Music of J.S. Bach: Motets and Easter Oratorio

Thursday, May 15, 2014
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

The Fifth Avenue doors open at 6:30pm for the concert, which begins at 7:30pm and ends at approximately 9:30pm. TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE, but they are no longer available online. You may purchase tickets with cash or check at the door beginning at 6:30pm. Assigned Seating: $75 and $55. Open Seating (first come first served) $40 or $30 for Students and Seniors.

Tickets are no longer available online, but are available at the Fifth Avenue doors beginning at 6:30pm (cash or check). Prime ($75) and Preferred ($55) seats are assigned in the center and on the front sides. Standard( $40) & student/senior tickets ($30) are open seating (first come first served) at the back, and sides.

Motets: Komm, Jesu, komm BWV 229; Ich lasse dich nicht BWV Anh. 159; Fürchte dich nicht BWV 228; O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht BWV 118
Prelude and Fugue in G Major BWV 541
Easter Oratorio BWV 249

The program begins with two motets, which were certainly composed by Bach: Komm, Jesu, komm and Fürchte dich nicht. Ich lasse dich nicht is a motet attributed to Bach but whose authorship is debated. The program also includes the funeral cantata, O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, which may also be classified as a motet.

The concert’s second half features the Easter Oratorio. Bach completed the first version of this work as a cantata for Easter Sunday in Leipzig on 1 April 1725, then under the title Kommt, gehet und eilet. It was named “oratorio” and given the new title only in a version revised in 1735. In a later version in the 1740s the third movement was expanded from a duet to a four-part chorus. The work is based on a secular cantata, the so-called Shepherd Cantata, Entfliehet, verschwindet, entweichet, ihr Sorgen BWV 249a, which is now lost, although the libretto survives. Its author is Picander who is also likely the author of the oratorio’s text.

Unlike the Christmas Oratorio, the Easter Oratorio has no narrator but has four characters assigned to the four voice parts: Simon Peter (tenor) and John the Apostle (bass), appearing in the first duet hurrying to Jesus’s grave and finding it empty, meeting there Mary Magdalene (alto) and ‚Äúthe other Mary,‚Äù Mary Jacobe (soprano). The choir was present only in the final movement until a later performance in the 1740s when the opening duet was set partly for four voices. This festive work presents a joyful finale to our season of Concerts at Saint Thomas.