There's a stimulating contrast of themes and talents in one of the final Skaneateles Festival concerts of the summer. The two featured works certainly could not be more contrasted: J.S. Bach's robust Cantata No. 40, which depicts a triumphant Jesus destroying the works of the devil; and David Lang's fragile, haunting "Little Match Girl Passion," based on the infinitely sad Hans Christian Andersen story. The Bach cantata is not one of his best-known, but any Bach cantata is worth exploring. The Lang piece won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and quickly became a contemporary classic. This program also brings together some noted performers: violinist Hilary Hahn, vocal ensemble Ekmeles, and the Brooklyn-based group The Knights, the world's coolest chamber orchestra — or "orchestral collective" if you prefer.
Skaneateles Festival presents "Passion, Past and Present" on Thursday, September 1, at First Presbyterian Church, 97 East Genesee Street, Skaneateles. $22-$24 (free for children under 13). 315-685-7418; skanfest.org.