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Bach's Brandenburg Concerto 1 & Cantata 82 'Ich habe genug'
Birmingham Baroque Soloists Presents:
Johann Sebastian Bach's Cantata 82 'ich habe genug' Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major
Birmingham Baroque Soloists Timothy Emberson, bass baritone James Fletcher, oboe
Bach's cantata 82 ich habe genug (It is enough) was composed in Leipzig 1727 for the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The work, which features a magical dialogue between oboe and voice, retells the story of the old man Simeon who, waiting in the temple, was presented with the baby Jesus. As he held the baby in his arms, in Bach's version he says: 'It is enough'. Here Bach speaks for humanity - only after seeing the baby Jesus would Simeon be prepared to die. 'Slumber my weary eyes' he sings in the cantata's central aria.
Inspired by the Italian concerti of Antonio Vivaldi, Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 is unique in that no one instrument is 'the soloist'. Bach writes for the orchestra like no one before him. The oboes and strings complete against each other in battle, the bassoon is freed from the bass line and allowed to sing out from the texture and the horn players take off their hunting kit and come in from the woods and into the orchestra. Unusually the concerto ends with a calming minuet rather than a typical Vivace third movement. Despite short bursts of stern Polish pride, peace and tranquillity reigns.