Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas

Sunday, 21.06.2015 12:00, Duke’s Hall

JS Bach Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75 (The meek shall eat)
JS Bach Double Violin Concerto, BWV 1043
JS Bach Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen, BWV 11 (Praise God in His kingdoms)

Masaaki Suzuki conductor
Rachel Podger leader
Davina Clarke and Carrie Krause
Mary Feminear soprano (15th and 21st June)
Charlotte Schoeters soprano (13th and 19th June)
Avery Amereau mezzo-soprano (13th and 19th June)
Anna Harvey mezzo-soprano (15th and 21st June)
Gwilym Bowen tenor (15th and 21st June)
Nathan Haller tenor (13th and 19th June)
Elliott Carlton Hines baritone (15th and 21st June)
Bozidar Smiljanic bass-baritone (13th and 19th June)
Choir and Orchestra from the Royal Academy of Music, London and The Juilliard School, New York

Supported by the American Society for the Royal Academy of Music.

The Royal Academy of Music and The Juilliard School perform in the latest in a series of collaborations between these two prestigious musical institutions. A four-concert tour including performances at Boston Early Music Festival, Lincoln Center, New York, Bachfest Leipzig and finishing at the Academy’s Duke’s Hall, the programme features soloists and ensemble players from both sides of the Atlantic in equal measures. Both conservatoires are delighted to be led by the world-renowned director Masaaki Suzuki and eminent baroque violinist Rachel Podger, who holds the position of Micaela Comberti Chair of Baroque Violin at the Academy.

This programme stems from the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series — a ten-year project to perform all of Bach’s cantatas in London — which began in 2009 and has, to date, presented 150 cantatas under Iain Ledingham, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Peter Schreier, John Butt and Masaaki Suzuki.

View PDF brochure of our Bach 2015 season 

The first cantata that Bach would perform as the new Thomascantor in Leipzig, ‘Die Elenden sollen essen’ BWV 75, represents a dramatic statement of intent. Performed on the first Sunday after Trinity in May 1723, the cantata takes the thematic dualism of the Gospel reading (the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus) as its musical inspiration. Bipartite in structure, Bach takes us on a tour de force, with dance-like arias, dense orchestral polyphony, and virtuosic writing for trumpet.

The Concerto for two violins, strings and continuo in D minor, BWV 1043, more commonly known as the ‘Bach Double’, was composed between 1717 and 1723, whilst Bach was Kapellmeister at the court of Prince Leopold at Anhalt-Köthen. During this time Bach indulged in instrumental forms, also composing the Brandenburg concerti and the solo works for violin and cello. The Double Concerto is strongly modelled on the Vivaldian concerto, and exemplifies Bach’s refined contrapuntal style. The outer movements boast textural ingenuity and rhythmic vivacity. However, the jewel of the concerto is the central slow movement: long melodic lines pass between the solo violins with the generosity and intimacy of two friends that finish each other’s sentences.

Evidence suggests that ‘Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen’ BWV 11 was performed on 19th May 1735, on the Feast of Ascension. This would mean that the cantata, known as the Ascension Oratorio, was written only a few months after the completion of the enormous Christmas Oratorio. And like its Christmas counterpart, the cantata BWV 11 opens with a chorus in dazzling D major with full festive orchestra including three trumpets, timpani, two flutes, two oboes, strings and continuo. The work closely follows
the shape of the parts of the Christmas Oratorio, with large choruses framing a central section containing biblical narrative set in aria, recitative and chorale form.

This concert follows performances in New York and at the Boston Early Music and Leipzig Bach Festival.

All tickets allocated, returns only
Tickets £18 (concessions £14), season discounts available, on sale online now, by telephone 020 7873 7300 (weekdays, 10.00am–4.00pm).

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