First movement (chorus) from cantata BWV 191 "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Glory be to God on high), performed by the J. S. Bach Foundation of St Gallen under Rudolf Lutz. Further information on the Bach Foundation at www.bachstiftung.ch. The DVD with the complete cantata, introductory workshop and reflection lecture (in German) is available at: http://www.bachstiftung.ch/en/shop/it...
The J.S. Bach Foundation has embarked on a remarkable undertaking: over a period of some 25 years, the Foundation will perform the complete vocal works by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685--1750).
Each month, one of the over 200 Bach cantatas is performed in the idyllic town of Trogen in Appenzell, Switzerland. With a rhythm of 12 cantatas per year, the project is estimated to conclude in the year 2030. All introductory workshops, concerts and reflection lectures on the cantata texts are recorded on DVD and CD; the texts of the lectures are published in a continually expanding Bach Anthology.
The main aim of the J.S. Bach Foundation's ambitious project is to provide a living Bach experience for today's listeners and to deepen our understanding of the great composer's works. The artistic director of the foundation is Rudolf Lutz, who rehearses and conducts all performances with the choir, orchestra and solo vocalists.
Die J. S. Bach-Stiftung führt innerhalb von rund 25 Jahren das gesamte Vokalwerk von Johann Sebastian Bach (1685−1750) auf. Jeden Monat wird im appenzellischen Trogen eine Kantate von Bach gespielt. Das Vorhaben dürfte -- bei einem Rhythmus von einer Kantate pro Monat -- ungefähr im Jahr 2030 seinen Abschluss finden. Sämtliche Werkeinführungen, Konzerte und Reflexionen über die Texte der Kantaten werden auf Ton- und Bildträgern festgehalten. Aus der Sammlung der Reflexionen entsteht nach und nach eine «Bach-Anthologie».
Chor & Orchester der J. S. Bach-Stiftung sowie die Gesangssolisten werden von Rudolf Lutz geleitet. Mit ihrer Tätigkeit will die J. S. Bach-Stiftung ein umfassendes Bach-Erlebnis und ein besonderes Bach-Verständnis vermitteln.
Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach (Germany) in 1685. His father Johann Ambrosius taught him to play the violin and the harpsichord, his uncles being all musicians serving as church organists and court chamber musicians. After the death of both his parents, Johann Sebastian was taken in by his elder brother Johann Christoph, himself an organist at the town of Ohrdruf.
In 1703, at 18, Bach accepted his first position as an organist to the Neue Kirche in the city of Arnstadt. His passion for organ playing, and particularly, his admiration for the art of the organist Buxtehude, reportedly prompted him to walk from Arnstad to Lübeck to hear Buxtehude play -- covering a distance of approximately 400 km. In 1707, Johann Sebastian became the organist of the Church of St. Blasius in Mühlhausen and married Maria Barbara Bach, his second cousin, with whom he had 7 children. Johann Sebastian later went on to work as an organist and violinist at the court of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar. During this time, he wrote some 30 cantatas and many other works. After Maria Barbara died in 1720, Johann Sebastian married professional singer Anna Magdalena Wilcke in 1721, who would give birth to 13 further children. By then, he had already become Kapellmeister in Köthen. Some of Bach's sons became famed musicians, as is the case with Carl Philipp Emanuel, whose 300th birth year will be celebrated in 2014.
In 1723, Johann Sebastian became the cantor of the Thomas-Schule in Leipzig, where he oversaw the education of the famous «Thomaner» boys' choir while composing and directing church music for St. Thomas and St. Nicholas Lutheran Churches and for further churches in Leipzig. He would remain in that position until his death in 1750. In this period, Bach wrote a large amount of church music including various cantata cycles amounting more than 200 cantatas, passions and oratorios which the J.S. Bach Foundation is in the course of performing and recording!
During his lifetime, Bach acquired legendary fame as a virtuoso keyboard player, particularly on the organ, and was in frequent demand as a teacher and a consultant for organ building. However, Bach was not equally appreciated as a composer due mainly to his complex use of counterpoint. Today, Bach is considered as probably the most influential composer of all time.
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