Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas

Sunday, 04.10.2015 12:00, Duke’s Hall

Iain Ledingham director
Margaret Faultless leader
Charlotte Bowden and Nika Goric soprano
Katherine Aitken mezzo-soprano
Aaron Godfrey-Mayes tenor
Timothy Murphy bass-baritone

JS Bach Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens, BWV 148 (Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name)
JS Bach Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!, BWV 51 (Rejoice unto God in all lands!)
JS Bach Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4 (Christ lay in the bonds of death)

Performed on historical instruments

Tickets £13 (concessions £10).

Sold out, returns only.

View PDF brochure of our Bach 2015 season 

For such an ‘ordinary’ Sunday (the seventeenth Sunday after Trinity), ‘Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens’ BWV 148 uses a gloriously festive ensemble, including trumpet and three oboes. The text is an adaptation of Picander’s 1725 text Weg, ihr irdischen Geschäfte (‘Away, you worldly affairs!). However, evidence points to a performance of 19th September 1723, suggesting that Bach perhaps used an unpublished version of the poem. The entire cantata exudes warmth and joyfulness, in particular, the tenor aria with a violin obligato part of lively and dancing semiquavers.

The original performing circumstances of ‘Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen’ BWV 51 are obscure; indeed, Bach at one point stated on the performing parts of the cantata that it was ‘in ogni tempo’ (‘at any time’). However, the brilliantly festive trumpet writing and soprano part of extreme virtuosity and range — exceeding all Bach’s Leipzig church music in technical demands — point to a celebratory occasion such as a royal birthday at the court of Weißenfels. The climactic ‘Alleluia’ finale can be seen as not only a summation of praise and thanksgiving, but also the Baroque compositional principles of concerto, monody, variation, chorale and fugue.

One of the few surviving works written by Bach for Easter Sunday, ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden’ BWV 4 is also considered one of his earliest cantatas. The text is wholly comprised of Martin Luther’s Easter hymn of 1524, which is set in chorale variation form. Such simplicity of form allows Bach’s exquisite wordsetting to shine through: throughout are examples of vivid textures and figurations that bring the text to life.

Each cantata concert begins at midday and lasts around one hour. The Academy’s restaurant will be open for light refreshments from 10.30am until the start of each concert.

What’s On