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Bach Vespers for Reformation 500 with Cantata 80

city bach collectiveFor the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the Reformation, the City Bach Collective perform JS Bach’s cantata ‘Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott’, BWV 80 in a special service of Bach Vespers. We will also perform the Motet Lobet den Herrn BWV 230 & the Sinfonia from cantata BWV 42 as well as other baroque music from Bach’s time.

There is more information regarding the 500th anniversary of the Reformation via reformation500.uk – you can also come and see a comprehensive display of information about Martin Luther and the Reformation at the church of St. Mary-at-Hill, where St Anne’s Lutheran Church holds its services.

St Anne’s Lutheran Vespers begin at 6.30pm and last just over an hour. They are free to attend (though you may contribute to a collection during the service). Tea and coffee are available afterwards.

The City Bach Collective greatly appreciate the support and enthusiasm of not only St. Anne’s Church, but also Music-at-Hill and Gibson Dunn in making such special music events available for everyone. If you want to know more about these and other City Bach Collective events as they come up, then you can sign up to our newsletter here.

Bach Vespers returns in September

The Bach Vespers series in association with St. Anne’s Lutheran Church & Music at Hill will start again on 24 September. We will be performing cantata BWV 138, Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz?, alongside now familiar German baroque music from the Lutheran ecclesiastical tradition.

The cantata demands that the audience consider the world around them and, to illustrate, refers to ravens. This is an ideal opportunity for us to rope in our near neighbours, the famous resident ravens of the Tower of London (at the other end of Eastcheap). We had a word with one of the Wardens there who offered us a photograph showing one of the birds looking up across the front of the Tower itself. For more pictures and other fun insights, do visit his Twitter feed.

Bach Vespers aims to reunite sacred German baroque music with the context for which it was written. You can find out more about this unique series via the St. Anne’s webpage here. It’s a particularly interesting time to come along and experience these events (for free) as the Church prepares to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the founding movement of the Lutheran and subsequently Protestant Church.

Bach Vespers 23 July with cantata BWV 150

We are very pleased that St. Anne’s Lutheran Church & the music society Music-at-Hill have teamed up to engage us for the final Bach Vespers before the summer break. It’s an exciting one for us all to be part of, as it comprises part of the 22nd St. Anne’s International Bach Festival, run under the umbrella of Music-at-Hill.

Bach’s cantata BWV 150, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, is a wonderful curio. Cited as the first sacred cantata that Bach ever wrote, it is thought to date from 1707, towards the end of his tenure as organist of the New Church in Arnstadt. It has little dedicated solo writing for voice, and modest orchestration – it is like an extended, accompanied motet. We’re looking forward to performing it in the service of Bach Vespers on 23 July at 6.30pm at St. Mary-at-Hill Church in the City of London.