Johann Sebastian Bach: Ich bin in mir vergnügt, BWV 204
Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Les arts florissants
The subscription season finale presents a first performance by ABS of Bach’s solo cantata “I am content in myself” which is a poignant moral commentary on humility and self-contentment in the face of economic inequities. Historians have uncovered no explanation for why or for what occasion Bach composed it, but its timeliness in being relevant to our own cultural and societal challenges is dramatically palpable. Paired with Bach’s work is a one-act allegorical chamber opera by Parisian composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier, rarely performed but with a very familiar title, “Les arts florissants” or “The Flourishing Arts.” Like the Bach cantata on this program, its purpose and even the circumstances of its first performance are unknown, but over the course of five scenes characters representing Music, Poetry, Painting, and Architecture enter into a dispute between Peace and Discord. Jupiter intervenes, Discord is chased away, and Peace takes hold. ABS presents their premiere performances of this work.
Mary Wilson, soprano • Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Jeffrey Thomas, conductor