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Celebrating 300th anniversary of Bach's appointment in Leipzig
In December 2023 we celebrate the 300th anniversary of one of the most significant professional appointments in music history. Johann Sebastian Bach’s path to the cantorship in Leipzig was far from easy – first Telemann, and then Johann Christoph Graupner were offered the job ahead of him – but it was the position he was to hold for the remaining 27 years of his life. The demands and opportunities of the job unleashed the composer’s full potential, above all in vocal music, producing the large-scale masterpieces which we still wonder at today, alongside a regular output of astonishing quality and quantity.
The cantor’s first major statement in his new job was the dazzling Magnificat in Eb major, written for the 25th December 1723. Ambitious in the extreme, even Bach himself made its demands a little easier when he came to revise it years later – an unusual step for a composer who generally couldn’t resist the temptation to embellish and enrich. We take the opportunity here, exactly 300 years on, to explore two other top-drawer vocal works which Bach wrote just a few months before the Magnificat: the cantatas O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort BWV 60 and Wachet! Betet! Betet! Wachet! BWV 70.
- 📅Thu, 7 December 2023
- 📍Wigmore Hall
- 🎫£50 £42 £32 £26 £18
Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP, United Kingdom