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Bach Cantata Series: Music for Candlemas

Bach Cantata Series
Sunday, February 04, 2024
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Bach Cantata Series

Johann Sebastian Bach's church cantatas are often considered the pinnacle of German sacred music, works whose theological depth and emotional resonance touch deep places in the human soul. The Bach Cantata Series presents these musical masterpieces accompanied by other notable choral and instrumental works of the Baroque era. With a theme of "Music for Candlemas," this concert presents two cantatas and a motet by J. S. Bach, and a cantata by Johann Kuhnau:

* Mit Fried und Freud fahr ich dahin (With peace and joy I now depart), BWV 125
* Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn (I will not let you leave until you bless me), BWV 157
* Motet: Ich lasse dich nicht, BWV Anh. 159
* Ich habe Lust abzuscheiden (I desire to die in peace) by Kuhnau

There is no charge for admission. Paid parking is available on a first-come-first-served basis in the Bryan Center Garage at 125 Science Drive. ADA parking is available in the surface lot at the same address.

These cantatas celebrate the Feast of the Purification (or Candlemas). Cantata 125 is based on Luther's hymn "Mit Fried und Freud," known as "Simeon's Song" or the "Nunc dimittis." Simeon's joy that seeing the infant Jesus will allow him to die in peace is echoed in Cantata 157 in Kuhnau's cantata "Ich habe Lust abzuscheiden" (I desire to die in peace to be with Christ).

A talk by Dr. Roseen Giles before the concert in the Divinity School's Goodson Chapel at 4:00 p.m. will provide musical and historical context for the performance. Dr. Giles is a musicologist with a specialty in early modern musical culture; she is also the curator of Duke University Musical Instrument Collections. In her research she examines the aesthetic, professional, and personal relationships between poets and musicians of the Italian seventeenth century.

Families with young children are invited to attend a rehearsal the day before the concert (February 3) between 2:00 and 3:30 p.m. for a chance to hear the music of the concert in an informal setting.