Vocal programmes

all Bach

J.S. Bach: Cantatas for alto

Ouverture in D major, BWV 1069
Cantata ‘Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust’, BWV 170
Cantata ‘Geist und Seele wird verwirret’, BWV 35

alto, three oboes, bassoon, four strings, organ/harpsichord

J.S. Bach: Cantatas for soprano and bass

Cantata ‘Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid’, BWV 58

Cantata ‘Ich will den Kreuzstab’, BWV 56

Concerto in F for harpsichord, BWV 1057

Cantata ‘Selig ist der Mann’, BWV 57

S, B, 3 oboes, bassoon, four strings, organ/harpsichord

J.S. Bach: Cantatas for soprano

Orchestral suite no.2 in B minor, BWV 1067
Cantata ‘Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke’, BWV 84
Brandenburg concerto no.5 in D major, BWV 1050
Cantata ‘O holder Tag’, BWV 210

S, flute, oboe, four strings, organ/harpsichord

Coffee and cabbage

Two of J.S. Bach’s loved secular cantatas – essentially small-scale operas for soprano and bass voices – are given in the context of his fifth Brandenburg Concerto and canons from the Goldberg Variations

Brandenburg Concerto no. 5, BWV 1050

Coffee Cantata (‘Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht’), BWV 211

Canons from the Goldberg Variations, BWV 1087

Peasant Cantata (‘Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet’), BWV 212

S, B, flute, four strings, bc

Sound the trumpet!

Brandenburg Concerto no. 2, BWV1047
Cantata ‘Weichet nur betrübte Schatten’, BWV 202
Concerto in A major for oboe d’amore , BWV 1055
Cantata ‘Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen’, BWV 51

S, trumpet, oboe, strings, bc

J.S. Bach: St John Passion

St John Passion, BWV 245

SSAATTBB, tenor Evangelist, bass Christus, two flutes, two oboes, bassoon, seven strings, organ

J.S. Bach: Cantatas for Advent

Cantata ‘Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland’, BWV 61
Cantata ‘Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn’, BWV 132
Cantata ‘Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland II’, BWV 62

SATB, two oboes, five strings, organ

J.S. Bach: Cantatas for Lent and Easter

Cantata ‘Widerstehe doch der Sünde’, BWV 54
Cantata ‘Himmelskönig, sei willkommen’, BWV 182
‘The Art of Fugue’, BWV 1080, contrapuncti 1–4
Cantata ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden’, BWV 4

SATB, five strings, organ

Bach arranging and arranged

What happens when great composers arrange each other’s works? J. S. Bach gave Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater a new text and a new viola part, making a fresh piece that speaks both of Germany and Italy. Mozart gave string players the pleasure of playing fugues from the Well-tempered Clavier II – we complete the set of all the four-part fugues from this work

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Five fugues from the Well-tempered Clavier; arranged for string quartet by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Johann Sebastian Bach: Italian Concerto in F major, BWV 971

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–36): Stabat Mater in F minor for soprano, alto, strings and basso continuo; arranged by J.S. Bach on the text of Psalm 51: ‘Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden’, BWV 1083

S, A, four strings, harpsichord/organ

Bach in context

Bach and his rivals (2)

Cantatas composed for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, 30 January 1724, by Telemann, Graupner, and J.S. Bach, a year after they had composed their cantatas for the audition of the Kantor’s job at St Thomas’s Leipzig.

Christoph Graupner (1683–1760): Cantata ‘Gott führt die seinen wunderbar’, GWV 1115/24
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767): Cantata ‘Laß vom Bösen und tue Gutes’, TWV 1:1038
Christoph Graupner: Ouverture in C minor, GWV 413
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Cantata ‘Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen’, BWV 81

SATB, two oboes, four strings, harpsichord/organ

Bach and his rivals (1)

Audition cantatas for the post of Cantor at St Thomas’s church Leipzig, by Telemann, Graupner, and Johann Sebastian Bach

Christoph Graupner (1683–1760): Cantata ‘Aus der Tiefen rufen wir’
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767): Cantata ‘Wer sich rachet’, TWV 1:1600
Georg Philipp Telemann: Cantata ‘Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt’, TWV 1:877
Christoph Graupner: Ouverture in C minor, GWV 413
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Cantata ‘Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe’, BWV 22

SATB, strings, 2 oboes, bassoon, bc

Pachelbel and Bach: canons and cantatas (3)

