Sunday, October 23 - 2016
The Bach cantatas were explicitly designed to be theologically rich, educational, and inspirational for one purpose - to glorify God and refresh the human soul. In the same way, this series provides a modern connection with this great music of the past, exploring both the theological underpinnings of the pieces, as well as their sheer musical brilliance. Each month will feature a Bach cantata with other meditative sacred and instrumental music. The Bach Cantata series will offer time of reflection, sanctuary, and peace, regardless of one's religious background.
This concert presents cantata #179, Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei, (“See To It That Your Fear of God Not Be a Hypocrisy”). In it we hear the choir sing the striking words, “Today’s Christianity is sadly in a sorry state. Most Christians are lukewarm and halfhearted,” which are followed by the number of ways people can claim to be religious but still remain hypocritical. This bold text serves as a call to action—for Bach’s congregation in 1723 and for us nearly 300 years later—to be genuine, acknowledge our sins, and ask for God’s mercy. The second cantata for the day is cantata #29 Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir (“We Thank You, O God, We Thank You”). It was composed for a town council election in 1731 and draws together various influences from biblical texts in celebration of thanksgiving to God for care and protection of the city, as well as prayers for the future leaders and blessings for all.
J. S. Bach - Chorale prelude: Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten
J. S. Bach - Cantata 179: Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei
Dietrich Buxtehude - Psalm: Quaemadmodum desiderat cervus
Heinrich Schütz - Motet: Himmel und Erde vergeben
J. S. Bach - Cantata 29: Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir
Public parking is available on a first-come basis for $5 in the Bryan Center Parking Garage; Duke parking permit holders may park for free. Vehicles with an ADA pass may park in front of the Chapel.