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Giving some in-depth context into our current tour programme, Jonny, SK alto and musicology PhD Nathan Mercieca, Prof Stephen Rose (Royal Holloway, Uni of London) and Dr Bettina Varwig (Uni of Cambridge) explore the mind-bending world of Bach's motets, including the context provided by the four Johann Christoph Bach pieces SK has selected for the upcoming concerts and on-location CD recording (summer 2022), and the insights into the musical fabric and structure that can be gained by memorisation.
Listen below, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Bach Brothers @ Wigmore Hall 6th March 2022
There are still good seats available for the premiere of this new programme at Wigmore Hall on Sunday 6th March. 8 singers will join a rich continuo team, 2 violinists and 3 viola da gamba players for motets and sacred concertos by Johann Christoph and Johann Michael Bach.
This is some of the most beautiful and expressive vocal music of the 17th century. We interweave the big solo showpieces by JC Bach, "Ach, dass ich Wassers gnug hätte" and "Wie bist du denn, o Gott, in Zorn auf mich entbrannt", with other gems by the two brothers, who were also first cousins once removed of Johann Sebastian. The emotional rollercoaster of torment and joy, fear of death and loving acceptance of it, and fear of God or joyful anticipation of his coming, barrels us through music which goes straight to the heart, riven with the desolation, raw nerves, and permanent confrontation with death in the decades after the Thirty Years War. Not to be missed.
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"Solomon's Knot let off a firework of baroque exaltation" - Not the Christmas Oratorio in Regensburg
The Süddeutsche Zeitung praised the performance of our Not the Christmas Oratorio programme in Regensburg in October 2021:
On Saturday evening the British formation Solomon's Knot let off a firework of baroque exaltation with secular congratulatory cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach. Solomon's Knot turn the cantatas into fast-paced one-acters, with blaring trumpets and rolling drums as well as moments of the most intimate grace. ... It's so unashamedly unacademic and passionate - pure joy.
Read the full review in German HERE.
Our latest project features three secular cantatas which JS Bach wrote for the Saxon royal family in 1733/4. He subsequently reused a lot of the music in his Christmas Oratorio of 1734/5. These pieces are full of irresistible energy and invention.
We are delighted to kick off our four-concert residency at Wigmore Hall with this project, as well as returning to three of our favourite festivals: Newbury, Thüringen, and Regensburg.
10 September 2021 Wigmore Hall
15 September 2021 Georgenkirche, Eisenach
17 September 2021 St Nicholas, Newbury
9 October 2021 Dreieinigkeitskirche, Regensburg
Listen to our one-and-only performance of last year, which took place in Hamburg in the early music series 'Das Alte Werk' at the Laeiszhalle /Elbphilharmonie. Tune in on Thursday 7 January at 20:00 CET (7pm GMT) at the German NDR Radio.
Our programme, delivered with extreme distancing on stage, traces hen/stag-night revelries followed by a good night’s sleep and a blissful wedding celebration, with highlights from Purcell's Fairy Queen and extracts from King Arthur as well as lesser-known gems from Purcell's odes and welcome songs.
It was a miraculous oasis in an otherwise arid year.
Swap your trumpets for flutes, and join us for a sumptuous feast of French baroque Christmas music, live from St John's Smith Square last December. The story of the annunciation to the shepherds is vividly brought to life in a manner that is both highly entertaining and deeply moving.
Charpentier - In nativitatem Domini Canticum H416
Charpentier - Pastorale sur la naissance de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ H483
Get a little taste with Source de lumière et de grace from the final scene of the Pastorale, kicked off by Kate Symonds-Joy.
"This is more than the art of singing, this is a way of life" - wrote the Hamburger Abendblatt (€) on our Purcell Pageant following our performances on 26 October at the Laeiszhalle. We are immensely grateful we made it to Hamburg during this difficult time, and just before Germany announced stricter regulations affecting concert halls, which have to remain closed for the whole month of November.
It was truly wonderful to be back on stage together and we like to thank our promoter for making this possible. The good news is that our performance was part of the early music series 'Das Alte Werk', meaning it was recorded by the NDR Radio for deferred broadcast.
This is the fitting encore by which we thanked our audiences at the Laeiszhalle: Telemann's 1762 Hamburg setting of Luther's 'Mitten wir im Leben sind mit dem Tod umfangen' (In the midst of life we are in death).
Photo: Daniel Joy
London International Festival of Early Music
10 November 2022
21 January 2023
KUHNAU CHRISTMAS CANTATAS
York Early Music
16 December 2022
17 December 2022
Keep an eye out on our YouTube channel where we regularly post new content.
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