Bach, the Universe and Everything

Date(s) - 13/02/2022
11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Kings Place


Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – The Ultimate Gene Edit

Bach, the Universe & Everything

JS Bach BWV 144: Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin (‘Take what is yours and go away.’)

The Cantata
Written for the third Sunday before Lent, Cantata BWV 144 tells of the labourers from St Matthew’s Gospel who feel that they have been underpaid. It begins with a merciless fugue: ‘Don’t complain and go away’. Lest there was any confusion, Bach goes on to feature the figure ‘gehe hin’ (go away) a whopping sixty times in this piece. ‘Contentedness – in this life, it is a treasure’ declares the soprano in the penultimate aria, whose lines are intertwined with the musical phrases by the oboe d’amore obbligato before the last round of persuasion in the final chorale.

The Science
CRISPR is the new technique in biomedical science that allows us to effectively cut out and fix glitches in our genes. The science is still pretty new, and some might say that advancements in gene-editing is controversial. In his talk, molecular biologist Dr Matthew Child (Imperial College, London) gives us the opportunity to learn more about the science behind the technique, and to make up our own mind.

This series of stimulating Sunday morning concerts reimagine a traditional Sunday service, which included a Bach cantata, communally sung chorales, and a stimulating sermon, or in this case: lecture. We explore the ambitions of humankind through talks from leading figures in the world of science and pair up with a Bach Cantata, for an hour of reflection, inspiration and enquiry.