Choral Music

Bach’s choral music is mostly composed for religious occasions such as weekly church services, funerals, weddings, and for other holy days during the liturgical year.  Since so much of this music is occasion specific, it has not translated very well into the standard classical music repertoire.  This is especially true for the cantatas, of which there are about two hundred still in the repertoire.  The fact that this music is mostly seldom performed in the realm of the general public has denied audiences a lot of Bach’s most inspired and spectacular music.  Of the great choral works, only the Mass in B Minor and the Passions according to St. Matthew and St. John and possibly the Magnificat, have remained in the standard repertoire of choirs and orchestras.  Other than the occasions for which this music was composed, it suffers from the fact that the music is mostly in the German language or, as is the case with the Mass and the Magnificat, in Latin.  But there is a treasure trove of great and gorgeous music to explore in this repertoire and this section is devoted to making this music more understandable, and thus more accessible for audiences.