A Thousand Years of Baroque

Bath Recitals takes us to the glittering world of Handel, Bach & Scarlatti as part of its 2019 Baroque Series this August featuring some of the greatest musical names of the age.

But why A Thousand years of Baroque?

Find the answer at the bottom of this newsletter!


The Chorus & Orchestra of the Oxford Bach Soloists make a welcome return to Bath with their conductor Tom Hammond-Davies in August. Playing on period instruments and working with the next generation of talented young vocalists and instrumentalists, the Oxford Bach Soloists bring a wonderful programme of music by Handel, Bach and Scarlatti.

The Chorus and Orchestra of the Oxford Bach Soloists conducted by Tom Hammond-Davies

“Absolutely perfect in every way… spiritual sounds to stir the heart and soul.”
Oxford Mail


Uplifting music by GF Handel

Born in the German city of Halle, Handel was invited to London by the Hanovarian King George I where he became famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos.

Eternal Source of Light Divine
Excerpts from Messiah
Water Music Suite No 3
Waft her Angels through the Skies from the opera Jeptha


Fabulous music by JS Bach

Generally regarded as one of the greatest composers in Western music, Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque Era.

Coffee Cantata
Excerpts from Easter Oratorio
Final Chorus from Cantata no 181


Spiritual music by Domenico Scarlatti

Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. In some ways he was ahead of the other two as one of the few Baroque composers to transition into the classical period.

Salve Regina


A THOUSAND YEARS OF BAROQUE

Saturday 24 August, 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ
Tickets £5 – £20 Available online – click on button below


And why A Thousand Years of Baroque?

Handel, Bach and Scarlatti were all born in the same year -1685. This is 334 years ago so times that by three and we have (just over) 1,000 year of fantastic Baroque music from this extraordinary trio of composers!


Meet the Musicians

July the sixth is the date for the next exciting event in the Bath Recitals 2019 Chamber Series with the Jacquin Trio. Let’s meet these three talented players…

The Jacquin Trio is an audacious classical chamber ensemble, dedicated to exploring, expanding and celebrating music for the inimitable combination of clarinet, viola/violin and piano. The only group to have won both the Royal Overseas League and St Martin in-the-Fields Competitions, the Jacquins have been making music together for the best part of a decade, taking their name from the von Jacquin family – the original dedicatees of Mozart’s famous KegelstattTrio.


‘Front runners taking to the chamber music stage,’ 
Classic Music Magazine


Jessie Grimes

Jessie Grimes plays clarinet & bass clarinet and tells us that despite not being able to actually juggle, loves juggling different careers. She is a chamber musician and orchestral player, as well as a teacher, presenter and creative workshop leader.

London based but hailing from Ireland, Jessie has performed as a soloist at many of London’s top recital halls although her first love is chamber music. After graduating with an MMus from the RCM in 2011 Jessie was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal for Outstanding Musical Achievement as well as RCM Rising Star and RCM Senior Woodwind Prizes.

Fun facts about Jesse: As well as being a musician she dreams of becoming a vegetable gardener, and loves hiking, rock climbing, yoga and stand-up comedy.


Kay Stephens

Kay Stephen is from Aberdeen and plays viola and violin. Following a postgraduate course at the Royal Northern she took an International Artist Diploma in string leadership with the Hallé Orchestra. She joined the Gildas Quartet in 2010 as their violist and has performed internationally including broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.

Kay also plays with the Edinburgh quartet and the Manchester Collective, and has also been guest principal viola with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and co-principal with the BBC Philharmonic, the City of London Sinfonia and the Britten Sinfonia.

Fun facts about Kay: Kay took up the viola by accident during her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She quickly realised it was the best mistake she ever made and has slightly preferred it to the violin ever since.


Charis Hanning

Pianist Charis Hanning has family roots in Vancouver where she studied at the University of British Columbia, and Hong Kong, but has made london her home since 2009. Award-winning and experienced in solo, accompaniment and chamber music, Charis loves most of all to collaborate with others.

