This evening’s performance is centered on Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen(Weeping, Lamenting, Worrying, Fearing; BWV 12), which originally premiered on the third Sunday after Easter in 1714. The program begins with a performance of the astounding opening chorus of Bach’s St. John Passion, Herr, unser Herrscher (Lord, Our Ruler). The chorus is followed by a chant-like fragment of Bach’s forebear, Heinrich Schütz’s Johannes Passion from 1666, and a desperately intense 1997 unaccompanied song by the contemporary composer György Kurtág, Tübingen Jänner. The work is Kurtág’s setting of Paul Celan’s 1963 poem of the same name and was written while the composer was in residence at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont.
Directly preceding the cantata is Bach’s allegedly final composition: the organ prelude Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit (Before Your Throne I Now Appear). The concert concludes with a meditatively restrained organ prelude from the Orgelbüchlein, Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein (When We Are in the Greatest Distress), which dates from the same period as the cantata’s composition and draws on the same thematic material as Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit.
The ensemble, made up of students from Harvard University and the New England Conservatory, features soloists David Tinervia, Mark Debski, Molly Peterson, Ethan Craigo, and Eugene Song, and is directed by Max Murray, a Ph.D. candidate in music composition at Harvard.
Johann Sebastian Bach, Herr, unser Herrscher (1724)
Heinrich Schütz, Sie nahmen aber Jesum und führeten ihn hin (1666)
György Kurtág, Tübingen Jänner from Hölderlin Gesänge (1997)
Johann Sebastian Bach, Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit (1750)
Johann Sebastian Bach, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (BWV 12; 1714)
Johann Sebastian Bach, Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein (1717)
This performance will take place in Adolphus Busch Hall, 29 Kirkland Street.
Free admission, but limited seating is available. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 7:30pm at the entrance on Kirkland Street. One ticket per person.
Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.
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