Air on a G String
Sunday 6 May, 3:15 pm - 4:15 pmFree - £15
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn (I will not let you go unless you bless me), BWV Anh. 159
Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! (Ring forth o songs, resound, you strings!), BWV 172
O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad (O holy bath of Spirit and water), BWV 165
Bach’s lavishly scored Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major is the home of the celebrated second movement often misnamed Air on a G string. The title comes from an arrangement by the late nineteenth century German violinist August Wilhelmj who transposed the work down a tone so that the part of the first violins could be played entirely on the lowest string, the G string.
Bach’s tender and hypnotic eight-voiced motet Ich lasse dich nich, du segnest mich denn is the earliest surviving motet of his dating from 1712 or earlier whilst he was employed by the Dukes of Weimar.
During this same period at the ‘Himmelsburg’ (Castle of Heaven), he was to compose the effulgent cantata for Pentecost Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! depicting the fiery arrival of the Holy Spirit. One year later in 1715, the intimate O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad for Trinity Sunday was penned, a cantata of remarkable diversity and richness in contrasts.