Raphaël Pichon and his ensemble Pygmalion presented Bach in Seven Parts, an unprecedented cycle of cantatas by the beloved Cantor of Leipzig in concert in 2017. The second concert, "In Passing", evokes the suffering and the shortness of human beings' time on earth. BWV 146 "We must enter the Kingdom of God through much sorrow", BWV 27 "Who knows how near my end is", BWV 8 "Dearest God, when will I die?", and BWV 48 "I, miserable human, who will deliver me" are the four cantatas on this concert's program. BWV 48 also features a choreographed performance by AragoRn Boulanger and Clément Debailleul.
While Bach's cantatas may be grounded in particular religious practices of 18th century Lutheran Germany, today the works are considered a vital part of our global musical heritage, treasured beyond the bounds of any particular culture or religion. The cycle Bach in Seven Parts presents selected cantatas in seven concerts, with each concert featuring one universal theme that sheds new light on Bach's music. The programs also highlight artists from outside of the musical world, with each concert featuring an extra-musical exploration of one of the composer's works. Here, AragoRn Boulanger and Clément Debailleul present a choreographed performance with BWV 48.
Based in a humanist perspective, our approach does not erase the religious subject of these cantatas, but emphasizes above all Johann Sebastian Bach's message of humanity, hope, and light. – Raphaël Pichon
Photo: Raphaël Pichon