MUSIC BOX: Diamond jubilee choir celebration

SHEFFIELD Bach Choir's third concert in their diamond jubilee season is an all-Bach affair, with the splendid Simon Lindley again conducting, at St Mark's Church, Broomhill this Saturday.

It takes in two cantatas, BWV 30 and BWV 147, which sandwich a performance of the composer's Concerto for violin and oboe in D minor BWV 1060 in which the soloists are Karen Hoyle and Rosie Crooke, respectively.

The first cantata, written for the feast of St John the Baptist in 1735, uses some musical material Bach used for a secular cantata some years before.

Some of his adaptations have been criticised but, as the latter is almost forgotten, why should fine music not be heard in the church cantata?

BWV 147, written for the feast of The Visitation (of Mary to Elisabeth) in 1723, is the source of one of most familiar tunes in all Bach, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring – hear it as it should sound! – in what generally regarded as one of the finest of Bach's 200-odd church cantatas

It seems some do not know what a cantata is. In Bach's case, think of one as a mini-oratorio.

Both being performed here are with soprano, alto (female), tenor and bass soloists, the latter being the virile-voiced Alex Ashworth who sang in Mendelssohn's St Paul in November, with instrumental support from members of the South Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra.

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