Early Music Vancouver: Festive Cantatas


J.S. BACH MAGNIFICAT & CANTATA BWV 110, © Early Music Vancouver

16.11.2022 - Article


December 17, 2022, 7:30 p.m. at The Kay Meek Arts Centre

December 18, 2022, 3 p.m. at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

The cantatas performed in this concert by the Pacific Baroque Orchestra were composed by Bach in his capacity as director of the boys' choir of the St. Thomas church in Leipzig.

The boys’ choir of the St. Thomas church was founded in 1212, and to this day, it still is one of the most prestigious ambassadors of musical culture in Germany. Historically, the choir director had to prepare the services in four churches and organize the music for city functions. Bach held the position from 1723 to his death in 1750; he was appointed only after two of his colleagues, further up on the list, Telemann and Graupner, had declined.

One of Bach’s major tasks was to provide annual cycles of cantatas for each Sunday. In his first year of taking up the post, Bach set the text of the (Latin) Magnificat with four inserted (German) hymns for a performance at Christmas, giving birth to one of his most popular and festive compositions. In this performance, EMV pairs the famous Magnificat with Cantata 110, which Bach composed for Christmas 1725, in his third year as cantor and director of the St. Thomas church. Vancouver’s Pacific Baroque Orchestra is joined by three natural trumpets, as many baroque oboes, and a stellar cast of singers, under the inspired direction of Alexander Weimann.

Artists: The Pacific Baroque Orchestra directed by Alexander Weimann; Hélène Brunet and Arwen Myers, sopranos; Krisztina Szabo, alto; Jacques-Olivier Chartier, tenor; and Sumner Thompson, bass.

More information and tickets for December 18.

NOTE: Tickets for the performance on December 17 at The Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver must be purchased through the Kay Meek Centre’s Box Office. This concert is part of both the Masterworks Series Subscription and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra Series Subscription.

Please refer to the COVID-19 Safety Information for Chan Centre patrons

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