Journal archive

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Hugh Wood the writer

September 2021 – News

The composer Hugh Wood died last month. He was a neighbour and friend of The Bach Players, and came to write notes for some of our concert programmes. Some memories follow.

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Interview with Jaap Schröder

January 2020 – News

Jaap Schröder died on 1 January 2020, the day after his 94th birthday (he was born on 31 December 1925). Jaap was my godfather and my teacher on ‘modern’ violin during my studies at the Amsterdam Conservatoire in the 1970s. Our families lived on either side of the Vondelpark in Amsterdam. Jaap had a French wife – Agnès – and so did my father Frans Moonen, who was also a musician. Both couples had families of three girls. Some of us went to the same secondary school, the Spinoza Lyceum. We have always stayed in touch. Nicolette Moonen

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The Bach Players’ musical offering – questions and answers

October 2018 – News

Ahead of our Musical Offering concert at St John’s Smith Square, Sean Morris from St John’s conducted an interview with Nicolette Moonen. We give the transcript here.

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Index to our recordings

November 2017 – News

We have compiled this index to the music and the musicians on our Hyphen Press Music CDs. The series of 12 CDs is now complete and can be bought as a set, for a special price, here.

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The Bach Players in north London: an anniversary retrospective

September 2017 – News

This article by Robin Kinross was published in September 2017 in the journal of the Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution.

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The Bach Players at 20 in Early Music Today

September 2017 – News

We are the subject of a very nice article by Adrian Horsewood in the latest issue of Early Music Today (September–November 2017). This is not online, so we show its pages here.

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Christmas concert in Baarn

December 2016 – News

We played our Christmas concert last Saturday to a full and enthusiastic audience at the Paaskerk in Baarn. For the invitation and the organization: very warm thanks to the phenomenal Kees Koudstaal.

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‘Bach’s library’ at Kenardington

November 2015 – News

Last Saturday evening we played the opening concert of a new venture, Saxon Shore Early Music. St Mary’s Church, Kenardington, at the edge of Romney Marsh in Kent, is a wonderful place for chamber music – we were privileged to be the first musicians to play in this series.

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‘Bach and before’ at St John’s Downshire Hill

November 2015 – News

We have been wrapping up our ‘Bach and before’ project – concerts in Norwich and London, and then last week the recording sessions for what will be a CD of the music. We had an enthusiastic reception at both concerts, with probably our largest ever audience numbers in these two churches. The photographs taken from the gallery at St John’s Downshire Hill may suggest something of the atmosphere at this outstanding venue.

Sixteen years ago

November 2015 – News

We recently rediscovered this photo of the early Bach Players, at St John’s Wood Parish Church, London, in November 1999.

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Jennifer Ward Clarke in conversation

June 2015 – News

Jennifer Ward Clarke – but we can only think of her as Jenny – was a friend and colleague. She was one of the first generation of Baroque players in Britain; at the same time she was a long-term member of the groups that performed new music in this country. Her life and musical career are well described in the obituary by her colleague Duncan Druce.

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At The Wallace Collection, London

May 2015 – News

Last Sunday, sharing the platform with the harpsichordist Béatrice Martin, we played works by Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre. The concert was given in The Wallace Collection, as part of the London Festival of Baroque Music, whose theme this year is ‘Women in Baroque Music’. This was the first time that the LFBM (or its predecessor, the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music), had held a concert at a venue of this kind. All 200 seats had been sold a month in advance. It was wonderful to play surrounded by art of exactly the time of the music and in a space of regal splendour. An edited version of the concert will be broadcast in BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show on 31 May.

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At The Octagon Chapel, Norwich

March 2015 – News

Last Saturday we played our ‘Musical offering’ programme at our usual venue in Norwich, The Octagon Chapel, to what must have been our largest audience there – 170 or so people. In the afternoon, Marion Moonen made these photos of Nicolette Moonen, Silas Wollston, and Reiko Ichise rehearsing the Buxtehude sonata.

