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.


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


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.


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.


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’.

A Feast for the Senses

Caravaggio’s masterpiece of still life, Still life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge, was painted around 1603 and depicts a wicker basket heaped with various fruit and vegetables looking so succulent and delicious you can almost pick them off the canvas and eat them…

The story goes that Caravaggio was sued by his landlady for cutting a hole in the ceiling of the rooms he rented to allow a mellow shaft of light to create the characteristic lighting falling from the top left of the painting.

Around the time this was painted, composers throughout Europe were also being inspired by a new wave of music which saw a shift away from Renaissance style contrapuntal polyphony with all the voices being theoretically equal, to the treble-bass polarity of the baroque and the development of basso continuo.

This was radical stuff, and composers of the early 17th century were unwittingly creating the foundations for one of the greatest composers of all time – JS Bach.

Heinrich Biber
Heinrich Biber

Composers such as the Bohemian-Austrian violinist Heinrich Biber – one of the most important composers for that instrument – began writing virtuosic melody lines full of ornamentation and invention.

Heinrich Schütz
Heinrich Schütz

Others like Heinrich Schütz brought the colour and vitality of the new music from Italy to the northern Germanic states where they flourished through choral singing with a particular focus given to the nuance and declamation of the text.

Dietrich Buxtehude
Dietrich Buxtehude

And the great Danish-German organist/composer Dietrich Buxtehude whose chorale-cantatas so inspired Bach that the 17 year old JS Bach walked 250 miles from Arnstadt to Lübeck to hear him perform.

JS Bach by Haussmann (1748)
JS Bach by Haussmann (1748)

These and many other composers were all paving the way for one of the greatest composers in musical history – Johann Sebastian Bach – a towering figure of the baroque age. Through his 65 years he was to become the master of what we now call ‘The German Baroque’.

From Cantatas to Concertos, Oratorios to Organ works, Preludes to Fugues, the music JS Bach represents the final flowering of the Baroque in northern Europe. Today, 268 years after his death, his music continues to thrive. Indeed, in The Telegraph’s list of the 168 best classical music recordings, Bach’s music is featured more often than that of any other composer.

Manuscript of Bach's St Matthew Passion
Manuscript of Bach’s St Matthew Passion

German Baroque Christmas is a celebration of the magical world of JS Bach and those who inspired his wonderful music.


German Christmas Baroque

Saturday 22 December 7.30pm
St Michael’s Church, Broad Street

And of course our popular bar will be open at St Michael’s serving suitably festive Christmas drinks!

German Christmas Baroque

A celebration of the magical world of JS Bach and those who inspired his wonderful music with the culmination of Bath Recitals 2018 and a German Baroque Christmas. Find out more…

Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the towering figures of the baroque age. Through his 65 years he became a master of the German Baroque.

In 1705, When he was just 17, he famously walked 250 miles from Arnstadt to Lübeck to hear the 68-year-old

Dietrich Buxtehude perform. He was to become one of many of Bach’s influences across the continent who defined him as one of the greatest composers of all time.

Johann Sebastian Bach statue, St. Thomas Church, Leipzig
Johann Sebastian Bach statue, St. Thomas Church, Leipzig

The authentic voices and instrumentalists of Music Poetica make a welcome return to Bath for this concert. This glorious seasonal celebration of the wonder of a Baroque Christmas with music from 17th and 18th century Germany will form the culmination of Bath Recital’s 2018 Baroque Season.

Musica Poetica in performance at Bath Recitals earlier this year
Musica Poetica in performance at Bath Recitals earlier this year

an early-instrument ensemble of exceptional quality”

Miranda Jackson – Opera Brittanica

This festive evening celebrates the music of JS Bach with a programme including some of his most famous cantatas and chorales. In addition will enjoy some Christmas favourites by some of the composers who inspired him including Praetorius, Buxtehude and Schütz.


German Christmas Baroque

Saturday 22 December 7.30pm

St Michael’s Church, Broad Street

JS Bach

Bereite dich Zion (Prepare yourself, Zion) from Christmas Oratorio BWV 248

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring from Cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life) BWV 147

Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke (I am content with my fate) BWV 84

Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (Now come, Saviour of the heathens) BWV 61

Philipp Nicolai arr JS Bach

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (How beautiful is the morning star) BWV 436

Chorale from Wachet auf! (Sleepers Wake) BWV 140

Michael Pretorius

In natali Domini (On our Lord’s Birthday)

Traditional arr Michael Pretorius

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, how a rose e’er blooming)

Samuel Scheidt

Puer natus in Bethlehem (A Child is born in Bethlehem)

Heinrich Schütz

Singet dem Herren ein neues Lied  (Sing unto the Lord a new song) SWV 342

Verbum caro factum est (Here the Word became flesh) SWV 314

Dietrich Buxtehude

In dulci jubilo (In sweet rejoicing) BuxWV 52

Chant: Veni redemptor gentium (Come, Redeemer of the nations)

Keep the Home Fires Burning

The association of music with conflict is legendary, and the First World War is no exception. Never Such Innocence on 3 November looks back at some of the extraordinary writings and music that emerged from this period….

