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October 2021

spirit: give

Sunday 3 October, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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Committing acts of kindness increases wellbeing. The first musical track on “The Golden Record” onboard NASA’s two Voyager probes is Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2: a gift from planet Earth to the universe. J. S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 (chamber version for quintet), BWV 1047R Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn (Lord Christ, the only son of God), BWV 96 Gott soll allein mein Herze haben (God alone shall have my heart), BWV 169   G. P. Telemann Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottes…

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November 2021

mind: learn

Sunday 7 November, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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Learning something new enhances self-esteem and helps us to feel balanced and connected. A sense of balance is inherent in the number three, as found in the “Trinity Knot” (Triquetra). Bach’s Third Brandenburg Concerto is unusual for its scoring and instrumentation: three violins, three violas, three cellos, and basso continuo. Could it be a depiction of the Trinity in music? Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, BWV 1048 Nur jedem das Seine! (To each his own!), BWV 163 Ich liebe den Höchsten von…

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January 2022

people: connect

Sunday 9 January 2022, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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Putting the wellbeing of others before ourselves is unconventional but enhances our own lives. Bach’s Fourth Brandenburg Concerto challenges commonly held social assumptions that some people are “better” than others. The young Prince elector of Saxony, Friederick Christian, expressed it well: “Princes exist for their subjects, not subjects for their princes.” Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, BWV 1049 Laßt uns sorgen, laßt uns wachen - ‘Herkules auf dem Scheidewege’ (Let us take care, let us watch over – ‘Hercules at the…

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body: move

Sunday 23 January 2022, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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Regular exercise is essential for promoting wellbeing. Dancing and hunting were among the favourite forms of exercise of European aristocracy, and hunting was inextricably bound with the horn. Bach’s First Brandenburg Concerto bursts in with whooping horns, like riders back from their tantivies! Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, BWV 1046 Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht! (False world, I don't trust you!), BWV 52 Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten (Concordant discord of alternating strings), BWV 207 Book tickets

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February 2022

place: take notice

Sunday 6 February 2022, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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Reminding ourselves to ‘take notice’ strengthens and broadens awareness. In Cantata 35, we are reminded to ‘take notice’ as the alto soloist, stupefied, sings, “I am amazed, for all one sees must cause us astonishment!” We watch in amazement as the harpsichord soloist in Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto delivers a coruscating cadenza of colossal power and chromatic intensity. Was it designed for Bach to play himself? Who else could play it? Couperin, L’art de toucher le clavecin Brandenburg Concerto No.…

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March 2022

planet: care

Sunday 6 March 2022, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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Looking after our world can make a big difference in leaving it a better place for the next generation. As custodian and steward of his life on earth, Bach was committed to passing on his skills to his children, as his forebears did to him, and to leaving a timeless legacy for future generations to enjoy. Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1051 Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt (Just as the rain and snow fall from heaven), BWV 18…

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