In addition to his role as Cantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig, from 1729 until the early 1740s Bach also held the position of Music Director of the city’s Collegium Musicum. This offered him the opportunity to experiment with novel orchestral timbres. Bach took full advantage of these instrumental resources, synthesising his characteristically intense counterpoint with visceral dance forms to create tangibly physical musical textures.
In this programme, we explore two of the orchestral suites thought to have been produced during this period. BWV 1066, opening with a majestic overture scored for oboes, bassoon and strings, is performed alongside BWV 1067, which demands extreme virtuosity on the part of the solo flautist – particularly in its dazzling Badinerie. These are paired with suitable cantatas for the calendar year; Cantata 111 dating from 1725, in which Bach invokes the example of Jonah as an example of the resolution required to overcome the dangers of the world and cantata 81 with its powerful arias for Alto and Tenor.
Bach Orchestral Suites BWV 1066 (in C Major) & 1067 (in D Minor)
Cantata 111 Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit (Whatever my God wills, may that always happen)
Cantata 81 Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen (Jesus sleeps, what hope have I?)
Emily Mitchell, Soprano
Meg Bragle, Alto
Nicholas Mulroy, Tenor
Katy Bircher, Flute
John Butt, Director