Charis has worked with instrumentalists and singers from around the world and currently works with students at Trinity Laban as their Junior Fellow accompanist.Beyond her concert schedule, Charis takes great delight in inspiring music-lovers and music-novices alike coaching chamber groups and gives masterclasses for young musicians.

Fun facts about Charis: Charis says that making music with the Jacquins is such fun because it’s like how she makes food – by instinct, with spice and for sharing!


‘Impressive skill and character,’
The Times


SEE THE JACQUIN TRIO

The Jacquin Trio

Chamber music by Glinka, Beethoven and Brahms will be performed by the Jacquin Trio alongside Mozart’s glorious Kegelstatt Trio and an exciting new work Snow & Snow by Helen Grime.

Saturday 6 July, 7:30pm
St Michael’s Broad Street, Bath

Glinka Trio in D minor Pathetique
Helen Grime Snow and Snow
Mozart Trio in E flat major K498 Kegelstatt
Beethoven Trio in B flat major op11 Glassenhauer
Brahms Clarinet Trio op114.

Jessie Grimes Clarinet
Kay Stephen Viola/violin
Charis Hanning Piano

Supported by:

The Carne Trust

The Heavyweights!

As part of their 6 July programme, the Jacquin Trio play music by some of the most influential composers of all time: Glinka, Beethoven and Brahms… true heavyweights!

Ilya Repin’s portrait of Glinka was painted 30 years after the composer’s death

Not many composers have three conservatories named after them, a small planet, and a crater on Mercury. But such was the recognition of Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857), regarded as the fountainhead of Russian classical music. His major legacies were ‘The Five’, namely Balakirev, Cui, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Collectively they all took Glinka’s lead and produced a distinctive Russian style of music.

Something of a musical dilettante, Glinka frequented the drawing rooms and social gatherings of St Petersburg alongside his day job as assistant secretary of the Department of Public Highways. Before composing his more famous dramatic songs, heroic orchestral works and epic operas, his 1832 Clarinet Trio is one of handful of exquisite chamber works he wrote in his late 20s.


Beethoven – one of the most influential musicians of all time

One of the most recognised and influential musicians of all time, if not one of the greatest composers who ever lived, there is no doubt that Beethoven (1770-1827) is a true heavyweight.

His output was both innovative and huge including nine symphonies; five piano concertos; thirty-two piano sonatas; sixteen string quartets; two masses; and the opera, Fidelio.

One of Beethoven’s earlier chamber works is the ‘Glassenhaur’ Trio, so called because the third movement takes an 18th century melody, ‘Pria ch’io l’impegno’ (Before I go to work), which was so popular it could be heard throughout the streets of Vienna.


The public saw Beethoven’s natural successor as Brahms (1833 – 1897) which was both a blessing and a curse. As one of the ‘Three B’s’: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, this accolade was great for Brahms’s profile and popularity, but it carried with it a heavy burden of expectation which he always struggled to live up to.

Brahms was an extreme perfectionist. He apparently destroyed 20 string quartets before he was satisfied with first official one. In 1890 he composed his second string quintet which he declared to be his last and final composition.

However, around his 58th birthday, Brahms attended a concert where he was captivated by the beautiful clarinet playing of Richard Mülfeld who was to become his Fräulein Klarinette, or ‘dear nightingale’. And it was for him that he wrote his Clarinet Trio.

And finally in this programme the Clarinet Trio op114 by Brahms is one of his four chamber works featuring a clarinet as the primary instrument. The work is considered by scholars to have resulted in Brahm’s rebirth as a composer.


Chamber music by Glinka, Beethoven and Brahms will be performed by the Jacquin Trio alongside Mozart’s glorious ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio and an exciting new work ‘Snow & Snow’ by Helen Grime.

