What is Bach, the Universe & Everything? If this is your first Bach, the Universe & Everything (BUE), welcome! We like to think of the series as a community, similar to the one Bach enjoyed in Leipzig where he produced cantatas at an extraordinary rate, providing innovative music for the weekly services at the church where he worked from 1723 until his death in 1750. At that time, the congregation was as open to science and new ideas as it was united by faith. It is in that spirit that we come together for a thought-provoking cantata and a talk from a leading scientist. Physicists are grappling with the most profound problems they have ever faced; 95% of the universe is made of stuff that we can’t explain, the basic laws of nature are fundamentally at odds with each other and our best theories tell us that the universe shouldn’t exist in the first place. So far, all attempts to solve these problems have come up empty-handed, including searches for new fundamental particles at the gigantic Large Hadron Collider. In this talk, Dr Harry Cliff will explore what the future may hold for the quest to understand the fundamental laws of nature. A note from our director, Steven Devine, about today’s programme: The Cantata by Bach, Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe BWV 156 is a chambersized composition with references to two chorale melodies in the composition. One of these, sung by the soprano in the second movement, is the melody “Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt” by Johann Hermann Schein in 1628, and I have chosen another setting of this melody by Bach as an opening organ prelude. One of the most memorable (and well-known) features of the Cantata is the opening sinfonia for solo oboe and strings, which also exists in a later version for harpsichord and strings, and it seemed very appropriate to continue the concerted appearance of the oboe in the closing music – a wonderful question and answer texture conjured up by the ever-imaginative Telemann.
The Undiscovered Universe Speaker Dr Harry Cliff Particle Physicist, University of Cambridge
Orchestra Steven Devine director, organ Dominika Fehér violin Iona Davies violin Max Mandel viola Jonathan Manson cello Zaynab Martin bass Katharina Spreckelsen oboe Chorus Miriam Allan soprano Daisy Walford soprano David Clegg alto/choir director Bethany Horak-Hallett alto* Jeremy Budd tenor Guy Cutting tenor* William Gaunt bass Thomas Lowen bass
Welcome Steven Devine Prelude
Polyphony William Byrd
Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles
David Whyte Extract from ‘Shadow’, Consolations (2014)
JS Bach Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe BWV 156
Dr Harry Cliff The Undiscovered Universe
Telemann Allegro from Oboe Concerto in C minor TWV 51:c1
*Rising Stars of the Enlightenment Scheme.
Artwork designed by Freepik, 2020
JS Bach Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt BWV 957
Polyphony Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles by William Byrd (1543-1623) Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles Praise him, all ye people: Because his mercy is confirmed upon us. And his truth remaineth for ever. Amen
Psalm 117, vv.1-2
Reading Extract from ‘Shadow’, Consolations (2014) by David Whyte (b. 1955) Shadow does not exist by itself: it is cast, by a real, physical body… ...Mythologically, having no shadow means being of another world, not being fully human, not being in or of this world. Shadow is something that must be lived with, literally, as it follows us around, obscuring the sun or the view for others… Shadow is a beautiful, inverse confirmation of our incarnation. Shadow is intimated absence; almost a template of presence. It is a clue to the character of our appearance in the world. It is an intimation of the ultimate vulnerability, the dynamic of being found by others, not only through the physical body but by its passing acts; even our darkening effect on others; shadow makes a presence of absence, it is a clue to ourselves and to those we are with, even to the parts of ourselves not yet experienced, yet already perceived by others. Shadow is not good or bad, only inescapable. Read by Dominika Fehér, OAE Violin
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Cantata BWV 156 Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe JS Bach 1685-1750 Arie und Choral Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe, Mach’s mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt, Bald fällt der kranke Leib hinein, Hilf mir in meinen Leiden, Komm, lieber Gott, wenn dir’s gefällt, Was ich dich bitt, versag mir nicht. Ich habe schon mein Haus bestellt, Wenn sich mein Seel soll scheiden, So nimm sie, Herr, in deine Händ. Nur laß mein Ende selig sein! Ist alles gut, wenn gut das End.
Aria and Chorale I am standing with one foot in the grave, Do with me, God, according to Your goodness, Soon my ailing body will fall in, help me in my sorrow, come, dear God, if it please You, what I request, do not deny me. I have already set my house in order, When my soul must depart, take it, Lord, in Your hands. Only let my end be happy! Everything is good, when the end is good.
Recitativo Mein Angst und Not, Mein Leben und mein Tod Steht, liebster Gott, in deinen Händen; So wirst du auch auf mich Dein gnädig Auge wenden. Willst du mich meiner Sünden wegen Ins Krankenbette legen, Mein Gott, so bitt ich dich, Laß deine Güte größer sein als die Gerechtigkeit; Doch hast du mich darzu versehn, Daß mich mein Leiden soll verzehren, Ich bin bereit, Dein Wille soll an mir geschehn, Verschone nicht und fahre fort, Laß meine Not nicht lange währen; Je länger hier, je später dort.
Recitative My fear and suffering, my life and my death are placed, dearest God, in Your hands; therefore also turn upon me Your gracious eye. If You lay me, for the sake of my sins, in a sickbed, my God, then I beseech You, let Your goodness be greater than Your righteousness; yet should you intend, on this account, that my sorrows should consume me, I am ready, Your will shall be done to me, spare me not and continue on, let my suffering not last long; the longer here, the later there.
Arie Herr, was du willt, soll mir gefallen, Weil doch dein Rat am besten gilt. In der Freude, In dem Leide, Im Sterben, in Bitten und in Flehn Laß mir allemal geschehn, Herr, wie du willt.
Aria Lord, what you will shall be my pleasure, since your counsel is worth the most. In joy, in sorrow, in death, in prayer and in pleading let it always happen for me, Lord, as you will.
