Bachfest 2017

Leipzig Gewandhaus, Great Hall
10 & 11 June 2017​

Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Sir John Eliot Gardiner - conductor

10 June 2017
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducted the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony, alongside other works.

Composed in 1830, Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony honours the 300th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession, the first fundamental statement of their faith by the Lutheran imperial estates. In its opening movement, he quotes the Dresden Amen – a theme which Richard Wagner used again 50 years later as the Grail motif in his Parsifal. The reference to the Lutheran confession becomes abundantly clear in the final movement of the Reformation Symphony, which Mendelssohn wrote as a large-scale series of variations on the chorale “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” (”A Mighty Fortress is Our God”). Although the premiere performance in 1832 was not a great success, Mendelssohn’s 5th Symphony is today one of his most popular works.

11 June 2017
The Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists performed Reformation Cantatas by Heinrich Schütz and J.S. Bach.

Even the 100th anniversary of the Reformation on October 31, 1617, was celebrated with great pomp in numerous places. In Dresden, the Elector of Saxony organised a three-day celebration with church services, a banquet and gun salutes. The young court kapellmeister, Heinrich Schütz, provided a grandiose musical backdrop, with three large-scale psalm concertos. But even in non-anniversary years, festive music was always performed at Reformation Day church services during the Baroque period. It was for such occasions that Johann Sebastian Bach in Leipzig wrote the cantatas “Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild” and “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott”, providing them with opulent orchestration and jubilatory vocal parts.

Bachfest 2017 - Concert programmes

Kirchliche Fest-OuvertüreEin feste Burg ist unser Gott”, op. 31

Warum toben die Heiden, op. 78 Nr. 1, MWV B 41
Richte mich, Gott, op. 78 Nr. 2, MWV B 46
Mein Gott, warum hast du mich verlassen, op. 78 Nr. 3, MWV B 51
Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich, MWV A 11

Vorspiel zu “Parsifal

Sinfonie Nr. 5 d-Moll, op. 107, MWV N 15, (Reformationssinfonie)

J. Brahms
Geistliches Lied, op. 30

H. Schütz
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, SWV 41
Nicht uns, Herr, sondern deinem Namen gib Ehre, SWV 43
Danket dem Herren, denn er ist freundlich, SWV 45

J.S. Bach
Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 192
Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild, BWV 79
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80