Welcome from the Artistic Director
I have pleasure in inviting you to the third Bath Bachfest, a concentrated festival of great music and fine music-making in sympathetic and congenial surroundings. The Bachfest, presented by the Bath Mozartfest team, is a successor to the city’s long-running Bach Festival, directed by our Patron Elizabeth Bates.
Two of this year’s concerts, vocal and orchestral, place Bach in the context of his times. The outstanding Cardinall’s Musick and Andrew Carwood contrast sacred music from the French Baroque tradition with motets by Bach and his German predecessor Heinrich Schütz. The Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Tognetti present concertos by Bach alongside brilliant concertos by Vivaldi, and some more rarely heard works written for the famous Dresden court orchestra.
The other events are devoted entirely to Bach. In two daytime recitals, his unique repertoire of solo string music is explored by two consummate masters of their instruments, the cellist Colin Carr and the violinist Christian Tetzlaff. And there could surely be no finer ending to a Bach festival than the performance by Philip Pickett and his New London Consort of the monumental Mass in B minor.
I hope you will find much to entertain and inspire you in this Bath Bachfest and look forward to welcoming you to what I hope will be a truly memorable occasion.
Amelia Freedman CBE,FRAM
Bath Bachfest 2013
We are delighted to report that the second Bath Bachfest was a resounding success, with more concerts, larger audiences and a very favourable response from press and public alike.
The Sunday Times set the scene nicely by urging its readers in early December – almost before the final notes of the 2012 Mozartfest had faded – to buy their Bachfest tickets.
Then BBC Music Magazine endorsed the new ‘fest’, by declaring it the third most Unmissable Event for February 2013.
And, not to be outdone, Gramophone Magazine declared it the Event of the Month in its February edition.
During the festival itself Rian Evans of The Guardian gave Mahan Esfahani’s scholarly and dazzling lunchtime recital a rare 5 star review, and said such virtuosity and disarming presentation suggests that Esfahani could inspire a whole new appreciation of the instrument.
The local press was out in force too. Matthew Zuckerman, writing for the website listomaniabath.com, concluded a glowing review of the Academy of Ancient Music’s concert at the Assembly Rooms with the comment that This was yet another outstanding concert in what looks like being a memorable Bath Bach Festival.
Peter Lloyd Williams for the Bath Chronicle asked of the same concert, Was this a glimpse of Heaven? Then praised artistic director Amelia Freedman’s legendary reputation as a programme builder, in an enthusiastic review of La Serenissima.
Perhaps, though, Paul Riley writing in Bristol Evening Post summed it up best: Size isn’t everything and February’s small-but-perfectly-formed baroque celebration is already a class act.