Lutheran Vespers at New College

31 October 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 7:15 pm

New College
Holywell Street,

5pm – 6pm (Macgregor Matthews Room, New College)
Guest Speaker: Professor Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History author of Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet (2016)

6:15pm – 7:15pm (New College Chapel)
JS Bach: Cantata 80 Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress is our God)
Conductor: Paul Brough

In collaboration with the Faculties of History, Modern Languages, and Music at the University of Oxford, the Orchestra of Oxford Bach Soloists and New College Choir present an authentic recreation of Lutheran Vespers, the context for which JS Bach was writing his cantatas. Vespers is preceded a talk by Professor Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History.

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (Our God is a secure fortress) is a chorale cantata composed for Reformation Day (31 October) based on the famous hymn by Martin Luther. It is scored with great strength: four vocal soloists, a four-part choir and a Baroque chamber ensemble of up to three oboes of different kinds, strings and continuo. Musicologists agree that the chorale fantasia is an outstanding composition. The eminent Bach scholar Christoph Wolff writes about the opening chorus: “An immense chorale motet of 228 measures, it is one of Bach’s most elaborate choral compositions and of the most impressive high points in the history of the chorale cantata.” Presented with support from the German Embassy and TORCH.