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June 2022

Festival of Joy

Sunday 19 June, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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A trio of cantatas drawn from earlier works, deftly reworked to suit their new contexts. The Pentecostal cantatas 173 and 184 find their roots in secular Serenatas written for Prince Leopold at Cöthen, their imagery ingeniously preserved so that association between words and music is unharmed. Cantata 194, written for the dedication of the church and organ at Störmthal in 1723, was probably also based on a lost Cöthen work and is revived here in full festal splendour for Trinity…

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July 2022

Mass in B minor

Saturday 9 July, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
St John the Evangelist Church, 109A Iffley Road
Oxford, OX4 1EH United Kingdom
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Featuring soloists from the Oxford Bach Soloists, this concert presents the culmination of a workshop week with members of the Orlando Chamber Choir.   Book tickets

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Wake Up!

Sunday 17 July, 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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In his second cycle of Cantatas at Leipzig, Bach focuses exclusively on the chorale, each Cantata based on the main Lutheran hymn for the occasion. This new ‘chorale cantata’ cycle is announced with a sweeping French overture in the grand Cantata 20 ‘O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort’. After impressive coloratura from the tenor, we are woken up by the bass and trumpet with the words ‘Wacht auf, wacht auf!’. Cantata 2 takes as its basis Martin Luther’s chorale ‘Ach Gott, vom…

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August 2022

Song of Mary

Sunday 14 August, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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A mighty handful of cantatas takes us on journey from the praise of Zacharias at the birth of his son, John the Baptist, to the Parable of the Lost Coin, Mary’s Magnificat, and finally to Peter’s great catch of fish. This rich panoply of music displays a unique fantasia based on the ‘Passion Chorale’, a clamorous uproar of the whole world in the Song of Mary, and two movements which Bach thought sufficiently well of to include in the Schübler…

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Deluded World

Sunday 28 August, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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We all worry about the future: a theme taken up by the pathos-laden opening of Cantata 107 which asks the question ‘Why do you wish to trouble yourself?’. It resembles the mournfully coloured orchestral score of the Trauerode, before revelling in lurid descriptions of Satan in the tenor aria with mocking vigorous leaps. A warning against ‘false prophets’ dressed in ‘sheep’s clothing’ cautions us in Cantata 178 with a magnificent bass aria depicting a tempestuous storm and wild sea waves…

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