BWV 184 Erwunschtes Freudenlicht
BWV 243 Magnificat
Iain Ledingham director
Margaret Faultless leader
Performed on modern instruments.
Each of the cantatas in this concert demonstrates how Bach could reinforce the power of his musical 'sermons' by imaginatively subverting the congregation's formal expectations. The theme of Ein ungefarbt Gemute, BWV 24 -- 'do unto others what you would have them do unto you' -- is reflected in the cantata's symmetrical structure. In its central chorus Bach sets the same text twice: first as a prelude with unequal voices, then as a fugue in which all the voices play the same role. Sie werden euch in den Bann tun I, BWV 44, is a meditation on martyrdom. It vividly portrays the persecution of a minority in its opening sequence of movements: an exceptionally fine lament for tenor and bass leads without a break into a vigorous chorus with the character of the crowd from the Passion settings. Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiss, BWV 134, a cantata of praise and thanksgiving for the Easter season in 1724, was revised by Bach in later years to sharpen the impact of the music on the message of the text.