Music for a Baroque Christmas

Bath Recitals once again transports us back to the age of the glittering Baroque for a sumptuous feast of Christmas Music from the 17th and 18th centuries…

The Baroque age spans one and a half centuries of musical creativity bringing great changes in musical composition and performance. This brought an explosion of new musical ideas from composers such as Bach and Handel, the birth of opera with Monteverdi and Purcell, and dazzling concertos and sonatas from Corelli and Carbonelli.

Just look at this great line up awaiting us on 14 December at one of Bath’s most atmospheric venues – St Michael’s Church – in the heart of the city:

Christmas Concerto
Arcangelo Corelli

This concerto bears the inscription Fatto per la notte di Natale (made for the night of Christmas) and was commissioned by his patron Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni around 1690.


Messiah (excerpts)
George Frideric Handel 

No Christmas would be complete without excerpts from our much loved Messiah. Composed 1741, this is undoubtedly one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.


Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Michael Praetorius 

With its symbolic reference to the Virgin Mary, A Spotless Rose is always popular during Advent. German composer Praetorius’s 1609 harmonisation was even used in the 1970 film soundtrack to Love Story and The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009).


Violin Sonata VIII
Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli

One of umpteen virtuoso violinists imported by Italophile rich Brits in the 18th century, Carbonelli eventually made a name as wine merchant to the royal court. His stylish chamber sonatas are a marvellous display of effortless virtuosity.


Behold, I bring you glad tidings 
Henry Purcell 

The great English composer probably wrote this work in 1687 for Christmas in the Chapel Royal – and it is Purcell’s only anthem composed specifically for the Feast of Christmas


Magnificat (excerpts) 
Air on a G string 
Wachet auf (excerpts)
Johann Sebastian Bach

Regarded as one of the greatest composers of Western music, his music epitomises the glory of the Baroque at Christmas ranging from thoughtful and reflective through to festive and celebratory.


Join us this Christmas for a festive programme of Christmas Baroque music performed by the Oxford Bach Soloists and Blenheim Singers conducted by Tom Hammond-Davies.

A Baroque Christmas

Saturday 14 December 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

Corelli Christmas Concerto
Handel Messiah (excerpts)
Praetorius Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Carbonelli Violin Sonata VIII
Bach Magnificat (excerpts)
Purcell Behold, I bring you glad tidings
Bach Air on a G string BWV 1068
Bach Wachet auf – Zion hört die  Wächter singen BWV 140/4
Handel Messiah – For Unto us a Child is Born
Bach Wachet auf – Gloria sei dir gesungen BWV 140/5

Tickets £5 – £20 available online – click on button below.

A Baroque Christmas

Bath Recitals brings us another fantastic festive offering this Christmas with A Baroque Christmas as the final concert of 2019.

Conductor Tom Hammond Davies

Conductor, Tom Hammond Davies returns with a programme of Christmas Baroque music performed by the Oxford Bach Soloists and Blenheim Singers. This brings the 2019 programme from Bath recitals to a seasonal close with this wonderful seasonal celebration of music.

Choral music at the highest level’ 
Augsberger Allgemeine

The Blenheim Singers will join forces with the Orchestra of the Oxford Bach Soloists for this wonderful concert.

Playing on period instruments and working with the next generation of talented young vocalists and instrumentalists, this promises to be a wonderful programme of music by some of the great composers of the Baroque age.

A Baroque Christmas

Saturday 14 December 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

Corelli Christmas Concerto
Handel Messiah (excerpts)
Praetorius Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Carbonelli Violin Sonata VIII
Bach Magnificat (excerpts)
Purcell Behold, I bring you glad tidings
Bach Air on a G string BWV 1068
Bach Wachet auf – Zion hört die  Wächter singen BWV 140/4
Handel Messiah – For Unto us a Child is Born
Bach Wachet auf – Gloria sei dir gesungen BWV 140/5

Tickets £5 – £20 available online – click on button below.

Meet the Marmen Quartet

Saturday 5 October 2019 saw Bath Recitals proudly hosting the Marmen Quartet, who are emerging as one of the most interesting voices on the chamber music scene, at St Michael’s Church. Unique, exciting performances with an incredibly distinctive sound are the hallmarks of this formidable multi-award winning young quartet. We find out more…

Johannes Marmen violin
Ricky Gore violin
Bryony Gibson-Cornish viola
Steffan Morris cello

Marmen Quartett Photo: Marco Borggreve

Founded in 2013 at the Royal College of Music, the Marmen Quartet consists of Johannes Marmen, Ricky Gore, Bryony Gibson-Cornish and Steffan Morris.

They’re current holders of the Guildhall School of Music String Quartet Fellowship, and study with Simon Rowland-Jones and John Myerscough. 

