Seven-Part Bach Cycle (I/VII) – With Raphaël Pichon, Ensemble Pygmalion, Sabine Devieilhe, Alex Potter...

Part I: Lights

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Sabine Devieilhe — Soprano

Alex Potter — Alto

Julian Prégardien — Tenor

Christian Immler — Bass

Saburo Teshigawara — Dancer, choreographer

Rihoko Sato — Dancer

Ensemble Pygmalion

Raphaël Pichon — Conductor

Program notes

In 2017, Raphaël Pichon and his ensemble Pygmalion presented Bach in Seven Parts, an unprecedented cycle of cantatas by the beloved Cantor of Leipzig in concert. "Lights," the first festive installment of the series, features four remarkable vocal soloists: Sabine Devieilhe, Alex Potter, Julian Prégardien, and Christian Immler. The great Japanese dancer Saburo Teshigawara joins them for the performance of Brandenburg Concerto No. 3.

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, Saburo Teshigawara, one of the greatest dancers and choreographers of his generation, examines Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 using the theme of light, accompanied by his partner Rihoko Sato.

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

Sabine Devieilhe appears thanks to the courtesy of Erato Warner Classics.

Photo: Sabine Devieilhe

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Further listening: featured works

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