Bach Cantatas

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

More than 200 cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach survive, although he probably composed more, as it was his job as Kantor in Leipzig to compose a new cantata every week to correspond to the liturgy scheduled for each service. In addition to religious cantatas, he also composed secular ones to celebrate various social occasions. 

The cantatas on this week’s program all sacred works and their titles are highly descriptive of the music. Bach occasionally composed his cantatas without chorus, only involving soloists, and for the Chamber Music Society, a cast of soprano, alto, tenor and bass provided all the vocal elements needed. The various instruments accompanying the singers, and often providing music on their own, include strings and harpsichord, bassoon, oboe, oboe d’amore, trumpet and organ.

Program details:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort (Settle Accounts! Word of Thunder), BWV 168
— Erin Morley, soprano; Phyllis Pancella, mezzo-soprano; John Tessier, tenor; Eric Owens, bass-baritone; Michael Beattie, harpsichord/organ; Yura Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, violin; Beth Guterman, viola; Timothy Eddy, cello; Timothy Cobb, contrabass; Stephen Taylor, Randall Ellis, oboe d'amore; Peter Kolkay, bassoon.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (Weeping, Crying, Sobbing, Sighing), BWV 12
— Erin Morley, soprano; Phyllis Pancella, mezzo-soprano; John Tessier, tenor; Eric Owens, bass-baritone; Michael Beattie, harpsichord/organ; Cho-Liang Lin, Yura Lee, violin; Mark Holloway, Beth Guterman, viola; Fred Sherry, cello; Timothy Cobb, contrabass; Stephen Taylor, oboe; Peter Kolkay, bassoon; Ethan Bensdorf, trumpet.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata Alles nur nach Gottes Willen (Everything Following God's Will Alone), BWV 72
— Erin Morley, soprano; Phyllis Pancella, mezzo-soprano; John Tessier, tenor; Eric Owens, bass-baritone; Michael Beattie, harpsichord/organ; Cho-Liang Lin, Yura Lee, violin; Beth Guterman, viola; Timothy Eddy, cello; Timothy Cobb, contrabass; Randall Ellis, Stephen Taylor, oboe; Peter Kolkay, bassoon.

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