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Bach, Father and Son: Magnificat X 2

Metropolitan Lisbon Orchestra


The text of the canticle Magnificat comes from the Gospel According to St. Luke and is one of the most important hymns in the Christian liturgy. The words are spoken by the Virgin Mary, who sings praise to God before her cousin Elizabeth, after the Archangel Gabriel reveals that the latter is pregnant with John the Baptist. In the Lutheran tradition of the eighteenth century, it was customary for the congregation to sing in German. However, on solemn occasions, the choir and the soloists sometimes sang in Latin. This was the case when Johann Sebastian Bach composed this work, on the occasion of the first Christmas that he spent in the service of the churches of Leipzig. Originally written in the key of E Flat Major, the score included some parts that were eliminated in the following decade by the composer himself, in order to adapt it to all times of the year. He transposed it, again, to the key of C Major, in order to accommodate the brilliant register of the trumpets. In 1723, Carl Philipp Emanuel, his second son and the one who was to have the greatest success as a composer, was only nine years old. He certainly would not have been left unmoved by the splendour of that first celebration. Twenty-six years later, already living in Berlin in the service of the court of Frederick the Great, he composed his own Magnificat. Quite possibly, his father would have had the opportunity to listen to this version performed in St. Thomas’s Church, in Leipzig, just a few months before he died.


J. S. Bach Magnificat, BWV 243
C. P. E. Bach Magnificat, Wq. 215, H. 772

Eduarda Melo soprano I
Alexandra Bernardo soprano II
Marina De Liso mezzo-soprano
Marco Alves dos Santos tenor
André Henriques baritone
Sérgio Fontão choir conductor
Enrico Onofri conductor

Coproduction | CCB | Metropolitana

22 december 2019 | 05:00PM
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