What we're about

Only a small proportion of Bach's surviving body of work is routinely heard these days. The vast majority of his surviving music--his ~200 cantatas--is rarely listened to, and even less frequently performed. For several years in the early 1720s, Bach wrote one cantata almost every week, to be performed during the Sunday Lutheran service as a spiritual and musical commentary on the day's readings.

Bach's cantatas contain some of his most affecting music--truly astonishing in view of the fact that they had to be written (not to mention copied, rehearsed and performed) under constantly hurried and definitely less-than-ideal circumstances. They display an amazing array of styles, techniques and emotions that we explore in this meetup. One Sunday morning a month, we will enjoy breakfast together, and listen to the cantata(s) that Bach wrote for that specific Sunday in the Lutheran liturgical calendar. In other words, we will let the date select the works we will listen to--not the other way around. Note that this is a listening-only group, built around the largely forgotten pleasure of careful listening--without visual distraction.

Join us as we discover, with good Java and great company, some of music history's most underrated yet most consistently satisfying body of work. Religious affiliation/knowledge not necessary.

Upcoming events (1)

"Coffee" and "Peasant" Cantatas

Online event

Once a year, let’s celebrate the amusing cantata that gives its name to our meetup: the “Coffee” cantata, BWV 211. We’ll also throw in the equally lighthearted ”Peasant” cantata, BWV 212. Please join us to enjoy great video performances of these two works that show Bach as it most unbuttoned and humorous.

Instructions on how to join the meeting will be posted in this space the day before the event.

An option for in-person participation may be added in the days leading up to the event, depending on the CDC guidelines at the time.

Past events (69)

Photos (67)