A level Music (Edexcel) set works wider listening - Bach

by Liz Dunbar @HuntSchoolMusic

Where to start.... it's Bach, and 'Ein feste Burg' is probably the best know of all of his Cantatas. It conveys a powerful Lutheran message: 'A Mighty Fortress is our God' and was written to mark Reformation Day. Examining Bach's reworking and adaptation of the original melody by Luther, isn't just useful for unit 3, it's also terrific training for unit 2 - both the techniques paper and original composition.

Much of Bach's choral work was produced for the churches where he held the position of director of music, and in Leipzig, where he worked as Cantor of St Thomas Church he composed some of his best known sacred vocal works eg 'St. Matthew Passion', 'B minor Mass' and 'Christmas Oratorio'. What's most remarkable is that he was also writing, rehearsing and performing cantatas on a weekly basis.

Here's an ever evolving playlist to provide you with plenty of wider listening references to use in questions 5 and 6.