A selection of music by Johann Sebastian Bach and his predecessor Johann Pachelbel, for alto voice only

Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706):

Canon and gigue in D major

Sacred concerto ‘Mein Fleisch’

Aria Sexta in F Minor: ‘Aria Sebaldina’, from his ‘Hexachordum Apollinis’

Partie in F sharp minor

Melchior Hoffman (c.1679–1715): Cantata ‘Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde’ (formerly attributed to J.S. Bach)

Johann Christoph Bach (1642–1703): ‘Ach, daß ich Wassers gnug hätte’

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Canons from the Goldberg Variations, BWV 1087

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata ‘Widerstehe doch der Sünde’, BWV 54

alto, five strings, harpsichord/organ

Pachelbel and Bach: canons and cantatas (2)

A further selection of music by Johann Sebastian Bach and his predecessor Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706):

Cantata ‘Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan’

Partie à 5

Sacred concerto ‘Christ ist erstanden’

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750):

Cantata ‘Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke’, BWV 84

Canons from the Musical Offering, BWV 1079

Cantata ‘Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan’, BWV 99

SATB, flute, oboe, bassoon, four strings, organ/harpsichord

Bach and before

Music by three predecessors of J.S. Bach as Kantor at the Thomasschule in Leipzig – Schein, Schelle, Kuhnau – and the first cantata that Bach composed for his new job there: the magnificent ‘Die Elenden sollen essen’ (BWV 75)

Johann Hermann Schein (1586–1630): Geistliches Konzert ‘Nun komm der Heiden Heiland’

Johann Schelle (1648–1701): Canon on ‘Nun komm der Heiden Heiland’

Johann Hermann Schein: ‘Banchetto musicale’, no. 20 in E minor
Johann Schelle: Cantata ‘Aus der Tiefen’

Johann Kuhnau (1660–1722): Cantata ‘Was Gott tut das ist wohlgetan’

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Cantata ‘Die Elenden sollen essen’, BWV 75

SATB, strings, trumpet, 2 oboes, bassoon, bc

Pachelbel and Bach: canons and cantatas (1)

A selection of music by Johann Sebastian Bach and his predecessor Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706):

Canon and gigue in D major

Partie in F sharp minor

Cantata, ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden’

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750):

Cantata ‘Widerstehe doch der Sünde’, BWV 54

Canons from the Goldberg Variations, BWV 1087

Cantata ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden’, BWV 4

SATB, 5 strings, bc

Sleepers awake!

The Advent cantata ‘Wachet auf’ in the setting by J.S. Bach (BWV 140) and two versions by Dieterich Buxtehude, and chamber music by Buxtehude and Erlebach

Dieterich Buxtehude (c. 1637–1707): Cantata ‘Wachet auf!’, BuxWV 101
Dieterich Buxtehude: Sonata in C major for two violins, viola da gamba and basso continuo, BuxWV 266
Dieterich Buxtehude: Sacred concerto ‘Quemadmodum desiderat cervus’, for tenor, two violins and basso continuo, BuxWV 92
Dieterich Buxtehude: Cantata ‘Wachet auf!’, BuxWV 100
Philipp Heinrich Erlebach (1657–1714): Sonata no. 6 in F major for violino piccolo, viola da gamba and basso continuo
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Cantata ‘Wachet auf!’, BWV 140

SATB, strings, 3 oboes, bassoon, gamba, bc

Every one a chaconne

This programme is centred on the chaconne: we hear how Henry Purcell and J. S. Bach join hands in this much-loved dance form of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Of the few works of Philipp Heinrich Erlebach that survive, we perform a suite that concludes with a stirring chaconne. The two Bach cantatas are contrasting: BWV 150 is said to be Bach’s earliest surviving cantata, BWV 78 was composed in Leipzig at the height of his career. Both of them feature impressive chaconnes: to open BWV 78, and to conclude BWV 150.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Cantata ‘Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich’, BWV150

Philipp Heinrich Erlebach (1657–1714): Instrumental suite

Henry Purcell (1659–95): Trio Sonata in G minor / Dido’s lament / Chacony in G minor

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata ‘Jesu, der du meine Seele’, BWV 78

