In the Concert Singers of Cary Discovery Concert Series:
“Bach’s Awakening: Discover Cantata 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”
Cantata 140 is a chorale cantata composed by J.S. Bach in 1731, using a very famous chorale, “Wachet auf” (Sleepers, Awake!) which appears in many Christian hymnals. The original hymn was written in 1599 by German pastor Philipp Nicolai, after surviving a deadly plague in his town.
Bach’s setting has been called a “regal masterpiece” — the writing is self-assured, warm, and joyous, and shows Bach at his most melodic.
Choral Artists with Mallarmé Chamber Players
Nathan Leaf, conductor
Jeanne Fisher, soprano
Aaron Carlyle, tenor
Marc Callahan, baritone
45 minute talk about the music (‘Structure of a Cantata’) with live examples, followed by performance.
Musical understanding exists on a spectrum, from the refreshing experience of a first time audience member, to the chiseled knowledge of an experienced professional. Sometimes the complexity of music makes it difficult for those with less training and experience to enjoy the great musical masterworks in our tradition.
The Discovery Series aims to help general audience members move along the spectrum of understanding so that they may more fully appreciate, understand, and enjoy music of all sorts. For concerts on the Discovery Series, the first half will be a discussion of the work itself, including background and description of structural elements that aid the listener in understanding the composer’s intent and meaning. The discussion will be aided by live musical examples played by the performers, to illustrate the salient points.
The second half will then be a performance of the music. Through this experience, the average audience member will have an opportunity to develop their understanding of great works of art, and feel encouraged to attend more concerts.