THE JACQUIN TRIO

Saturday 6 July, 7:30pm
St Michael’s Broad Street, Bath

Jessie Grimes Clarinet
Kay Stephen Viola/violin
Charis Hanning Piano

Glinka Trio in D minor Pathetique
Helen Grime Snow and Snow
Mozart Trio in E flat major K498 Kegelstatt
Beethoven Trio in B flat major op11 Glassenhauer
Brahms Clarinet Trio op114.

An Afternoon at Skittles

Kegelstatt is where it all began – the world’s first composition for clarinet, viola and piano and composed on 10 sheets of paper by Mozart when he was living in Vienna, dating the manuscript on 5 August 1786.

Mozart’s Kegelstatta Trio K498

Kegelstatt means ‘a place where skittles are played’. Mozart had already written a set of 12 Duos for French horns inscribing the first page ‘while playing skittles’. A week and a half later he composed and dated his Trio for clarinet, viola and piano but it seems the name Kegelstatt was not added until an 1862 catalogue of Mozart’s music.

One of Mozart’s students at the time was 17-year-old Karoline Pichler, who recalled that the work was dedicated to Franziska von Jacquin – another of his students – and with a family with whom Mozart was close friends, performing house concerts with Nikolaus on flute and Franziska the piano.

Anton Stadler

Mozart’s Kegelstatt trio for clarinet-viola-piano trio was first played in the von Jacquin’s house with Anton Stadler playing the clarinet, Mozart the viola, and Franziska von Jacquin the piano.

Stadler’s name is inextricably linked to Mozart’s compositions for these two instrument – and they were both Freemasons.

The music itself does not follow convention either. The three movements begin not with the more usual Allegro but a more contemplative Andante. Instead of an expected slow second movement Mozart writes a moderate Menuetto, and the last movement, while a lively Rondeaux: Allegretto, is not the standard Allegro.

Nikolaus Joseph von Jaquin

Mozart had already dedicated a number of works to the von Jacquin family so a new work such as this would have not come as any surprise. However the introduction of a relatively new instrument such as the clarinet would have been unexpected. Mozart was to follow with a Clarinet Quintet and a Clarinet Concerto. Now popular works in the clarinet repertoire, these works undoubtedly helped increase the instrument’s popularity. 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Yet it was some time before other composers discovered the beauty of this instrumental combination. In 1853 Schumann broke new ground with Märchenerzählungen (Fairy tale narrations) followed by Max Bruch and his ‘Eight pieces’ in 1910.

THE JACQUIN TRIO

Saturday 6 July, 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath

Glinka Trio in D minor Pathetique
Helen Grime Snow and Snow
Mozart Trio in E flat major K498 Kegelstatt
Beethoven Trio in B flat major op11 Glassenhauer
Brahms Clarinet Trio op114.

Tickets £16 – available online – click on button below
Also available in person from the Bath Box Office, Bridgwater House,
2 Terrace Walk,  Bath BA1 1LN or call 01225 463362.

The Jacquin Trio

The Jacquin Trio is set to put on a formidable show of music spanning the centuries when they perform on 6 July as part of Bath Recitals’ Chamber Series 2019. We find out more about the programme the trio will be performing.

Glinka Trio in D minor Pathetique
Helen Grime Snow and Snow
Mozart Trio in E flat major K498 Kegelstatt
Beethoven Trio in B flat major op11 Glassenhauer
Brahms Clarinet Trio op114.

The concert will begin with a beautiful opener from Russian composer Glinka who is reported to have said: ‘I want my work to be completely national in its subject and in the music’. This beautifully composed and proportioned work is one of comparatively few piano trios by Russian composers to have found a place within the repertory.


It’s always exciting to have something fresh and new in the programme: Snow and Snow is a short work by up-and-coming composer Helen Grime which was commissioned by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival on its 40th anniversary.


