Grammy Awards ICMA Gramophone Awards Lielā Mūzikas Balva
Menu Close

Early music festival | Bach in Leipzig

  • 11. july, 20:00
St. Johns church, Riga

Latvijas Radio Choir 

Ainārs Paukšēns -  viola da gamba
Jānis Pelše - positive organ
Conductors - Kaspars Putniņš un Pēteris Vaickovskis

The program includes music by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Erhard Bodenschatz, Christian Erbach, Melchior Franck, Hans Leo Hassler, Orlando di Lasso, and others.

"Florilegium Portense" is a collection printed in Leipzig in 1618, compiling more than 260 sacred motets by the most famous European composers of the time, including Orlando di Lasso, Giovanni Gabrieli, and Hans Leo Hassler. The collection was an essential part of learning strict style polyphony in church and school choirs and court orchestras, which later developed into the baroque music system. Johann Sebastian Bach also used it at the St. Thomas School in Leipzig, where he worked as a cantor and performed these motets during Sunday services alongside his own cantatas. Under the direction of ancient music enthusiast Pēteris Vaickovskis, seven motets by various authors from the "Florilegium Portense" collection will be performed.

Johann Sebastian Bach's motets for the choir were mostly written as memorials for those who had passed away. However, their noble solemnity and exalted comfort encourage thinking of death as a divine redemption from suffering. Under Kaspars Putniņš' direction, we will hear Bach's most elaborate motet "Jesu meine Freude," with its profound longing for Jesus, and "Komm, Jesu, komm" – whose gentle character delivers a message of spiritual refuge. The motet "Ich lasse Dich nicht, Du segnest mich denn" is shrouded in mystery regarding its authorship, but this does not prevent the admiration of the music's integral wholeness, where words have the breath of music and the notes possess a living speech. The concert will be interwoven with chorale preludes from Bach's collection "Clavier-Übung," forming a small organ mass performed by Jānis Pelše.