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October 2018

Medium musical offering

A musical offering

Saturday 20 October, 8.15 pm

Paaskerk Baarn, Oude Utrechtseweg 4a, 3743 KN Baarn, The Netherlands

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Musical Offering (BWV 1079) is a late work that both looks back to the tradition in which he was grounded and forward to the music of his sons. The concert opens with a sonata by Buxtehude, Bach’s admired elder: we hear the ‘stylus phantasticus’ in full flight, with its unpredictable structures and sometimes startling improvisatory freedoms. The fashionable flute features in the Paris quartets by Telemann, Bach’s close contemporary. No. 6 in E minor is in the French galant style – a succession of character pieces, culminating in a wonderful chaconne. The Musical Offering is often taken to be a disjointed collection of fragments, dominated by the culminating, beautiful trio sonata. This performance treats the work as an essay in the musical rhetoric in which Bach was immersed. The succession of canons and fugues become a speech – a musical oration, in which factual statements are then elaborated on and developed in argumentative sections, interspersed with charming passages that may seduce the listener. The sonata then gives free rein to the whole spectrum of emotions. The work concludes with a final, calming ‘perpetual canon’. This is a chance to hear Bach’s famous piece with fresh ears. Find out more

December 2018

Medium biber 1 nativity web

Biber: the Joyful Mysteries

Sunday 9 December, 5.00 pm

St Swithin’s Church, Clunbury, Shropshire SY7 0HG

In the days leading up to Christmas, Nicolette Moonen (violin) and Pawel Siwczak (organ) perform the first five of the Rosary Sonatas by H.I.F. Biber (1644–1704). In these sonatas, Biber’s highly descriptive music addresses and describes the birth of Christ and the events that surrounded it. Pawel Siwczak will also play organ music by composers of Biber’s time. The concert will take place in this beautiful parish church, built originally in the twelfth century, and will be candlelit. Find out more

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