Mozart’s Kegelstatt‘ Trio is where it all began in 1786. No composer before Mozart had written for this combination of instruments, and as musicologist David Cairns said, he had ‘an extraordinary capacity…for seizing on and assimilating whatever in a newly encountered style was most useful to him.’ And Mozart certainly made it work in this trio.


Another treat him this programme will be to will hear how Beethoven seized on the popularity and novelty of this new instrumental combination with Glassenhauer, a popular trio which incorporates a popular tune of the day in Vienna.


And finally in this programme the Clarinet Trio op114 by Brahms is one of his four chamber works featuring a clarinet as the primary instrument. The work is considered by scholars to have resulted in Brahm’s rebirth as a composer.


So do join us for a terrific programme of music from this vibrant instrumental combination, the Jacquin Trio, who are rapidly establishing a reputation for their dynamic performances and spirited music making.

THE JACQUIN TRIO

Saturday 6 July, 7:30pm
St Michael’s Broad Street, Bath

Jessie Grimes Clarinet
Kay Stephen Viola/violin
Charis Hanning Piano

In praise of the violin

One of the most passionate 20th century advocates of the violin was, perhaps surprisingly, Albert Einstein, who stated ‘I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin’…

Bath Recitals brings one of the most popular of instrumental couplings of violin and piano to the next concert on 13 April with violinist Emily Sun and pianist Gamal Khamis. The violin as we would recognise it has been around since the 16th century having derived from the medieval ‘fydyll’ or ‘fidel’. The violin is often also still referred to as a fiddle – especially in a folk music context.

Since the Baroque era, the violin has been one of the most important of all instruments in classical music with composers and performers such as Vivaldi and Corelli bringing increasing displays of ingenuity and virtuosity to the instrument’s capabilities.

Vivaldi and Paganini
Vivaldi and Paganini

But that wasn’t the end of the story. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries modifications were made to the instrument to give it a more powerful sound with greater projection as composers and performers such as Paganini placed increasing demands on the instrument.

Emily Sun
Emily Sun

Australian violinist Emily Sun brings us a vibrant programme of music across the centuries by Beethoven, Grieg and Schumann alongside Igor Frolov’s beautiful Concert Fantasy On ‘Porgy & Bess’.

Emily Sun is certainly a rapidly rising star on the international platform. She was recently named the 2018 ABC Australian Young Performer of the Year and was awarded the Gold Medal and Commonwealth Musician of the Year at the 2016 Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition UK – the first violinist to win the award since 1981.

Emily is the ABC Artist-in-Residence and a BBC Introducing Artist. Her performances have also been broadcast on Classic FM, Kol Hamusica (Israel) and WXQR (USA). Her debut album will be released on the ABC Classics label in 2020.

Gamal Khamis & Emily Sun: Piano and Violin

Saturday 13 April, 7:30pm, Tickets £16
St Michael’s Broad Street, Bath

Gamal Khamis piano
Emily Sun violin

PROGRAMME

Beethoven Violin Sonata No 8 in G Major Op.30 No.3
Grieg Violin Sonata No 3 in C Minor op 45
Chopin Ballade No 1 in G Minor op 23
Schumann Violin Sonata No 1 in A minor Op.105
Igor Frolov Concert Fantasy On ‘Porgy & Bess’

Gamal Khamis (piano) and Emily Sun (violin)

A Match Made in Heaven

Music for Violin and Piano has to be one of the most perfect pairings in the world of chamber music. The next concert from Bath Recitals on Saturday 13 April does just that with a dazzling recital by pianist Gamal Khamis and violinist Emily Sun …

Three of the pieces in the programme by pianist Gamal Khamis and violinist Emily Sun are  violin sonatas – a composition for violin accompanied by a keyboard instrument. These originated in the baroque age but it was not until the classical period and the invention of the piano that composers really began to see the potential for this duo.

