of choral music.

MOTET promises to be a rich and enjoyable musical experience for all attendees.

The KL Madrigal Singers & Players are:

Asha Menon, Athirah Ibrahim, Chew Shi Yun, Sharlene Rani (Soprano)

Chan Wen Li, Chow Yee Mun, Darrel Chan, Serene Chng (Alto)

Maximus Tan, Scott Woo (Tenor)

Paul Khoo, Sean Chay, Simon Chong (Bass)

Darrel Chan (Keyboard), Ibrahim Aziz (Viola da gamba)

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