Johann Sebastian Bach composed church cantatas throughout his life, especially during his first years as Cantor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Bach used his extraordinary musical gifts and imagination to depict the universal human condition and to communicate God’s love and grace. Nearly 200 of these sacred cantatas survive, each one a unique and rewarding musical experience.
Bach Cantata Vespers services at Grace present these cantatas within the context of congregational worship, the setting for which they were intended. Scripture texts, preaching, hymns and additional music in the service all relate to the themes of the cantata.
The Bach Cantata Vespers are led by Graces Cantor Michael D. Costello, conducting the Bach Cantata Vespers Choir, with professional vocal soloists and instrumentalists.
There is no admission price; a free-will offering is received during the service.
Cantatas are presented one Sunday afternoon each month, from September through November and January through May. Dates for 2019-20 are here.
The instrumental prelude begins at 3:45pm. The worship service begins at 4. A pre-service cantata preview lecture is presented at 3:00 p.m.
Each year the series also includes special events. This year’s programming includes a presentation of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, presented in two performances on March 28 and 29.