Chamber Choir

Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri

Friday 17 November 2006, 19:30 - 21:30
St Catharine's College Chapelmap ]
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RL

Orlando Chamber Choir
Cambridge University Baroque Ensemble
Edward Wickham, director
Ruth Marriott, soprano
Emilia Hughes, soprano
Ruth Taylor, alto
Gerald Beatty, tenor
Jonathan Sells, bass

According to legend, when Bach was 20 he walked more than 200 miles to meet Buxtehude, the most influential composer of his time.

Dating from 1680, Dietrich Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri is a cycle of seven cantatas that successively contemplate different parts of the crucified Christ's body, starting with his pierced feet and ending with his face, bloodstained from the crown of thorns. Each corporal allusion in the text becomes the starting point for a meditation on a different aspect of Christian revelation, while the music glides from harmonic suspensions suggestive of great suffering to passages of timeless simplicity. Parts of it, notably the sections on Christ's knees and heart, also tip towards a Song-of-Songs-like sensuality.

This fabulous work will be preceded and followed by two motets, also by Buxtehude


Dietrich Buxtehude (c.1637 - c.1707)
Membra Jesu Nostri