Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - A Year In The Life

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0120070402

In May 1723, Bach and his family moved to the bustling city of Leipzig.

Taking up the post of cantor at St Thomas's School, his responsibilities included the music for Leipzig's four main churches, for which he composed some of his most loved vocal music.

Donald Macleod picks up the trail starting with Bach's audition for the job.

Ertot uns durch dein Gute (Cantata No 22, Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwolfe)

The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir

Ton Koopman (conductor)

Cantata No 23, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn

Barbara Schlick (soprano)

Elisabeth von Magnus (alto)

Paul Agnew (tenor)

Klaus Mertens (bass)

Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten (Cantata No 59, Wer mich liebet, der mein Wort halten)

Magdalena Kozena (soprano)

Peter Harvey (bass)

The English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

Cantata No 75, Die Elenden sollen Essen

Gillian Keith (soprano)

Wilke te Brummelstroete (alto)

Dietrich Henschel (bass)

The Monteverdi Choir.

0220070403

Donald Macleod explores Bach's weekly teaching routine in Leipzig, following the composer's arrival in the city in the spring of 1723.

Daily singing and instrumental lessons allowed Bach to get the city's young musicians into shape and ready for one of the most ambitious musical projects ever undertaken: his Leipzig cantata cycles, which provided music for the complete ecclesiastical year.

Es ist nun nichts verdammliches an denen (Motet No 227, Jesu, meine Freude)

Elisabeth Priday, Gillian Fisher (soprano)

Ashley Stafford (alto)

Neil McKenzie (tenor)

Richard Savage (baritone)

English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Cantata No 147)

Ruth Holton (soprano)

Michael Chance (countertenor)

Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor)

Stephen Varcoe (bass)

The Monteverdi Choir

The English Baroque Soloists

Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn (Cantata No 119)

Deborah York (soprano)

Ingeborg Danz (alto)

Mark Padmore (tenor)

Peter Kooy (bass)

Collegium Vocale

Philippe Herreweghe (conductor).

0320070404

In autumn 1723, as Bach's project to create a vast repertoire of music for Leipzig's churches unfolded, the composer still found time to squeeze in an extra commission.

Donald Macleod looks at the grand, festive cantata Bach wrote for the nearby village of Stormthal, which inaugurated a new organ in its church.

Weil du mein Gott und Vater bist (Cantata No 138, Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz?)

The Monteverdi Choir

The English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

Hochsterwunschtes Freudenfest (Cantata No 194)

Sibylla Rubens (soprano)

Christoph Pregardien (tenor)

Klaus Mertens (bass)

The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir

Ton Koopman (conductor)

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (Cantata No 61)

Peter Kooy (bass)

Collegium Vocale

Philippe Herreweghe (director).

0420070405

For Lutheran Leipzig in 1723, Advent was a time of penitence, but Bach was busier than ever preparing a packed performance schedule to begin on Christmas Day, when the congregation of St Thomas's Church would hear a musical extravaganza.

Sanctus in D

Catherine Bott, Elizabeth Scholl (soprano)

Christopher Robson (countertenor)

Paul Agnew, Andrew King (tenor)

Michael George (bass)

New London Consort

Philip Pickett (conductor)

Christen, atzet diesen Tag (Cantata No 63)

Ann Monoyios (soprano)

Sara Mingardo (contralto)

Rufus Muller (tenor)

Stephan Loges (bass)

The Monteverdi Choir

The English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

Et exultavit spiritus meus (from Magnficat in E flat)

Emma Kirkby (soprano)

The Academy of Ancient Music

Simon Preston (conductor)

Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde (Cantata No 83)

Robin Tyson (countertenor)

Paul Agnew (tenor)

Peter Harvey (bass).

05 LAST20070406

Donald Macleod surveys the final months of Bach's first year in Leipzig during 1724, including a major project for Good Friday, and the dusting off of some beautiful cantatas from his time in Weimar which helped him conclude his monumental first full cycle of cantatas.

Ach, mein Sinn (St John Passion)

Makoto Sakurada (tenor)

Bach Collegium Japan

Masaaki Suzuki (conductor)

Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (Cantata No 12)

William Towers (alto)

Mark Padmore (tenor)

Julian Clarkson (bass)

The Monteverdi Choir

The English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch (Cantata No 86)

Sibylla Rubens (soprano)

Bernhard Landauer (alto)

Christoph Pregardien (tenor)

Klaus Mertens (bass)

The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir

Ton Koopman (conductor)

O heil'ges Geist - und Wasserbad (Cantata No 165)

Carolina Stamm (soprano)

Andreas Scholl (alto)

Paul Agnew (tenor).