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Archangel Michael Hurls the Rebellious Angels into the Abyss, by Luca Giordano, ca. 1666. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

In Leipzig, Bach wrote cantatas not just for Sundays, but also for major feast days. One of those was the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels, or Michaelmas, or “Michaelistag,” as Bach would have called it. That day is today, September 29.

Thanks to the “Cantata of the Week” series by Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras, two of the four cantatas Bach wrote for this day* are available on YouTube this week only. This week’s video is especially wonderful because it has an excellent introductory talk by trumpet player Michael Harrison.

Another timely announcement I would like to make, is that you can join my fellow singers of California Bach Society, Bach lovers from all over the world, professional soloists (singing the solos from their homes), our director Paul Flight (who will teach us about the cantata), and myself on Zoom this Saturday, October 3 at 11 am Pacific Time,** for an interactive online workshop on Cantata 78, Jesu der du meine Seele. All Bach lovers are welcome, whether you are a singer or just a listener. All participants will be muted during the event.

Read more and sign up here. Registration is free but we hope you’ll support us with a donation of $10 or more. I hope to see you there!

Wieneke Gorter, September 29, 2020.

* The video includes Cantata 50 Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (1723?) and Cantata 19 Es erhub sich ein Streit (1726). The two other cantatas Bach wrote for this Sunday are Cantata 130 Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir (1724) and Cantata 149 Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg (1729). All four are on Vol. 7 of Gardiner’s Bach Cantata series from 2000, available for streaming here on iTunes, here on Spotify, or here on Amazon.

** 2 pm Eastern Time / 7 pm UK Time / 8 pm European Time.