Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas

Sunday, 25.06.2017 12:00, Duke’s Hall

Iain Ledingham director
Madeleine Easton leader
James Orford organ*

JS Bach Ich habe genug, BWV 82
JS Bach Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543*
JS Bach Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, BWV 202

Performed on historical 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

Solo voices and the timbre of a solo oboe predominate in today’s cantatas. Each of them has an unforgettable poetic tone that will linger in the memory long after the end of the concert. The wedding cantata Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (‘Begone, dismal shadows’) dates from Bach’s years at the Court of Anhalt-Köthen. During that time Bach had no call to write church cantatas, but he produced much of his finest instrumental music. It is not surprising, then, that each aria in this cantata highlights lavish solo instrumental writing, a feature perhaps at its most delectable in the opening movement — a melting cantilena for soprano and oboe. The work ends with a catchy gavotte celebrating the renewal of all things in springtime.

In contrast, Bach’s famous Candlemass cantata Ich habe genug (‘It is enough’) dwells on resignation and death at a moment of renewed hope. With its lulling opening aria, great ‘sleep’ scene and fierce closing corrente, is this not the most touching of all Bach’s cantatas?

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