2021-les-arts-florissants-Passion-St-Jean-MQ5A9942-Matthieu Joffres_BD


Bach - The Great Leipzig Audition


Bach - The Great Leipzig Audition


Singers and musicians of Les Arts Florissants

Musical direction



Georg Philipp TELEMANN - Cantata “Wer sich rächet” TWV 1:1600

Johann KUHNAU - Cantata “Lobe den Herrn meine Seele”

Johann Sebastian BACH - Cantata BWV 23

Christoph GRAUPNER - Cantata “Aus der Tiefen rufen wir”

Johann Sebastian BACH - Cantata BWV 22

Bach appears to us today as a major and indisputable figure in the history of music. To imagine that he could have suffered from the comparison with his contemporaries seems unlikely; and yet...

When he applied in 1723 for the position of Kantor of the Church of St. Thomas in Leipzig, Bach was not the favorite candidate. The first choice would have been Christoph Graupner, but the latter declined the offer and preferred the Prince of Hesse-Darmstad. The renowned and prolific Georg Philip Telemann, founder of the Collegium Musicum in Leipzig and a friend of Bach's, applied for the post - only to withdraw his application almost immediately and turn to Hamburg. The only one left was Johann Sebastian Bach, with whom St. Thomas had to make do... and it was there that the composer, then thirty-eight years old, premiered the first version of his St. John Passion on the occasion of Holy Week.

For this concert, Les Arts Florissants and Paul Agnew propose a plunge into the musical universe of the time, by imagining a "grand audition" to decide between Bach and his contemporaries. A fictional reconstruction, backed by cantatas... and a digest of Germany's best at the beginning of the 18th century.

Previous dates

Season 2021-2022

Evian / France
La Grange au Lac

  • Wednesday, June 29 2022, 8pm, Rencontres musicales d'Evian

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