It gives me much pleasure to invite you to the eleventh Bath Bachfest, particularly as this year we will again be welcoming audiences to the Assembly Rooms in our beautiful home city of Bath. We will also be livestreaming every concert to allow those at home and overseas who cannot join us, to enjoy this series of concerts celebrating J S Bach and his Baroque contemporaries.
The first of our evening concerts features Arcangelo, the acclaimed early music ensemble founded by conductor, Jonathan Cohen, and noted for its collaborative approach based on the finest chamber music principles. Their Bachfest programme includes Handel’s sumptuous Italianate Silete Venti, works by Vivaldi and Bach’s arrangement of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.
The award-winning choir Tenebrae will take centre stage on Friday evening. This very fine vocal ensemble, renowned for its precision and passion, will present a collection of music for Holy Week by the Italian composer Carlo Gesualdo and three sublime Bach motets.
The Academy of Ancient Music are favourites at Bath Bachfest and need no introduction. This programme of music celebrating dance by Bach, Telemann, Handel and Muffat illustrates how in the Baroque period it was an integral part of life, informing social and political discourse.
Xuefei Yang also has a firm Bath fan-base and promises a delightful one-hour lunchtime concert with music ranging from Bach to the great 17th century Spanish guitarist Gaspar Sanz, via a traditional Chinese work she has arranged herself.
The Saturday morning concert will be given by the celebrated duo of Danish recorder player Michala Petri and Iranian-American harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, whose remarkable musical partnership has secured many awards and plaudits.
These have been challenging times for everyone, and I would like to send heartfelt thanks to our loyal audiences and supporters. I hope you will join me and the Bachfest team in February, whether in person in Bath or by livestream, for what promises to be an uplifting mid-winter celebration of fine music and music-making.
Amelia Freedman CBE,FRAM