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Bach, the Universe and Everything: The end of Enchantment?

Dr Stuart Clark starts the new season of our Sunday morning concerts with a big cosmic question: was the Age of Enlightenment also the end of enchantment?
London, Kings Place £19.50 + booking fee Book Now



SWEELINCK Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn
TALLIS Hear the voice and prayer of Thy servants
 Herr Christ, der einige Gottessohn, BWV 96 (Lord Christ, the only son of God)
HANDEL Adagio & Allegro (HWV 338)

Zoe Brookshaw soprano
Ciara Hendrick alto
Guy Cutting tenor
Hugo Herman-Wilson bass

Stuart Clark guest speaker


Bach’s life coincides with the most profound change in our view of the night sky. Instead of an utterly different, ‘heavenly’ realm, the scientific revolution made us see the wider universe as a remote yet knowable place. We still live with the positive and negative consequences of this today. Dr Stuart Clark will explore how these new ideas about the wider Universe forged the modern world by forcing scientists, artists and philosophers to reappraise humankind’s relationship with the night sky.

Herr Christ, der einige Gottessohn is based on a mystic hymn eulogising Jesus as the ‘Morning Star’. Composed in 1724 in Leipzig, the six movement cantata is colourfully scored and calls for four vocal soloists.

Dr Stuart Clark is an astronomer and award winning science journalist. He writes the Guardian’s weekly Starwatch column, and is the author of Beneath the Night: How the stars shaped the history of Humankind (Faber). He wrote and presented the BBC Radio 3 series The Music of the Spheres.


Bach, the Universe and Everything is a concert series with a difference. Guided by the work of JS Bach, composer and intergalactic genius, our mission is to explore the human desire to better understand our place in the cosmos through his 200 cantatas.

Each concert is built around a Bach cantata and a talk from a guest speaker, alongside choral and instrumental music by other baroque and renaissance composers. The concert lasts approximately one hour.

In 2022-23 we look to the stars as six eminent scientists, writers and broadcasters explore why humans started looking beyond our planet in the first place, space exploration and what lessons we can learn for life on Earth from future discoveries.

"He was wrong to think he could now forget that the big, hard, oily, dirty, rainbow-hung Earth on which he lived was a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot lost in the unimaginable infinity of the Universe. "
Douglas Adams: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy