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Bach the Dramatist

Feature

Bach Weekend 2020 has a theatrical flair, reveals director Martin Feinstein. The festival returns in April.

Coming to Kings Place to present Bach Weekend each year is one of the joys of the season for me. Hall One is probably the best acoustic in London for Bach. It also functions well as a theatre, which we will put to good use as we celebrate Bach’s flair for drama.

‘Hall One is probably the best acoustic in London for Bach’

The opening concert features his secular cantatas, skillfully written mini-operas in all but name. Forget any ideas you might have of Bach as a pious and buttoned-up civil servant. His operas about coffee and country life are rife with racy themes and double-entendres.

The B minor Mass is theatre of a completely different kind. Bach uses every rhetorical skill in his vast toolkit to create an epic drama of transcendent power.

Also in the Weekend are two late monothematic masterpieces: the Goldberg Variations and The Musical Offering, a piece close to my heart – our performance will use special lighting during the canons and fugues, so the audience can follow the royal theme as it travels through the ensemble and is transformed, inverted and reversed.

Martin Feinstein

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