SATB, strings, flute, 2 oboes, bassoon, bc

Music for Advent and Christmas

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Air from Suite no. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Johann Sebastian Bach: Aria ‘Willkommen, werther Schatz’ from cantata, BWV 36
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725): Cantata ‘O di Betlemme, altera poverta venturosa’
Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713): Concerto Grosso in G minor, op. 6, no. 8, ‘Christmas concerto’
Franz Tunder (1614–67): ‘Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme’
Johann Rosenmüller (1619–84): Sonata Settima à 4
Matthias Weckmann (1616–74): ‘Angelicus coeli Chorus’
Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata ‘Selig ist der Mann’, BWV 57

S, B, four strings, organ

Nun komm! Music for Advent and beyond

We explore the form of the French overture in two cantatas by J. S. Bach: the thrilling Advent cantata ‘Nun komm der Heiden Heiland’ (BWV 61), from his Weimar years, and ‘In allen meinen Taten’ (BWV 97) from his later years in Leipzig. We play a dance suite by Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, opening with another French overture. To complete the concert, Heinrich Isaac’s beautiful ‘Innsbruck ich muß dich lassen’, which provides the choral melody for cantata 97, is sung a capella, and is played in two instrumental settings.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Cantata ‘Nun komm der heiden Heiland’, BWV 61
Philipp Heinrich Erlebach (1657–1714): Ouverture VI
Heinrich Isaac (c.1450–1517): ‘Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen’
Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata ‘In allen meinen Taten’, BWV 97

SATB, two oboes, bassoon, 5 strings, organ/harpsichord

other composers (sacred)

Stabat Mater (1)

In praise of the Virgin Mary: Pergolesi’s setting of the Stabat Mater, punctuated by Vivaldi’s instrumental music for Good Friday and one of Biber’s Mystery Sonatas

Stabat Mater plainchant
Giovanni Batista Pergolesi (1710–36): ‘Stabat Mater’

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741): Concerto Madrigalesco in C minor

Antonio Vivaldi: Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro in C minor

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644–1704): Sonata 10, ‘The Crucifixion’

SA, strings, bc

Stabat Mater (2)

In praise of the Virgin Mary: Alessandro Scarlatti’s setting of the Stabat Mater, punctuated by two of Biber’s Mystery Sonatas

Stabat Mater plainchant
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725): Stabat Mater
Heinrich Biber (1644–1704): 2 Sorrowful Mystery Sonatas

SA, four strings, organ (and theorbo)

Stabat Mater (3)

Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater, and the astonishing and rarely heard ‘Il pianto di Maria’ by Ferrandini, formerly attributed to Handel, together with two of Vivaldi’s Sonatas al Santo Sepolcro

Giovanni Battista Ferrandini (1710–91): ‘Il pianto di Maria’ (formerly attributed to Handel)

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741): Stabat Mater

Antonio Vivaldi: Suonata à 4 al Santo Sepolcro in E flat

Antonio Vivaldi: Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro in C minor

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto Madrigalesco in D minor

mezzo-soprano, four violins, viola, cello, organ

Stabat Mater (4)

Boccherini’s Stabat Mater, punctuated by some movements from Haydn’s ‘Seven last words’, and a sonata for strings by Johann Fischer

Luigi Boccherini (1743–1805): Stabat Mater
Joseph Haydn (1732–1809): movements from ‘The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross’ (op. 51) for string quartet
Johann Fischer (1646–1716): Sonata: ‘Hertzlich thut mir Verlangen (O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden)’

soprano, two violins, viola, cello, double bass

Laments for Passiontide

The lament became an established musical genre and in this concert we present examples of this expressive form over two centuries, from Italy and Austria. Perhaps the first example of the musical lament was Monteverdi’s ‘Lamento d’Arianna’: a five-part madrigal, performed here with soprano and strings and continuo. Monteverdi later adapted the piece for a sacred text: his ‘Pianto della Madonna’. Haydn reworked his ‘Arianna a Naxos’ aria as a Marian lament, ‘Maria quaerit Christum filium’, for soprano and string quartet. In addition we perform passionate works by Monteverdi’s near-contemporary Merula, by Schmelzer (who worked in Vienna) and by Vivaldi (who spent the last years of his life in Vienna)

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1620–80): Sonata (lamento) à 3

Tarquinio Merula (1595–1665): Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer: Lamento sopra la morte Ferdinandi III

Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643): Lamento d’Arianna, SV 107

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741): Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro, RV 169