Though the quartet are based in London, they’re certainly no strangers to world-wide audiences – in addition to being winners of the Grand Prize at the 2019 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, the Marmen Quartet won the 2018 Royal Over-Seas League Competition and are looking forward to a Beethoven Cycle in Sweden, a debut in the Berlin Philharmonie, a cruise to Norway, a tour to Japan, and octet performances with the Doric String Quartet.

‘Performing is all about communication. It’s telling a story and I feel the Marmen are dedicated to this ideal’
Peter Cropper (Lindsay Quartet)

The award-winning Marmen Quartet

The Marmen Quartet has appeared on ‘Deutschlandfunk Kultur’, ‘Swedish Radio’ and ‘BBC Radio 3’. They are the Young Quartet in Residence at Wiltshire Music Centre and they have received awards from the Musicians Company/Concordia Foundation, the Hattori Foundation, Help Musicians, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Society Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize.

Additional accolades include Second Prize at the 8th International Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition, and the Special Prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work (Four Quarters by Thomas Adès).

The quartet believe in making classical music accessible to all generations. They choose repertoire that they love themselves, aiming to present their performances and music in an informal and stimulating way; inspiring, educating, telling stories about the music, the composers, and life as a string quartet


The Marmen Quartet

Saturday 5 October, 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

Haydn
String Quartet in B flat major
Beethoven
String Quartet no 11 in F minor op 95
Ligeti 
String Quartet no 1 
Metamorphoses Nocturnes
Mozart
String Quartet in G major K387 
The Spring

Kindly supported by:

The Carne Trust

Music from the Marmen

We find out more about Bath Recitals’ wonderful programme on offer from the prizewinning Marmen Quartet on 5 October …

The next concert in the Bath Recitals Chamber Series 2019 presents repertoire for the String Quartet rooted in the classical age with music by the grand masters of the String Quartet: Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart.

These are juxtaposed against a mercurial work by the great 20th century Hungarian composer György Ligeti inspired by the Quartets of Bartók – in fact, it has even been referred to as ‘Bartók’s seventh string quartet’.

‘Performing is all about communication. It’s telling a story and I feel the Marmen are dedicated to this ideal’
Peter Cropper (Lindsay Quartet)

Haydn 
String Quartet in B flat major

Joseph Haydn wrote a staggering sixty-eight string quartets – and effectively invented this hugely popular genre in the process. He was often referred to as ‘the father of the string quartet’ and his works are considered a milestone in the history of musical composition which was to define the medium for the next 200 years.


Beethoven 
String Quartet no 11 in F minor op 95

If Haydn and Mozart created the String Quartet, Beethoven could be said to have taken it to the next level of mastery. He was also impacted by the political events surrounding him at the time – Napoleon had invaded Vienna just before he wrote his 11th quartet – yet Beethoven stayed on in the city complaining that the dictator had gone too far.


Ligeti 
String Quartet no 1 ‘Metamorphoses Nocturnes’

Born in 1923, György Ligeti has been described as ‘one of the most important avant-garde composers in the latter half of the twentieth century’. Restricted in his musical style by the authorities of Communist Hungary, it was only when he reached the west in 1956 could he fully realise his passion for musical exploration and experimentation.


Mozart 
String Quartet in G major K387 ‘The Spring’
Mozart was so impressed by the string quartets of Haydn that he wrote a set of six quartets in 1782 and dedicated them to Haydn. Writing a total of 23 quartets, Mozart;’s uniquely spontaneous approach to composition imbues all his works witty an engaging freshness that was nothing short of radical.


Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven and Lygeti feature in the Marmen Quartet performance in Bath

Marmen Quartet
Saturday 5 October, 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

Tickets: £5 to £20 – available online by clicking on the button below

Haydn
String Quartet in B flat major
Beethoven
String Quartet no 11 in F minor op 95
Ligeti 
String Quartet no 1 
Metamorphoses Nocturnes
Mozart
String Quartet in G major K387 
The Spring

Kindly supported by:

The Carne Trust

Prize-winning quartet to perform in Bath

The prize-winning Marmen Quartet will be performing in Bath on 5 October as part of Bath Recital’s popular 2019 programme.  We find out more about this extraordinary prizewinning ensemble…

Unique, exciting performances with an incredibly distinctive sound are the hallmarks of this formidable multi-award winning young quartet.

Here they are giving their Gold Medal winning performance of the Finale: Vivace from Haydn’s String Quartet in C major Op 74 No 1 at the finals fo the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition 2018…

‘Performing is all about communication. It’s telling a story and I feel the Marmen are dedicated to this ideal’
Peter Cropper (Lindsay Quartet)

The Marmen Quartet were winners of the Grand Prize at the 2019 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition as well as the 2018 Royal Over-Seas League Competition and Music in the Round ‘Bridge’ Scheme.