The Holborn Empire

Prior to 1914 the Music Hall was the centre of popular cultural life with ever larger theatres of up to 2000 seats staging live musical acts alongside animal imitators, acrobats, human freaks and conjurors. This was before the days of the affordable gramophone and so cheap seats at a show provided access to a new repertoire of populist songs.

George Formby

The stars of the day ranged from the jauntily comic to the bawdy performer such as the likes of George Formby (pictured) and Harry Lauder.

During the war years alone the Music Hall was the perfect platform for several thousand new music hall songs. A real hit could sell over a million copies.

It’s A Long, Long Way to Tipperary.

At the outbreak of war, many songs encouraged young men to join up with tiles such as We Don’t Want to Lose You, but We Think You Ought to Go and It’s A Long, Long Way to Tipperary.

But after a few months of war with rising numbers of casualties these recruitment songs all but disappeared.

When the War is Over

Increasingly these music hall songs focused on dreams about the end of the war such as Ivor Novello’s When the Boys Come Home and Keep the Home Fires Burning. 

Songs often portrayed soldiers as brave and noble, while the fragile and loyal women waited patiently at home for their loved ones.

The Spirit of England

In the world of British classical music the war coincided with a time of transition. The older generation of composers such as Parry, Stanford and Elgar would normally have been overshadowed by a younger generation of composers. Ivor Gurney, Arthur Bliss and Herbert Howells were all students in 1914, but as many of these were of enlistment age they were sent to the front and of course many of them never returned. Of those composers who went to fight, George Butterworth, F S Kelly, William Denis Browne, Ernest Farrar, Willie Manson and Cecil Coles tragically did not survive.

‘A very special, moving and immensely absorbing production’


Although difficult for composers to write whilst on active service, the pieces they did write are a barometer for the times. Ivor Gurney, returning after 15 months at the front, having been shot and gassed, brought with him five of his most enduring songs. One mud-spattered manuscript, a setting of By a Bierside, was written by the light of a stump of candle in a trench mortar emplacement.

There were demands such as in The Musical Times for the composers of the day to write music which commemorated, celebrated and raised the spirits of the Nation. Elgar’s The Spirit of England, for example,was initially popular but but as the mood of the nation turned peoples’ emotional needs changed to a desire for music which expressed people’s grief, and served as a memorial to those who had been lost.

Chris and Gamal in Never Such Innocence
Christopher Kent and Gamal Khamis performing

After the noise of war fell silent at 11am on 11 November 1918 it was left to the older generation to reflect on the conflict and to pay homage to its memory. For example, Vaughan Williams after serving with the Medical Corps in France, wrote his achingly beautiful Pastoral Symphony in 1922 as a monument to loss, with bugle calls echoing across the French landscape.

Never Such Innocence captures the spirit of the age in a moving narrative recital of words and music from the First World War delivered by professional actor Christopher Kent and pianist Gamal Khamis.


Never Such Innocence

Saturday 3 November 7.30pm
St Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 

Tickets are just £16 (or £15 in advance with a discovery card)

Beautifully nuanced show – tender, moving, angry”

With generous support from

Carne Trust

Beethoven’s Great String Trios

Beethoven wrote some of his most engaging pieces for the String Trio. Yet after the age of 28 he was never to write any more. We find out why..

Beethoven left his native Bonn at the age of 22 to take lessons from Josef Haydn in Vienna. Everything was going well with several successful works under his belt including collections of String Trios.

In 1797 Beethoven began composing his opus 9 set of three String Trios which he dedicated to his patron Count Johann Georg von Browne. 

Count Johann Georg von Browne
Count Johann Georg von Browne

At the time of publication Beethoven regarded these Trios as the best compositions he had ever written. 

Carnevale String Trio
Carnevale String Trio

Suddenly, just when he was in total command of the genre, he abandoned the String Trio for ever. The reason being that he was ready to take up the wider challenge of the String Quartet. Yet Musicologist Gerald Abraham believes that Beethoven’s String Trios are on a par with the quartets he was to write afterwards in terms of their style and aesthetic value.

The Carnevale String Trio will be performing Beethoven’s last String Trio – a work in which Beethoven unleashes what the musicologist Denis Matthews describes as a ‘creative demon’. 

Experience this fascinating music of passion and energy on Saturday 29 September alongside music by J.S.Bach, Dohnanyi and Gideon Klein


Carnevale String Trio

Saturday 29 September 7.30pm

St Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath BA1 

JS Bach          Goldberg Variations (excerpts)
Dohnanyi        Serenade in C Major
Gideon Klein  String Trio
Beethoven      String Trio in C Minor op 9 no. 3

Tickets are just £15 – £16

With generous support from The Carne Trust.