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Reformation 500: German Organ Mass

Sunday 29 October 2017, 2:00 pm

JS Bach

JS Bach: Clavier-Übung III (German Organ Mass) 

Organist: Robert Dixon
Mezzo-soprano: Damaris Rickhaus-Nussbaumer

In the historic setting of St Michael at the North Gate, Oxford’s oldest church, Robert Dixon offers an unmissable performance of JS Bach’s monumental Clavier-Übung III – the German Organ Mass. Rarely performed in its entirety, the Clavier-Übung III is Bach’s most significant and ambitious work for the instrument, as well as a personal and profound statement of faith.

Published in 1739 to celebrate the bicentennial of Martin Luther’s sermon at Leipzig’s Thomaskirche, the third volume of Bach’s Clavier-Übung (‘Keyboard Practice’) is renowned for its technical and musical complexity. Framed by the majestic Prelude and Fugue in E flat major (BWV 552), the chorale preludes (BWV 669-689) reflect the Lutheran expression of the Christian faith. Bach adopts well-known chorales from Luther’s hymnbook to produce a work of extraordinary variety – with German, Italian and French influences – and deep theological symbolism.

This is a fascinating opportunity to hear the Clavier-Übung III – undoubtedly one of Bach’s greatest organ works – uniquely contextualised and illuminated by the chorales which proved its inspiration, performed by mezzo-soprano Damaris Rickhaus-Nussbaumer.


Our celebration of Reformation 500 continues:

Time Event Location  Tickets
4.15pm – 5pm Music and the Reformation – A lecture from Professor Henrike Lähnemann Cohen Quadrangle, Walton Street, OX1 2HD Find out more
6pm – 7pm Nun danket alle Gott – Choral Evensong with JS Bach’s Cantata Nun danket alle Gott BWV 192 sung by the Choir of Exeter College Chapel, with the orchestra of Oxford Bach Soloists, conducted by Bartosz Thiede.
Ticketed separately
Exeter College Chapel, Turl Street, OX1 3DP Book free tickets

Presented with support from the German Embassy and TORCH.



Sunday 29 October 2017
2:00 pm


St Michael at the North Gate
Oxford, OX1 3EY
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