PROGRAMME

Beethoven Violin Sonata No 8 in G Major Op.30 No.3
Grieg Violin Sonata No 3 in C Minor op 45
Chopin Ballade No 1 in G Minor op 23
Schumann Violin Sonata No 1 in A minor Op.105
Igor Frolov  Concert Fantasy On ‘Porgy & Bess’


Mozart wrote at least 36 violin sonatas – many with just two movements. But it is Beethoven whose ten violin sonatas really show the development of the genre into the mature and complex style we know today. It is his 8th violin sonata which opens the concert in grand style on 13 April. Dedicated to Tsar Alexander I of Russia in 1803, this sonata is characteristic of early/middle Beethoven as he starts to get adventurous with some extraordinary off-beats and syncopations.

As we move into the romantic age composers such as Schumann and Grieg pushed the boundaries of both the classical format as well as the capabilities of the instruments even further. 

They each wrote three violin sonatas, Schumann writing his first in just one week in 1851. However, he said: ‘I did not like the first Sonata for Violin and Piano; so I wrote a second one, which I hope has turned out better’. It was eventually given its official premiere by Clara Schumann (Robert Schumann’s wife) and violinist Ferdinand David in  1852.

Norwegian composer Grieg’s third sonata from 1886 is his most popular exemplifying his musical nationalism with beautiful references to Norwegian folk melodies and rhythms with Grieg himself describing it as ‘the one with the broader horizon.’

When we come to the 20th century of course music starts to branch out into a myriad of new directions. The American composer George Gershwin integrated the influences of the emerging world of jazz into his work such as his opera Porgy & Bess. Distinguished Russian violin virtuoso and composer, Professor Igor Frolov has created a delightful and virtuosic fantasia taking the themes and Jazzy sprit of this much loved opera.

Ducasse in the Trees

Meet the Players

March the second is the date for the opening concert in the Bath Recitals 2019 Chamber Series with the Ducasse Trio. Let’s meet these three talented players…

This vibrant young ensemble was formed in 2012 and consists of a violinist from France, a pianist from Ireland and a clarinetist from the UK. they met as students at the Paris Conservatoire and Southbank Sinfonia. IN 2014 they won the Worshipful Company of Musicians / Concordia Award and made their Wigmore Hall debut in 2015 followed by being finalists with the Young Concert Artists Trust in 2016.

Pianist Fiachra Garvey at the Irish Chamber Orchestra, University of Limerick during a recording for Lyric FM. (Pic: Alan Place Press 22)
Pianist Fiachra Garvey at the Irish Chamber Orchestra, University of Limerick during a recording for Lyric FM. (Pic: Alan Place Press 22)

Fiachra Garvey made his solo debut recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Fazioli Hall, Venice. International prize-winner at international competitions from Dublin to Prague, he has recorded 2 solo discs with RTE. Fiachra is Director of the Dublin International Piano Competition and Artistic Director of the West Wicklow Festival.

Charlotte Maclet
Charlotte Maclet

Charlotte Maclet is the musical director of Camerata Alma Viva and the first violin of Quatuor Zaide. She also performs with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields as well as performing as a soloist, chamber musician and chamber orchestra leader.

William Slingsby-Duncombe
William Slingsby-Duncombe

William Slingsby-Duncombe is a regular performer at top venues including the Wigmore Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Currently trialing as principal clarinet with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, he has recently played with the Hallé, Royal Opera House, BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and the English National Ballet.

The Ducasse Trio has performed at leading venues and festivals from the Royal Festival Hall to the Spoleto Festival Italy.

The trio recently embarked on a national tour of Ireland and are keen advocates of commissioning exciting new works for their trio such as by composers Christian Dachez and Charlotte Bray.

‘An exceptionally exciting group who play brilliantly together, with huge verve and imagination.’

Thomas Ades, composer

‘Utterly spellbinding Stravinsky’

Alasdair Tait YCAT 2016 finals

Join us for a wonderful of music from this talented trio and explore some fabulously evocative music composed for the sonorous woodwind of the clarinet, the warm bowed strings of the violin and the rich resonance of the piano.

