Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas

Duke’s Hall

JS Bach Ich bin in mir vergnügt, BWV 204 (I am content in myself)
JS Bach Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547
JS Bach Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes, BWV 76 (The heavens declare the glory of God)

Iain Ledingham director
Rachel Podger leader

Joseph Beech organ

Performed on period instruments

View PDF brochure of our Bach 2015 season 

‘Ich bin in mir vergnügt’ BWV 204 is concerned with a favourite Lutheran theme: contentment with our fate as ordained by God. Composed in either 1727 or 1728, this cantata is likely to have been for domestic performance within Bach’s immediate circle. Despite being set for single solo soprano, Bach achieves contrast through radical changes in the instrumental scoring: the series of arias feature different obligato lines (two oboes, violin and flute respectively), only to be combined in the fourth and final aria depicting ‘divine contentment’. An overall atmosphere of calm is created through figurations of oscillating motion and reposed passages of pedal points.

Performed on 6th June 1723, ‘Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes’ BWV 76 is the second cantata that Bach wrote as Thomascantor in Leipzig. As with the first cantata of his new appointment (BWV 75), Bach shows a dedication and determination to the role through the work’s large dimensions and complex musical construction. The text, which refers to the Sunday Gospel, is a glorification of God’s handiwork. This is met with musical generosity: the large-scale opening chorus is texturally vibrant with independent orchestral parts. The second part of the cantata is more meditative, emphasising chamber music timbres, with obligato writing for oboe d’amore and viola da gamba.

All tickets allocated, returns only.

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