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Jacquet de La Guerre

February 2015 – News

Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre (1665–1729) is BBC Radio 3’s ‘Composer of the Week’ next week, starting on 2 March. We are fans of her music, and have recorded one of her trio sonatas on our CD An Italian in Paris. In May we are playing two concerts that feature her work: at the Cobbe Collection, Hatchlands in Surrey on 7 May, and at the London Festival of Baroque Music in the Wallace Collection in London on 17 May.

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At Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge

February 2015 – News

Last Friday we played our ‘Musical offering’ programme for Cambridge Early Music at Trinity College Chapel, to a warm and enthusiastic audience. In the afternoon, Marion Moonen made these photos of Nicolette Moonen, Silas Wollston, and Reiko Ichise rehearsing the Buxtehude sonata.

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At Burgh House, Hampstead

December 2014 – News

We played our ‘Musical offering’ programme last week in the Music Room at Burgh House, Hampstead, in London. This was a real chamber music experience: every seat in the wood-panelled room was occupied, and the atmosphere was intimate and intense: the music took over. Photos here show the group rehearsing, Silas Wollston explaining his arrangement of the canons in Bach’s work, and the final applause.

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At St Jean de Braye

October 2014 – News

Last Sunday we played a concert at the parish church of St Jean de Bray, just outside Orléans, on the river Loire. This was the birthplace of Norbert Dufourcq (1904–90), organist and musicologist, and also the grandfather of The Bach Players’ Nicolette and Marion Moonen.

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St John’s Downshire Hill: evening

June 2014 – News

Pawel Siwczak took this photo of our London home – St John’s Downshire Hill in Hampstead – just before our concert there, 5 October 2013.

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The new website

May 2014 – News

This website replaces the site that we launched in September 2004. The old Bach Players website was designed and built by Ben Campbell, and, with various home-made extensions, it lived on for almost ten years.

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The Bach Players on Flickr

April 2014 – News

One of the regular members of our audience at St John’s Downshire Hill – Treble 2309 is her Flickr name – has been taking photos at our concerts.

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After enchantment

April 2014 – News

On Saturday 12 April, Maya Homburger and Barry Guy gave a duo concert, ‘Tales of enchantment’, at St John’s Downshire Hill, playing music by Biber, Kurtag, and by Barry Guy himself.

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Distribution of our CDs: latest developments

November 2013 – News

Following the demise of Codaex earlier this year – within weeks of our having joined them – we have now made an agreement with the firm that has been established as its successor: New Arts International.

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Concert representation outside the UK

September 2013 – News

We are very pleased to announce a new arrangement for our concerts outside the UK.

New distributor for our CDs

April 2013 – News

From this month our CDs are being distributed in the UK and in continental Europe by Codaex.

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Classical music in the neighbourhood

February 2013 – News

Some of what we do with our concerts in London and Norwich is expressed and illustrated in the article that follows. It was written for and published on the Kentish Towner website.

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The Bach Players on Facebook

November 2012 – News

Giving in to the pressures of modern life, we have signed up with Facebook.

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The Bach cantatas recording project / Nicholas Anderson

June 2012 – News

We give here Nicholas Anderson’s text for his contribution on this theme at our memorial concert for Gustav Leonhardt on 19 April 2012 at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London.

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Memories of Leonhardt / Mark Deller

June 2012 – News

We give here Mark Deller’s text for his contribution at our memorial concert for Gustav Leonhardt on 19 April 2012 at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London.

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Leonhardt and the harpsichord / Nicholas Anderson

June 2012 – News

We give here Nicholas Anderson’s text for his contribution on this theme at our memorial concert for Gustav Leonhardt on 19 April 2012 at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London.

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Gustav Leonhardt remembered

June 2012 – News

On 19 April 2012 at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, The Bach Players gave a memorial concert for Gustav Leonhardt.

Prelude Classical Music Awards 2012

May 2012 – News

We are delighted to announce that our ‘Pachelbel and Bach’ is among the winners of this year’s awards from the excellent Dutch CD shop, Prelude.

‘In Tune’ photo [3]

May 2012 – News

Nicholas Anderson and Nicolette Moonen spoke about Gustav Leonhardt on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ this month, before our memorial concert for him.

