Bach: Cantatas

23 March 2024/19h00/ France / Versailles

Correspondances, which has been dedicated to French music since it was founded in 2009, arrived in Germany ten years later on the shores of the Baltic Sea. The ensemble has played music by the North German masters of the 17th century, as well as many travelling musicians who moved from court to court, from the Hanse to Denmark. Dietrich Buxtehude, the famous organist of St Mary’s, Lübeck, is the uncontested master of these lands in this period.
From Paris and Lübeck, the confluence of these two rivulets naturally leads us to the music of a young Johann Sebastian Bach. This musician, who was taught largely by his insatiable curiosity for the musical creations that came before him and for those of his time, was familiar with a considerable repertoire from a very young age. His music library attests to this, with French music featured prominently with works by François Couperin and Nicolas de Grigny. In Lüneburg, he met many French musicians, including one of Lully’s pupils. Bach had a particular affinity for French music throughout his life. With Charpentier or Rameau, he was also especially fond of the interwoven musical lines, a delicate balance between hypersensitivity, the utter intelligence of the text and a scientific quality that far exceeded their contemporaries. Indeed, this is another common point between the three geniuses: both in their lifetime and even later, they were considered too clever! 

Johann Sebastian Bach took up his position in Mülhausen in 1707, where he composed his very first cantatas (the first among which was BWV131). This genre would become the backbone and lasting influence for his career and his work. In this first works, his own genius rubs happily along with inspiration from his masters, chief among them Buxtehude. Bach only remained in the role at Mülhausen for a few months before taking up a better position at the Weimar court, yet it was during this short period that the four splendid cantatas of this programme were born.
Sébastien Daucé lends them a profound musicality and exceptional beauty.
Bach: Cantatas

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