Since its creation in 2012, Bath Bachfest has quickly carved itself a place in the City’s annual classical music calendar. Presented by the team which runs the acclaimed Bath Mozartfest each November, and programmed by the peerless Amelia Freedman, this short but perfectly formed festival celebrates the music of J S Bach and his Baroque contemporaries.Specialist soloists and period ensembles converge for this delightful mini-festival of five concerts,set against the backdrop of the Georgian City’s finest buildings.
The 2019 Bachfest will open with the award-winning British consort Stile Antico, an ensemble of twelve singers, without a conductor, accompanied here by chamber organ, violone and theorbo. Their programme, entitled Divine Consolations: music of reflection and hope, pairs Bach motets with music by his predecessor Heinrich Schütz.
A one-hour lunchtime concert on Friday 22nd February, features the Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang. She will perform her own arrangements of two Bach lute Suites plus a suite of dances by the late seventeenth century guitarist and composer Gaspar Sanz.
Harry Christophers and his singers and players of The Sixteen are among the best known interpreters of Baroque music, and they will present an intimate version of Handel’s pastoral masque Acis and Galatea beneath the chandeliers of Bath’s Regency Assembly Rooms.
La Serenissima, led by director / violinist Adrian Chandler, is inextricably associated with Vivaldi and his home City, so it is no surprise that their Saturday morning 11am coffee concert is entirely devoted to the composer, comprising Vivaldi Double Concerti.
Finally to the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and a team of well-known soloists led by director / lead violin Margaret Faultless, to end with an all-Bach programme including Suites, a Sinfonia, a Violin Concerto and, ultimately, the sublime Concerto for two violins.