“Bach secular” – Secular cantatas and their performance venues

A dialogue with Konrad Hummler and Rudolf Lutz

The same can only be said over and over again about Bach, whereby all real musicians are probably in agreement: He was the greatest, most universal composer of all time, a universal genius – only a universal genius is able to take on the most diverse genres such as ecclesiastical, instrumental and music with highly dramatic elements in a lasting way. His secular cantatas give us an idea of how versatile his work was. The secular cantatas also move the creators of the J. S. Bach Foundation St. Gallen, Konrad Hummler and Rudolf Lutz.

The performance of the secular cantatas must of course be coherent. The coming and going of the concertgoers at the respective places should also be part of the staging.

For the musical director Rudolf Lutz and the founder of the foundation Konrad Hummler, it is very important to create an experience for the concertgoers on site as well as for the viewers of the recordings.

Even with the secular cantatas already produced, the performance venues have been carefully selected, as for example with the Wedding Cantata BWV 202 in the Einstein Hall, St. Gallen, or the well-known “Tönet, ihr Pauken!” BVW 214 in the Carmen Würth Hall in Rorschach. The secular hunting cantata BWV 208 was performed in the Fürstenlandsaal in Gossau.

Taking the peasant cantata as an example, Konrad Hummler had the spontaneous idea of performing it on the Chäserrugg, some 2300 metres above sea level in the Toggenburg region of St. Gallen. The Chäserrugg is a mountain in the municipality of Alt St. Johann in the canton of St. Gallen. Its summit is 2262 metres above sea level. The former summit restaurant at the mountain station was replaced in 2015 by a new building designed by Herzog & de Meuron. This unique location was chosen by the Bach Foundation St. Gallen as the setting for the Peasant Cantata BWV 212.

The “Peasant Cantata” in full length and much more information about the cantata can be found here on Bachipedia.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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