Image: Stained glass portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, Germany.
Johann Sebastian Bach’s glorious music returns to Melbourne Recital Centre’s Elisabeth Murdoch Hall this March in two signature concerts surveying his genius.
Shifting from an atmosphere of reflection into celebration and featuring everything from intimate solo to large string ensemble works, the two-concert series paints a dynamic portrait of the composer’s brilliance.
Both concerts are directed by violinist Rachael Beesley (concertmaster of the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra), who is highly regarded for her Bach performances. Rachael Beesley said:
‘Bringing J.S. Bach back to Melbourne Recital Centre in 2021 creates a timely moment to pause and reflect. The first program explores Bach’s solo works intertwined with exquisite moments of peace and contemplation by contemporary composers, and concert two celebrates violin concertos by Bach and gems by his peers in a display of stylish virtuosity and flamboyance.’
J.S. Bach – Music for Reflection (10 March) sees Beesley joined by cellist Josephine Vains and percussionist Robert Cossom. The program features Bach’s luminous solo violin and cello music, and contemporary works, including Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel and Cossom’s Nocturne.
On 31 March, what would have been Bach’s 336th birthday, Rachael returns with Bach’s Musicians for an uplifting concert of string repertoire that has stood the test of time. J.S. Bach – Music for Celebration has everything from the grand overture to the Orchestral Suite No.3 and dazzling violin concertos to joyous pieces by Baroque contemporaries, including the passacaglia from Georg Muffat’s String Sonata No.5 in G from Armonico tribute.
Describing the series’ relevance and unique appeal, the Centre’s Director of Programming, Marshall McGuire said:
‘There always seems to be time for the music of J.S. Bach. His output manages to provide music for just about every experience we can imagine – even including periods of prolonged silence, away from music. It is with that in mind that we wanted to provide opportunities to welcome our audiences back to the Centre. One concert focuses on reflection and contemplation, as Bach and other composers weave their timeless magic. And J.S. Bach – Music for Celebration, a more upbeat exclamation of the musical soul, brings together hope, ambition, joy, and celebrates the coming together of artists and audiences.’
J.S. Bach – Music for Reflection
Wednesday 10 March 2021, 7.30pm
Rachael Beesley violin
Josephine Vains cello
Robert Cossom marimba/vibraphone
J.S. Bach – Music for Celebration
Wednesday 31 March 2021, 7.30pm
Rachael Beesley director/violin
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall (75-mins no interval)
Tickets $40 ($29 conc) – per concert
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre
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