Saturday 2 March 7.30pm
St Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath

Khachaturian Trio
Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Shostakovich Five pieces
Ives Largo for clarinet, violin and piano
Debussy Sonata for violin and piano
Stravinsky The Soldier’s Tale

Discover the Clarinet Trio

Pic: Kegelstadt Excerpt

This Spring the Bath Recitals 2019 chamber music series offer two opportunities to hear a rather unusual but particularly beautiful chamber music grouping with the Ducasse Trio on 2 March and the Jacquin Trio on 6 July…

We can thank Mozart for writing the first clarinet Trio in 1787 which he dedicated to his student Franziska von Jacquin. The clarinet was a relatively new instrument at the time and no composer before Mozart had written for this combination of instruments with a clarinet, a bowed string instrument and a piano. The string instrument is usually the violin or viola – but it can be a cello. Mozart’s success was followed by his Clarinet Quintet and the Clarinet Concerto which all helped to increase the instrument’s popularity.

Mozart
Mozart

However the repertoire specifically composed for such a combination was quite limited. In fact, of the mainstream composers up until 1900 this is about it:

Notable works for clarinet trio

  • Mozart Clarinet Trio in E-flat major, K. 498 ‘Kegelstatt-Trio’
  • Beethoven Clarinet Trio in B-flat major, Op. 11 ‘Gassenhauer-Trio’
  • Schumann Märchenerzählungen, Op. 132
  • Carl Reinecke Trio for piano, clarinet and viola, Op. 246
  • Brahms Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114
Brahms Trio

So where does the rest of the music come from? Fortunately, there is plenty of classical repertoire out there for the piano trio (violin – cello – piano) and it is a relatively simple process to ‘convert’ these to music for the clarinet trio which can really illuminate the music in a fresh way.

In addition, by the time we get into the early 20th century composers were discovering – or re-discovering – this unique combination of instruments with fabulous and evocative timbral contrasts between the sonorous woodwind of the clarinet, the warm bowed string of the strings and the resonance of the piano.

Ducasse Trio
Ducasse Trio

The first concert with the Ducasse Trio on 2 March takes most of its programme from the early 20th century with fabulous music by Khachaturian, Debussy, Shostakovich, Ives and Stravinsky.

‘Utterly spellbinding Stravinsky’

Alasdair Tait: YCAT 2016 finals

And in July, A terrific programme of music for this vibrant instrumental combination from the Jaquin Trio who explores some of the earlier repertoire by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Glinka and an exciting new piece by Helen Grime.

Jacquin Trio
Jacquin Trio

‘Impressive skill and character’

The Times

So join us on this fascinating journey with the Clarinet Trio in 2019. All concerts are at 7.30pm in the comfortable and central location of St Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath. 

The Glory of Bach at Christmas

Saturday 22 December sees the culmination of Bath Recitals’ 2018 Baroque Season with a glorious celebration of the magical world of JS Bach and those who inspired his wonderful music…

268 years have passed since Johann Sebastian Bach died in Liepzig. Yet his music continues to thrive today – particularly with his festive Christmas Oratorio and his poignant Easter Passions.

From Cantatas to Concertos, Oratorios to Organ works, Preludes to Fugues, the music of Bach represents the final flowering of the Baroque in northern Europe.

Classic FM refers to him as ‘music’s most sublime creative genius’, his music is featured more often than that of any other composer in The Telegraph’s list of the 168 best classical music recordings, and according to conductor and baroque musicologist Sir John Eliot Gardiner he is ‘arguably the greatest of all composers’.

German Christmas Baroque

Musica Poetica make a welcome return to Bath for this concert featuring the music of JS Bach in the context of German Baroque Christmas. Composers from Biber to Buxtehude and from Schütz to Scheidt all wrote glorious music for Christmas which paved the way for Bach’s genius who was to become a towering figure of the baroque age and the undoubted master of ‘The German Baroque’.