Bach Vespers with cantata BWV 23

For our first Bach Vespers of 2018, we will perform J. S. Bach’s cantata Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn BWV 23 for St Anne’s Lutheran Church in London. Bach performed the cantata for his audition for the position of Kantor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig in 1723.

Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn deals with healing the blind near Jericho: the blind man call Jesus in the first movement, and begs Jesus not to pass in the second. In the last movement Bach presents an extended version of “Christe, du Lamm Gottes”, the German Agnus Dei of the Lutheran mass.

Given this expressive use of the familiar mass text, we have invited the Bach Singers Prize winner of 2017 Jessica Dandy to join us for Bach Vespers. At the conclusion of the service, Jessica will sing Bach’s setting of the Agnus Dei from that indelible masterpiece, the B Minor Mass BWV 232. We will also perform Luther’s own setting of Christe, du Lamm Gottes and parts of a quartet by the German baroque composer Johann Gottlieb Janitsch based on the chorale O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden, familiar to many from Bach’s Passion settings.

Bach Vespers at 6.30pm on Sunday 11 February 2018 is free to attend (with a voluntary collection) and last about an hour. Tea & coffee are available.