2014 Bach's Hercules
ABS’s 25th Season Bach Celebration continues with the composer’s Missa Brevis in G Major; the Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major; and Laßt uns sorgen, laßt uns wachen, a cantata about Hercules that is comprised of an opening chorus, arias and duets that were later utilized in Parts II, III, & IV of the “Christmas Oratorio”. The Orchestral Suite (or “Ouverture”) in C Major is a tour-de-force for the ensemble’s oboes and bassoon, and the secular cantata 213, subtitled “Hercules at the Crossroads,” was composed to celebrate the 11th birthday of Frederick Christian, who went on to rule Saxony with extraordinary grace, diplomacy, and civility. The cantata praised the young prince’s wisdom and, by example, his musical gifts.