Joseph Haydn (1732–1809): Maria quaerit Christum filium

soprano, four strings, harpsichord

Salve Regina

In praise of the Virgin Mary; various settings of ‘Salve Regina’ (Hail Mary) from the sixth century to the eighteenth century

Salve Regina: plainchant (sixth century)
Johannes Ockeghem (c.1410–97): Salve Regina
Heinrich Biber (1644–1704): Sonata 1 from the Mystery Sonatas
Anonymous (Austrian seventeenth century): Salve Regina
Heinrich Biber: Sonata 14 from the Mystery Sonatas
Rupert Ignaz Mayr (1646–1712): Sancta Maria, Mater Dei
Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643): Ave Maris Stella, from the Maria Vespers (1610)
Giaches Brumel (died 1564): Ricercare sopre Ave Maris Stella, from the Bourdenay Codex
Claudio Monteverdi: Salve o Regina
Marco Uccellini (1603–80): Sinfonia nona a tre violini
Giovanni Baptista Pergolesi (1710–36): Salve Regina in F minor

alto, four strings, organ

Christmas concert

An anthology of music for Advent and Christmas

H.I.F. von Biber (1644–1704): ‘Annunciation’ from the Mystery sonatas
Tarquinio Merula (1595–1665): Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna
Claudio Merulo (1533–1604): Toccata ottava
Giacomo Carissimi (1605–74) ‘Salve salve puellule’
Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713): Concerto Grosso in G minor, op. 6, no. 8 [‘Christmas concerto’]
Johann Walther (1496–1570) ‘Nun komm der Heiden Heiland’
Franz Tunder (1614–67): ‘Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme’
Michael Praetorius (1571–1621): ‘Resonet in laudibus’
Gregor Joseph Werner (1693–1766): ‘December’ (‘Il Decembre’) from Musicalischer Instrumental-Calender (1748)

George Frideric Handel (1685–1759), from Messiah (1741):
– Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)
– ‘There were shepherds abiding in the field’
– ‘And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them’
– ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion’

S, four strings, harpsichord/organ

other composers (secular)

The Food of Love

Shakespeare’s plays were at the heart of the Restoration theatrical repertory. Freely adapted, with lavish music and spectacular staging, a number of them remained popular even after a new Restoration repertory had developed. In this programme, music by Henry Purcell is placed alongside that of his predecessors, Matthew Locke and Robert Smith, and of his pupil John Weldon, painting a picture of changing musical approaches to the words of the bard. The programme also includes the earliest surviving setting of a sonnet by Shakespeare, an adaptation of Sonnet no. 116 by Henry Lawes.

Robert Smith (c. 1648–1675): Chacone in B flat

Henry Purcell (1659–95): ‘If music be the food of Love’ (Twelfth Night), 1st version

Matthew Locke (1621–77): Alman from The Rare Theatrical

John Weldon (1676–1736): ‘Take, O take those lips away’ (Measure for Measure)

Songs in The Tempest

Pelham Humfrey (1647–74): ‘Where the bee sucks’

John Weldon: ‘Dry those eyes’ 

Henry Purcell: ‘Dear pretty youth’

with instrumental music by Locke and Smith

Henry Purcell: ‘If music be the food of love’ (Twelfth Night), 3rd version (Z379c)

Matthew Locke: Song and dances in Macbeth (1664)

Henry Lawes (1595–1662): ‘Self-blinding error’, version of Shakespeare’s sonnet no. 116

Henry Purcell: Songs and dances in The Fairy Queen (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

soprano, four strings, harpsichord (and theorbo)

La Grande France

The French style in music at court and in the theatres in Restoration London

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–87): Overture and ‘Calme tes déplaisirs’ from Cadmus et Hermione
Matthew Locke (c.1621–77): Brawles in C minor
Michel Lambert (1610–96): ‘Que d’amants séparés’
Matthew Locke: Suite for Macbeth
Jean-Baptiste Lully: ‘Récit de la Fortune’ and ‘Chaconne des Maures’ from Alcidiane
Henry Purcell (1659–95): Overture and ‘The gate to bliss’ fromTheodosius
Robert Cambert (c.1628–77): Overtures and airs from Pomone
Matthew Locke: Symphony and song at the descent of Venus fromPsyche
Louis Grabu (fl. 1665–90): Suite from Valentinian
Henry Purcell: ‘Fairest Isle’ and Chaconne from King Arthur

soprano, five strings, harpsichord (and theorbo)