Hear, O shepherd of Israel BWV 104 is the cantata we will perfom at Bach Vespers with St. Anne’s Lutheran Church on 30 April (at 6.30pm). The music immediately conjures a pastoral scene with its three low oboes (two d’amore and the curved taille) all performing music in swung, compound time.
Also during the service, Emily Atkinson will sing Dietrich Buxtehude’s motet O fröhliche Stunden, BuxWV 84 and we plan to perform other short pieces of German baroque music suitable for the occasion.
Services of Lutheran Vespers last just over an hour. They are free to attend, though you may contribute to a collection during the service. Tea & coffee are available afterwards.
(The image above is from a photograph taken during the annual Sheep Drive, a pageantry event held in the City of London by the Livery Company of Woolmen, parading across London Bridge with small flocks of sheep.)
We are very pleased that BBC Radio 4 got in touch to ask if we would contribute to a programme about J. S. Bach. Producer Katharine Longworth was interested in our work playing Bach cantatas within the liturgy of Lutheran Vespers and wanted to record us performing and speaking about J. S. Bach as part of Bach: Man of Passion, one of a number of programmes to be broadcast during Holy Week this year.
Image: Joseph Ford Thompson Photography
Well, Bach: Man of Passion went to air yesterday afternoon. The dense but informative and entertaining half hour is in no small part to the Bach scholar de nos jours Professor John Butt (of Glasgow University and the Dunedin Consort) who finds such richesse in all aspects of Bach’s life – but keeps coming back to the music. Soprano Nicola Corbishley and organist Simon Lloyd recorded the aria Öffne dich from cantata BWV 61 Nun komm der Heiden heiland (which they had performed together in the 40th Anniversary Concert in November last year, above right). Nicola and Simon, along with Cheyney Kent then spoke with John Butt briefly about the service of Bach Vespers, how performing the cantata within a church service can be a unique experience.
You can listen to the programme here – you are also able to listen to the complete aria recording here, courtesy of the BBC.
What a lovely start to the day. Petroc Trelawny talked about us on the ‘Bach before 7’ slot on BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast show, describing our group and its work and referring to the 40th anniversary concert in November last year. They then played the duet ‘Mein freund ist mein’ from cantata BWV 140, featuring our old friend oboist Anthony Robson. The broadcast is here, from about 25 mins in or listen to an excerpt below: