Bach in the City of London since 1976
By Cheyney Kent, City Bach Collective
There has been a tradition of performing Bach cantatas in services (as well as in in concert) in the City of London for over 30 years. The City Bach Collective is but a new name for the evolving roster of musicians – the majority with connections to London’s Royal Academy of Music – who have been performing this music throughout the modern period of early music scholarship.
Performing Bach’s church music within a service of Lutheran Vespers gives the experience of the music a very special context. Bach wrote his cantatas for these services. The St. Anne’s Lutheran Church, formerly an American Lutheran congregation based at St. Anne & St. Agnes Gresham Street and now operating at St. Mary at Hill on Cheapside provides the services in which these performances take place.
The service is almost all musical. The Collective tries to follow the type of pieces and ordering of the music that would have been experienced around the time that Bach was working in the German churches where he was employed in the early 1700s. The service is in English; the German words of the choral music come with translations.
Everyone is welcome to come to these services. You don’t need a ticket. There’s no need to be religious. Services last just over an hour. The church gives you an opportunity to show your appreciation for their support of our music in a traditional church collection, where you can give whatever you feel is right.
The next two services will be on 19 June & 24 July 2016, when we’re performing Bach cantatas etc. at St. Mary-at-Hill.