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Bach Cantata Series at Duke Chapel

Bach Cantata Series at Duke Chapel

Watch a summary of the first concert in the Bach Cantata Series at Duke University Chapel. Find the series schedule here: The cantatas were explicitly designed to be theologically rich, educational, and inspirational for one purpose - to glorify God and refresh the human soul. In the same way, this series provides a modern connection with this great music of the past, exploring both the theological underpinnings of the pieces, as well as their sheer musical brilliance. Each month will feature a Bach cantata with other meditative sacred and instrumental music. The Bach series will offer time of reflection, sanctuary, and peace, regardless of one's religious background. The centerpieces of the first program -- held September 11, 2016 at Duke Chapel -- include J. S. Bach’s cantata #135, Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder (Ah Lord, I am a poor sinner) and Dietrich Buxtehude’s grandiose motet Gott, hilf mir (God, help me). Both selections explore the theme of repentance, which is found in the Gospel reading for September 11th from Luke 15:10, “there shall be joy before the angels and God over a single sinner who repents.” The chorale tune of Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder is one people will likely recognize as the tune to “O Sacred Head Now Wounded,” a familiar hymn most often heard during Lent and Holy Week. This hymn tune can be heard in 3 musical selections, the organ chorale, cantata, and finally the Quartet in Gm that will end the performance.

Art + Music Commissioning

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