Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas

Sunday, 07.10.2018 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

Iain Ledingham director
Margaret Faultless leader

Performed on historical instruments.

BWV 13 Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen
BWV 55 Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht
BWV 233 Mass in F

Poetic texts about sighs and tears usually inspired Baroque composers to give of their best, since the common musical vocabulary of the time was so rich in appropriate expressive conceits. Bach was no exception, and two of today’s cantatas show how imaginatively he was able to work within this tradition. Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen, BWV 13, first performed in January 1726, is a particularly powerful example of Bach’s penitential art. Scored for strings, oboe da caccia and flutes, it shares its characteristic sound world with the melancholy cantata for solo tenor Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht BWV 55, from November 1726, whose motto — ‘Erbarme dich!’ — inspires a Passion-like response from the composer. Like Bach’s other so-called Lutheran Masses, the Mass in F, BWV 233, draws on pre-existing cantata arias and choruses for its music. Its arias parody the bass and tenor arias from Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben, BWV 102, from August 1726, and the final chorus is based on the opening movement of Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40, from 26 December 1723.

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