Organ society continues with Bach Vespers services

Johann Sebastian Bach

THE South Wessex Organ Society (SWOS) has a treat for Baroque music lovers as it presents the second in its 2018/19 series of Bach Vespers services.

The event takes place on Saturday, February 2 at 4pm at the Church of St Candida & Holy Cross in Whitchurch Canonicorum, near Charmouth.

The service is based around Bach’s cantata ’Ich habe genug’, BWV 82, written for the Feast of the Purification (Candlemas) 1727. Other music will include Prelude and Fugue in E flat, BWV 876; the sinfonia from Cantata 156 for oboe, strings and continuo; chorale prelude BWV 616; and the motet ‘Maria wallt zum Heiligtum’ by Johannes Eccard.

The service is modelled on that devised for use at the Lutheran Church in London. It was prepared in 1982 by the pastor, the Reverend Ronald Englund, and the cantor, Peter Lea-Cox, with consultation with Robin A. Leaver, the world-renowned expert on liturgical life in Leipzig at the time of JS Bach.

Peter is now an artistic adviser to SWOS and the musical director for this series of events.

The soloists will be Jim Wills (bass) and Nicki Woods (oboe) and there will be a small chamber orchestra and choir.

Local musicians Peter Parshall and Nick Brown will play the organ and piano respectively and sing in the choir, and the Reverend Virginia Luckett – a member of the Golden Cap Benefice team of priests – will lead the service.

SWOS has received a grant from the George Eyre Charitable Trust to help pay professional musicians for these events.

“The grant allows us to bring this wonderful music to a wider audience, something that lies at the very heart of the society’s ethos,” said Mr Lea-Cox.

Everyone is welcome, the service is free and there are no tickets, although there will be a retiring collection.

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