A Bach fugue in the Music Animation Machine

April 2012 – News

Stephen Malinowski has recently animated our recording of Mozart’s arrangement for string quartet of one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s fugues.

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Gustav Leonhardt memorial concert

February 2012 – News

Details of our concert for Gustav Leonhardt are now announced.

Gustav Leonhardt (1928–2012)

January 2012 – News

Gustav Leonhardt died in Amsterdam on 16 January.

Gustav Leonhardt’s last concert

December 2011 – News

Gustav Leonhardt gave what he has said was his last concert last Monday evening at the Théâtre du Bouffes du Nord in Paris.

Gustav Leonhardt at St John’s

October 2011 – News

We are very pleased to announce that Gustav Leonhardt has accepted our invitation to play at St John’s Downshire Hill next year, on Saturday 28 April.

Music in Norwich

August 2011 – News

Our forthcoming concerts in Norwich are included in the new Music in Norwich booklet: a venture that we are happy to support.

Playing early music – an interview

April 2011 – News

In this conversation Nicolette Moonen, artistic director of The Bach Players, talks with Robin Kinross of Hyphen Press Music

‘In Tune’ photo [2]

March 2011 – News

We contributed to BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ ahead of our ‘Salve Regina’ concerts.

At St Cecila’s Hall

February 2011 – News

We played our ‘Italy versus France’ programme at St Cecila’s Hall in Edinburgh last Saturday – and enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of the Georgian Concert Society. Every seat in the hall was taken.

The fourth CD

February 2011 – News

Finished copies of our newest CD, ‘Italy versus France’, are now with our publisher.

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Disc of the week

December 2010 – News

This Saturday (18 December) at 11.55 GMT our ‘Nun komm!’ is disc of the week on BBC Radio 3’s CD Review.

‘Pachelbel and Bach’ prehear

September 2010 – News

In anticipation of our next concerts in Norwich and London, we are posting these two clips from private recordings made at concerts in which two of the cantatas to be heard in November were played.

The Bach Players on Twitter

August 2010 – News

We have opened a Twitter acount.

‘In Tune’ photo [1]

August 2010 – News

Ahead of our ‘Italy versus France’ concerts last month, we appeared on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’.

Distribution of our CDs

April 2010 – News

As from this month our CDs are being distributed to the trade in the UK and Ireland by Harmonia Mundi UK.

The Bach Players at the Octagon Chapel, Norwich

November 2009 – News

Bach Players in rehearsal for their concert at the Octagon Chapel, Norwich.

‘Nun komm!’ prehear

November 2009 – News

As a taster for the concerts in Norwich and London later this month, we are posting this clip from a private recording made at our performance of ‘Nun komm der heiden Heiland’, BWV 61.

Nun komm! Music for Advent and beyond

November 2009 – News

The press release for our concert in London later this month.

‘Every one a chaconne’ launched for subscribers

October 2009 – News

We presented the new CD to subscribers at a launch party last month.

A new partnership

July 2009 – News

For some time we have wanted to find a promoter to share the concerts that we do in London.

Concert Promoters’ Network

July 2009 – News

We have been chosen for inclusion in the 2010–2011 Concert Promoters’ Network Brochure.

The Bach Players at Beverley Minster

May 2009 – News

Bach Players in rehearsal for their concert at the Beverley Early Music Festival.

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Bach arranging and arranged: an interview

January 2009 – News

In this conversation Nicolette Moonen, artistic director of The Bach Players, talks with Robin Kinross of Hyphen Press Music about the background to the group’s first recording.

Bach Players at Open House in London

September 2006 – News

In preparation for our ‘Mozart with a dash of Bach’ at St George’s Hanover Square, last Sunday we played an informal concert in the back courtyard at the Workplace Co-operative 115, in Bartholomew Road, Kentish Town, London.

Early photographs of The Bach Players

December 2004 – News

We are publishing here some photographs of the group in its first years, at St John’s Wood Parish Church, London. The photographs were taken by the oboist Mark Radcliffe.