*Kantaten für die Himmelsburg*
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750):
Cantate BWV 18 ‘Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt’
Cantate BWV 182 ‘Himmelskönig, sei willkommen’
Cantate BWV 21 ‘Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis’
Dorothee Mields _soprano_
Damien Guillon _countertenor_
Thomas Hobbs _tenor_
Peter Kooij _bass_
*Collegium Vocale Gent*
Four years after its founding, the Bach Academy Bruges is now well known to Bach lovers in Belgium and elsewhere. For the 2014 Academy, Philippe Herreweghe and the Bruges Concertgebouw will again bring together top international musicians and ensembles to focus on the dazzling oeuvre of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) during the entire festival weekend.
This year’s Academy will revolve around the period from 1708-1717, when Bach was working at the court of Willem Ernst, duke of Saxe-Weimar, as its brilliant organist, chamber musician and later as leader of the orchestra. During this period he wrote the famous six Brandenburg Concertos (all on the programme during the Academy) as well as many other instrumental chamber works. For the first time, Bach also was obliged to write a monthly cantata for the court chapel, the lovely ‘Himmelsburg’. Several of these cantatas, such as the moving BWV 21 ‘_Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis’_, were much too good to be performed only once. No wonder that after 1723, as cantor in Leipzig, Bach reworked them to give them a second life in his masterful cycles for the church year. The Academy’s closing concert will zoom in on Bach’s Latin vocal works: the seldom-heard _Missa brevis_ BWV 233 and the five-voice _Magnificat_ BWV 243, one of his absolute best works, will make a festive pair!