Spotlight on the Netherlands–Bach and Dirty Minds

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Program: #08-10   Air Date: Feb 25, 2008

Both the Netherlands Bach Society and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Chorus performed Bach cantatas at the Festival--we save these masterpieces for last.

We continue our long and fruitful association with our partners at Radio Netherlands in presenting a series of concerts from the 2007 Holland Festival of Early Music at Utrecht.

We the web site provides more in-depth information about the music and performers we hear as well as more information about the festival (

NOTE: Most of the music on this program was performed by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir withTon Koopman, conductor--and soloists Miriam Meyer, soprano, Bettina Pahn, soprano, Bogna Bartosz, alto, Jörg Dürmüller, tenor, and Klaus Mertens, bass. As the Festival notes tell us:

Artist in residence Ton Koopman concludes the Festival with a highly spirited programme dedicated to his two favorites: Johann Sebastian Bach and Dieterich Buxtehude. Surely, after all of this Festival’s concerts dedicated to the Lübecker organist, it is easy to see that his reputation should be clearly secured as a genius and that he deserves a place between Schütz and Bach. But, frankly, we knew this beforehand. Why would Bach have travelled over 400 kilometers just to see Buxtehude play? And why would he have stayed for four months in Lübeck, instead of returning to Arnstadt in four weeks, as he had agreed with his employers? Clearly, Bach was overwhelmed by the range of ideas Buxtehude displayed and took his time in absorbing them all before returning home. ‘The cantatas that Bach wrote in Weimar are unthinkable without Buxtehude’, ponders Ton Koopman. ‘Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis’ was written right after Bach returned from Lübeck.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH: Cantata No. 21, Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis--This cantata for the third Sunday after Trinity does not use the gospel and epistle reading very directly but the theme of the cantata relates to both. The epistle tells us "humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you." The theme of the cantata is, in the first part, the expression of the cares of the believer - "I had so much distress and care within my bosom" - and that of the second part, the relieving of those cares by the coming of Christ to the heart in faith. In the gospel the owner seeks the lost sheep and the woman seeks the lost coin, just as Christ seeks the lost soul. The cantata text shows how Christ comes to the soul in its tribulation. The closing doxology reflects that of the epistle. --Rev. David Smith


The music that filled both this program and the one before (08-09) featured the Egidius Kwartet and the Brisk Recorder Ensemble of Amsterdam in a program of bawdy songs entitled (we are not supplying translations):

Dirty Minds, Joys, Forever

Jacob Obrecht (1457/8 - 1505)

Als al de weerelt


Fors seulement

Moet my lacen

Tant que nostre argent

La tortorella

Meisken es u cutkin ru

Tmeisken was jonck/Rompeltier

Clemens non Papa (c.1510-1555/6)

Nu laet ons al te samen

Den lustelijcke mey


Die voghelkens

Cançion Francesca

Blaison du laid tétin –

Esperant d’avoir

Me retirer delle

Canon a Ronde

Composer Info

Johann Sebastian Bach, Dieterich Buxtehude, Jacob Obrecht (1457/8 - 1505), Clemens non Papa (c.1510-1555/6),

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