Next Meetup

Second Day of Christmas: Cantatas 40 and 121, and Part 2 of Christmas Oratorio
Christmas is a time of joy for Lutherans, but that joy is tinged with an awareness that Jesus’s birth announces the start of the final battle against evil. Join us for two cantatas that effectively convey these different moods (with, among other things, some of Bach’s best foot-tapping tunes). We will also enjoy the second part of the Christmas Oratorio, with its focus on the shepherds who heard of Jesus’ birth from the angels, and on Mary who rocked her baby in the crib.

Thierry's (New) Place

To be announced later · Friendship Heights, DC

Respond by: 12/15/2018

    Past Meetups (29)

    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 propose to explore in this new 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.

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