Recitativo Und willst du, daß ich nicht soll kranken, So werd ich dir von Herzen danken; Doch aber gib mir auch dabei, Daß auch in meinem frischen Leibe Die Seele sonder Krankheit sei Und allezeit gesund verbleibe. Nimm sie durch Geist und Wort in acht, Denn dieses ist mein Heil, Und wenn mir Leib und Seel verschmacht, So bist du, Gott, mein Trost und meines Herzens Teil!
Recitative And if it is Your will that I should not fall ill, I shall thank You from my heart; yet grant to me as well that also in my healthy body my soul be without illness and remain always sound. Take it in Your care through spirit and word, for this is my salvation, and if my body and soul languishes, yet You, God, are my comfort and my heart’s portion!
Choral Herr, wie du willt, so schick’s mit mir Im Leben und im Sterben! Allein zu dir steht mein Begier, Herr, laß mich nicht verderben! Erhalt mich nur in deiner Huld, Sonst wie du willt, gib mir Geduld, Denn dein Will ist der beste.
Chorale Lord, as you will, so let it be done with me in life and in death! My desire is only for You, Lord, do not let me be destroyed! Sustain me only in your grace, rather as You will, grant me patience, for Your will is the best.
Biographies Bethany Horak-Hallett British mezzo-soprano Bethany Horak-Hallett read Music at Leeds University and went on to gain a Masters in Music Performance followed by a Masters in Vocal Studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. She is a Rising Star of the Enlightenment and was a finalist in the 2020 Cesti Competition at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. Bethany’s opera engagements have included Kitchen Boy in Rusalka for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Cupid in Venus and Adonis, Venere in Il Ballo delle Ingrate and Enchanted Lady in Caccini La Liberazione di Ruggiero at the Brighton Early Music Festival; Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Merry Opera Company, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte with London Young Sinfonia, Second Witch in Dido & Aeneas at the Milton Abbey International Music Festival, Taa in Lewis Coenen-Rowe Collision at the Grimebourne Festival and Nerone in L’Incoronazione di Poppea at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. On the concert platform Bethany has appeared with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment singing Bach cantatas directed by Steven Devine and Elijah with Masaaki Suzuki. She has performed and recorded Cupid in John Eccles Semele with the Academy of Ancient Music. Her recent and forthcoming engagements include concerts with the English Chamber Orchestra, Holland Baroque a film of the St John Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and singing Woman in Katya Kabanova for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Guy Cutting British tenor Guy Cutting was a chorister and later a choral scholar at New College, Oxford where he gained a first-class degree in Music. In 2013 he became the inaugural recipient of the American Bach Soloists’ Jeffrey Thomas Award and is currently a Rising Star of the Enlightenment. His engagements have included appearances with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Collegium Vocale Gent, Gabrieli Consort, Choir of New College, Ludus Baroque, Le Concert Lorrain, Monteverdi Choir, Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht, De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, A Nocte Temporis, the Oxford Bach Soloists, Swedish Baroque Orchestra, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, American Bach Soloists, Ensemble Cantatio and The Instruments of Time and Truth. He counts amongst his musical collaborators conductors John Butt, Marcus Creed, Laurence Cummings, Steven Devine, Tom Hammond-Davies, Philippe Herreweghe, Edward Higginbottom, Robert Howarth, Paul McCreesh, Jeffrey Thomas, Reinoud Van Mechelen, Owen Rees and Jos van Veldhoven. He is particularly in demand for his interpretations of Bach and the other baroque masters. Guy is a member of Damask Vocal Quartet and he has recorded Scarlatti and Handel on the Avie label, Charpentier, Couperin, Blow and Mozart for Novum and Gabriel Jackson Passion for Delphian. Film projects include Bach Cantatas with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Steven Devine and Schubert with Kristian Bezuidenhout. William Gaunt
William Gaunt was born in Yorkshire and received his early musical education there as a chorister at Ripon Cathedral. Following a choral scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge, where he read Classics, he commenced his professional career with successive posts in the choirs of Christ Church, Oxford, and Westminster Cathedral. William has developed a busy and versatile career as both a soloist and a consort singer. He remains strongly committed to working as an ensemble musician, and in this capacity appears frequently across the UK and Europe, performing and recording with such groups as the Gabrieli Consort, Gallicantus, Alamire, Tenebrae and Theatre of Voices.
Biographies Steven Devine Steven Devine enjoys a busy career as a music director and keyboard player working with some of the finest musicians. He made his London conducting debut in 2002 at the Royal Albert Hall and is now a regular performer there - including making his Proms directing debut in August 2007, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Since 2007 Steven has been the harpsichordist with London Baroque in addition to his position as Principal Keyboard Player with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has recorded over forty discs with other artists and ensembles and made many solo recordings including Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and Goldberg Variations. Steven is Early Keyboard Consultant at both the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and a regular teacher and examiner at many other institutions. Dr Harry Cliff Dr Harry Cliff is a particle physicist at the University of Cambridge working on the LHCb experiment; a huge particle detector buried 100m underground at CERN near Geneva. He is part of a team of around 700 physicists from all over the world who are using LHCb to search for evidence of new particles that could answer some of the biggest questions in modern physics. For the past seven years, Dr Cliff has held a joint post between Cambridge and the Science Museum in London, where he curated two major exhibitions: Collider (2013) and The Sun (2018). He is an enthusiastic communicator of science and has given a huge number of public talks including at TED and the Royal Institution, alongside appearances on television, radio and podcasts. Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Three decades ago, a group of inquisitive London musicians took a long hard look at that curious institution we call the Orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch. They began by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born. Please visit oae.co.uk for more information, videos, podcasts and blogs.
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