Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Bach Cantata Seres: 'Fear and Hope' Concert This Sunday

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The first concert this year in our Bach Cantata Series is this Sunday, September 17, at 5:00 p.m. There is no charge for admission. With a theme of "fear and hope," the performance will include these three cantatas by J.S. Bach:

  • O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort (Eternity, thou word of thunder), BWV 60
  • Bekennen will ich seinen Namen (I shall acknowledge His name), BWV 200
  • Christus, der ist mein Leben (Christ who art my life), BWV 95

These two works are from Bach's first cantata cycle at Leipzig, performed in 1723. Cantata 60 contrasts fear of death with hope of salvation, through a conversation between two allegorical figures, Fear (sung by an alto voice) and Hope (sung by a tenor). Cantata 95 reflects the Gospel text of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and is remarkable for its use of four different chorale melodies.

The Chapel's conductor-in-residence Dr. Philip Cave will direct the performance by the vocal ensemble and Mallarmé Music.

Learn more about the music in this concert by attending a pre-concert conversation at 4:00 p.m. in Goodson Chapel in the Divinity School's Westbrook Building. Chapel Organist Chad Fothergill will discuss Bach's structural and compositional choices for the cantatas in this concert.

Families with young children are invited to attend a rehearsal the day before the concert, September 16, between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. in Duke Chapel. This is a chance for children to experience the music close-up in an informal environment.