Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas

Sunday, 05.03.2017 12:00, Duke’s Hall

Iain Ledingham director 
Margaret Faultless leader
Marko Sever organ*

JS Bach Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren, BWV 154
JS Bach O Lamm Gottes unschuldig, BWV 656*
JS Bach Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen, BWV 215 

Performed on modern instruments.

Tickets £15 (concessions £12), season discounts available. Book from Tuesday 4th October 2016: By telephone 020 7873 7300, in person (Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm) and online

When Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, visited Leipzig in 1734 he was met by a procession of over 600 students from the university  and welcomed in the town square with a new cantata by Bach, Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen (‘Praise your good fortune, blessed Saxony’). The music, though put together rapidly, was appropriately grand, with a double chorus and an instrumental ensemble including three trumpets and kettle drums as well as  the usual complement of woodwind and strings. For Bach the opening chorus was not just suitable to greet merely his earthly sovereign: at the end of his life he reworked it as the Osanna of the Mass in B minor. 

Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren (‘My dearest Jesus is lost’), written for the Sunday after Epiphany in 1274,  is more intimate but treats its text with an almost operatic relish — from the angular mourning figures of the opening aria, through to the unbounded joy of the duet ‘Happy am I, Jesus is found’. A curiosity of this cantata is that its central movement gives voice to  the words of the child Jesus ‘Wist ye not that I must  be about my Father’s business?’ in the traditional vox Christi of a bass.

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