They are currently String Quartet Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

Their programme for the Bath Recitals Chamber Series 2019 presents repertoire for the String Quartet rooted in the classical age with music by the grand masters of the String Quartet: Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart.

These are juxtaposed against a mercurial work by the great 20th century Hungarian composer György Ligeti inspired by the Quartets of Bartók – in fact, it has even been referred to as ‘Bartók’s seventh string quartet’

Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven and Lygeti feature in the Marmen Quartet performance in Bath

Marmen Quartet
Saturday 5 October, 7.30pm
St. Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ

Tickets: £5 to £20 – available online by clicking on the button below

Haydn
String Quartet in B flat major
Beethoven
String Quartet no 11 in F minor op 95
Ligeti 
String Quartet no 1 
Metamorphoses Nocturnes
Mozart
String Quartet in G major K387 
The Spring

Kindly supported by:

The Carne Trust

The Misshapen Pearl

Comparing some of musical history’s greatest masterpieces to a misshapen pearl might seem strange to us today, but that is how the term ‘Baroque’ was born…

To the critics of the nineteenth century, the music of Bach and Handel’s era sounded overly ornamented and exaggerated. Taking the term from the Portuguese word barroco, or ‘oddly shaped pearl’, the rather derogatory term baroque has been widely used ever since to describe one of the richest and most diverse periods periods in Western European music.

The Baroque period ran from around 1600 to 1750 and marks a time of great artistic innovation, strong perfumes, and gentlemen with luscious locks.

During this age, music was seen as a form of communication, paintings were filled with dramatic effects of light and shadow, and even bathing was considered dangerous.

Alongside some of the great names in painting, sculpture and architecture with the likes of Bernini and Rembrandt stood several towering figures in musical composition.

Three of these will be represented in Bath Recital’s next blockbuster concert on 24 August with 1,000 years of Baroque.

Handel, Bach and Scarlatti were all born in the same year 334 years ago in 1685. Times three make just over 1,000 year of fantastic Baroque music from this extraordinary trio of composers:

  • 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.
     
  • Generally regarded as one of the greatest composers in Western music, Bach was certainly one of the most prolific German composers, organists, harpsichordists, violists, and violinists of the Baroque Era.
     
  • Domenico Scarlatti was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families.
Oxford Bach Soloists
The Chorus & Orchestra of the Oxford Bach Soloists make a welcome return to Bath with their conductor Tom Hammond-Davies, playing on period instruments and working with the next generation of talented young vocalists and instrumentalists.

A THOUSAND YEARS OF BAROQUE

Saturday 24 August, 7:30pm
St Michael’s Broad Street, Bath

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

Johann Sebastian Bach
Coffee Cantata
Excerpts from Easter Oratorio
Final Chorus from Cantata no 181

Domenico Scarlatti
Salve Regina

Singers - 1000 years of Baroque

Meet the Singers

Music from one of the golden ages of music will be brought to life by the singers and orchestra of the Oxford Bach Soloists at our summer concert – 1000 Years of Baroque – on 24 August. We meet the fabulous four soloists who will be performing in Bath.


Soprano Lucy Cronin studied at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with Teresa Cahill and Helen Yorke. She now plays a prominent role in choral and as a soloist with groups including the Monterverdi Choir, Britten Sinfonia Voices and the Erebus Ensemble.

Lucy Cronin

Winner of the 2018 Handel Singing Competition, mezzo-soprano, Helen Charleston has been hailed ‘a rather special mezzo’ in Music Web International and is a Rising Star of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She studied music at Trinity College, Cambridge and has recently been heard on BBC Radio 3 and as as a guest on ‘In Tune’.

Helen Charleston

Tenor Nick Pritchard read music at New College, Oxford and studied with Russell Smythe at the Royal College of Music International Opera School where he was the recipient of the Eric Joseph Shilling Prize. He was awarded the London Bach Society Singer’s Prize in 2013 and current engagements including roles at Opera North, Brighton Early Music Festival, St. Paul’s Chamber Orchestra and English Touring Opera.


A member of The Sixteen, baritone Ben Davies studied at the Royal Academy of Music in with Mark Wildman and Antony Saunders where he won the Oratorio Prize and the Henry Cummings Prize. He has performed roles at Netherlands Opera, Buxton Festival and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.


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 the button below.

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

Johann Sebastian Bach
Coffee Cantata 
Excerpts from Easter Oratorio
Final Chorus from Cantata no 181

Domenico Scarlatti
Salve Regina

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.