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April 2022

Easter Festival: St John Passion

Friday 15 April, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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One of Bach’s best-loved works, the St John Passion was first performed on Good Friday of 1724 in St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig. ‘More daring, forceful and poetic’ than the St Matthew Passion, according to Robert Schumann, this operatic work is presented by an Evangelist, ensemble of soloists, four-part choir, strings and basso continuo together with pairs of flauti traversi and oboes doubling on oboe da caccia. BWV 245 Johannes-Passion (St John Passion) Book tickets  

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Easter Festival: Easter Oratorio

Saturday 16 April, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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Two of Bach’s earliest cantatas for Easter Day, Christ lag in Todesbanden and Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubiliert are performed here in their revived Leipzig versions. The story takes us from darkness to blazing light, from grief to joy, echoed in the dramatic Easter Oratorio. Told by four characters Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacobe, Simon Peter, and John the Apostle, it canters to the end in triumphant victory. BWV 4 Christ lag in Todesbanden (Christ lay in the Bonds of Death)…

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Easter Festival: Rejoice You Hearts

Sunday 17 April, 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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Abundant joy, rushing swirling scales, and fanfare-like arpeggios set the scene for the Resurrection in Bach’s Cantatas for Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, and Quasimodogeniti (‘Low’ Sunday). Join our virtuoso soloists as they lead us through Bach’s panoply of pastoral colours, brilliant coloratura, and triumphant pageantry. BWV 66 Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen (Rejoice, you hearts) BWV 134 Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß (A heart that knows its Jesus is living) BWV 67 Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ (Keep Jesus Christ in mind)…

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Easter Festival: The Lord is my Shepherd

Monday 18 April, 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
New College Chapel, Holywell Street
Oxford, OX1 3BN
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Described as ‘one of the truly perfect cantatas, flawless in every detail’, Cantata 104 draws its inspiration from Psalm 23 ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’. Full of leisurely melodies and flourishes, it finds refreshment, green pastures and a foretaste of heaven. As we move towards Christ’s Ascension and departure from the earth, Cantata 166 is in a rather uncertain vein asking the question ‘Where are you going?’ yet Bach’s music is always full of hope. Clearing the skies to joy…

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