Bach Weekend 2018: Time Changes | Kings Place

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Cello Unwrapped

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Bach Weekend 2018: Time Changes

‘Our central concert for this year’s Bach Weekend is a complete performance of all six Brandenburg Concertos. I’ve always been fascinated by Bach’s use of shifted bar-lines in the Brandenburgs, most famously in the opening of the third concerto, which is notated in two but in fact written across the bar-lines in triple time. The slow movements of the fourth and fifth concertos also deliberately obscure the beginning of the bars, constantly shifting them giving the audience a wonderfully complex listening experience. The idea of Time Changes came from this. The Brandenburgs are themselves a kind of time journey, with some concertos using 17th century instruments, like recorders and gambas, and others reinventing orchestration altogether. From here the theme grew into programmes which extend the range of the Bach Weekend into exciting new areas.’

‘These include a 50 year celebration of the iconic Switched On Bach album performed on Moog synthesisers, and a dramatic Douglas Adams event recreating the alternative reality of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, a universe where only time travel can rescue Bach’s masterpieces them oblivion. The idea of Time has allowed us to explore not only the transformations in Bach’s own works over time but also his attitude to change itself. In the opening Late Concertos concert we perform his transformations of earlier works; in Three Epochs we show how his style changed from his earliest chamber works to the greater complexity of the later ones. Two Centuries of Bach explores the full riches of the extraordinary Bach dynasty. We finish with a concert showcasing Bach’s greatest obsession: the moment of death and transfiguration, a programme which will include one of Bach's greatest Cantatas, Actus Tragicus: God’s Time is the Best Time of All.

– Director Martin Feinstein

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Hall One

JS Bach: The Late Concertos

Friday, 13 April 2018 - 7:30pm / Music

Three triple concertos: the monumental Concerto in A minor for harpsichord, flute, violin and strings, the Concerto in F for harpsichord, two recorders and strings, Bach’s fascinating transformation of the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto, and the spectacular but seldom heard Triple Violin Concerto in D.

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Hall One

Douglas Adams: Bach The Time Traveller

Friday, 13 April 2018 - 10:00pm / Music

The great writer and humanist Douglas Adams spoke often of his obsession with Bach. Geoffrey McGivern, the voice of Ford Prefect in the legendary radio series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, reads from his books and introduces some of his favourite pieces.

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Hall One

Two Centuries of Bach

Saturday, 14 April 2018 - 2:00pm / Music

Mezzo-soprano Clare Wilkinson joins The Feinstein Ensemble to give her acclaimed readings of JC Bach’s ‘Ach, dass ich Wassers gnug hätte’ and JS Bach’s own great alto cantata ‘Widerstehe doch der Sünde’.

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St Pancras Room

The Brandenburg Concertos: Study Session

Saturday, 14 April 2018 - 4:00pm / Spoken Word

Performer and musicologist, Professor Timothy Jones of the Royal Academy of Music, will discuss the groundbreaking significance of Bach’s extraordinary collection of concertos.

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Hall One

JS Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos

Saturday, 14 April 2018 - 6:00pm / Music

The six Brandenburg Concertos represent the high point of Bach’s secular writing. ‘I’m convinced that Bach is the greatest genius who ever walked among us, and the Brandenburgs are what he wrote when he was happy.’ Douglas Adams

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Hall One

Homage to ‘Switched-On Bach’ – Bach performed live on multiple synthesisers

Saturday, 14 April 2018 - 9:15pm / Music

In 1968, Wendy Carlos introduced an entirely new concept to the world: Bach performed on an analogue synthesiser. For the first time here in this performance, his music can be heard played completely live on multiple Moog synthesisers by a group of keyboard virtuosos.

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Hall One

Three Epochs of Bach

Sunday, 15 April 2018 - 11:30am / Music

The Feinstein Ensemble introduce and perform three decades of JS Bach’s instrumental masterpieces, including his earliest surviving chamber work: the Fugue for violin and continuo in G minor.

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Hall Two

JS Bach: The Italian Concerto

Sunday, 15 April 2018 - 4:00pm / Music

Conductor and harpsichord virtuoso Steven Devine introduces and performs the glittering Italian Concerto alongside Bach’s wonderful Vivaldi arrangements.

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Hall One

JS Bach: Transfiguration

Sunday, 15 April 2018 - 6:30pm / Music

Bach’s instrumentations evolved over the decades: modified by his own voracious search for new colours as well as his skilful assimilation of the latest advances in instrument building. The three great cantatas in tonight’s programme demonstrate this metamorphosis perfectly.

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