Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas

Sunday, 22.04.2018 12:00, Duke’s Hall

Tickets £15 (concessions £12), season discounts available. By telephone 020 7873 7300 and in person (Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm) and online

BWV 126 Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort
BWV 176 Es ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding
BWV 192 Nun danket alle Gott

Iain Ledingham director 
Margaret Faultless leader

Performed on historical instruments.

Sometimes the continuities between Bach’s musical world and ours are striking. Some hymns that were well-known in Bach’s Leipzig are still part of the common currency of Christian worship: for example, Martin Rinckart’s Nun danket alle Gott (1636), which is the basis for Bach’s BWV 192. Although the cantata only sets three of the hymn’s verses, each of its movements has ample dimensions and the shape of the hymn tune permeates the music. At other times the discontinuities between Bach’s time and ours can shock. Thus the musical modernity of Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, BWV 126, based on Martin Luther’s 1542 hymn, belies an aggressive sectarianism in the text of the opening chorus. There is an uneasy balance between superstition and rationality in the text of Es ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding, BWV 176, composed for Trinity Sunday in 1725. Of special interest is the way in which Bach reflects the irrational sentiments of the opening text by deforming the musical shapes in a mighty choral fugue.

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