Choral Evensong - 5 February 2016
Ich harre des Herrn is the third movement from Bach's Cantata BWV 131. The Choir performed this Cantata in its entirety on Saturday 20 February accompanied by the College's resident period instrument ensemble, the St John's Sinfonia, led by College Musician-in-Residence, Margaret Faultless. The text of the Cantata is taken from Psalm 130. It is one of Bach's earliest cantatas, written whilst he was in Mühlhausen. It is unclear as to when in the liturgical year the Cantata was initially performed.
Michael Wise was an English organist and composer of the seventeenth century. As a child, he sang as member of the choir of the Chapel Royal and from 1666-68 he sung as a countertenor in the choir of St George's, Windsor before being appointed as organist and choirmaster at Salisbury Cathedral. In 1676, he became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal before becoming Master of the Children at St Paul's Cathedral in the final year of his life. Concerning his death, it is written that, during a violent struggle with a Salisbury night watchman following a domestic dispute, he sustained a blow to the head "which broke his skull, of the consequence whereof he died."