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Bach Weekend

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Director Martin Feinstein introduces his Bach Weekend, Time Changes.

‘The idea for Time Changes came from the Brandenburg Concertos.’

‘I’ve always been fascinated by Bach’s use of shifted bar-lines in the these concertos, most famously in the opening of the Third, 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 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 late night 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 Late Concertos concert we perform his transformations of earlier works; in Three Epochs we show how his style evolved, while Two Centuries of Bach explores the full riches of the extraordinary Bach dynasty. We finish with Bach’s greatest obsession: the moment of death and transfiguration, a programme which will include one of Bach’s greatest Cantatas, the ‘Actus Tragicus’, where ‘God’s Time is the Best Time of All’.’

Feinstein Ensemble.

© Sim Canetty-Clarke

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