Johann Kuhnau (1660 - 1722) was Johann Sebastian Bach's predecessor at St Thomas Leipzig. Similar in orchestration to Bach's masterpiece, with timpani and trumpets, Kuhnau's Magnificat is equally brilliant. It was tradition that upon the appointment of a new director, all of the previous music was destroyed. We are lucky that Bach must have missed this one! Marc Antoine Charpentier's 'Te Deum' is best known for the introduction which has, for many years, provided the opening to the Eurovision Song Contest. The effervescent French style of writing makes a wonderful contrast to the Germanic flavour of the other works, highlighting how the joyous French dance styles influenced Baroque composers across Europe. Johann Schelle (1648 - 1701) preceded Kuhnau as music director at St Thomas and wrote many works in the German liturgical tradition. Although most are lost, ?Vom Himmel Kam der Engel Schar' for choir and orchestra, with double trumpets and timpani, shows a genius which links these four composers.Director Christopher Monks.