In June of 1722, the post of Kantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig became vacant. Over the next seven months, a number of musicians applied for the job, and several were offered the position. Telemann, perhaps the most famous living German composer of the time, was the first to decline because he couldn’t get out of his contract in Hamburg. Several other musicians also turned down the offer. Near the bottom of the list was a little-known organist employed in Cöthen, Johann Sebastian Bach. He agreed to hire a deputy to teach Latin, and by spring of 1723 the Leipzig town council grudgingly agreed to appoint him the new Kantor.
He immediately began composing cantatas at an astounding rate, amassing nearly three hundred in the course of a decade. It was at the beginning of this feverish burst of sacred music composition that Bach wrote his Magnificat.
A concise and brilliant work, the Magnificat has become a regular feature of the choral repertoire since it was rediscovered in the 19th century.
In a programme which also includes the composer’s cantatas O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34 and Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 192, as well as a Handel Organ Concerto, Collegium Musicum of London again bring together a splendid ensemble of specialist baroque instrumentalists, led by Catherine Martin, together with soloists Amy Wood (soprano), Tim Travers-Brown (alto), William Balkwill (tenor) and Jimmy Holliday (bass).
A stirring evening of superb Baroque masterpieces awaits, in the atmospheric setting of St Sepulchre’s church in the historic heart of the City of London.
Soprano - Amy Wood
Alto - Tim Travers-Brown
Tenor - William Balkwill
Bass - Jimmy Holliday
Orchestra led by Catherine Martin
Saturday May 23rd
St Sepulchre’s Church
London, EC1A 2DQ
Tickets 16.00, 12.00 concessions
available on the door,
in advance or on the day of
the concert on 07976 629435