The Newcastle Bach Choir’s next concert on Saturday 2 March at 7.30pm in Newcastle University's King's Hall provides an opportunity to hear some fine but rarely performed music from the early 18th century. While some of Bach's music is well known to modern audiences, many of Bach's over 200 cantatas are still rarely performed though they contain some marvellous music. The three cantatas nos. 39, 134 and 180 all date from the 1720s, shortly after Bach moved to Leipzig where he was required to provide a cantata for every Sunday and feast day in the church year. They exemplify Bach's often challenging writing for the choir, his melodic gift for solo arias and duets, and his skilful writing for woodwind, especially oboes and recorders.
Alongside the Bach works is one of three Dixit Dominus settings by his Bohemian contemporary Jan Dismas Zelenka. Working in the court at Dresden, Zelenka's music has only recently been discovered, and this will be the first time that this short but very attractive psalm setting has ever been performed in the UK.
As usual the Newcastle Bach Choir will be joined by Newcastle Baroque with some of the country's leading performers on period instruments and by a strong quartet of soloists. Soprano Rowan Pierce and tenor Hugo Hymas have strong connections with the North East and are now establishing themselves leading members of the new generation of professional singers, as are the young baritone Timothy Nelson and alto David Allsopp.