Programme

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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus Tragicus), BWV 106
Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043
O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34

Programme Notes

Johann Sebastian Bach would have been no stranger to death. After losing his eighteen-year-old brother Johann Balthazar when he was only six, Sebastian was orphaned at the age of just nine years old. He would go on to bury his first wife after just thirteen years of marriage, as well as ten of his twenty children. Such early exposure to grief and loss must have shaped Bach’s heartrendingly profound funeral cantata Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106 (also known as the Actus Tragicus). Although no original sources for the piece survive (there are only manuscript copies from the latter half of the 18th century), its style and notation suggest it was probably written during the year Bach spent in Mühlhausen (1707–08). It bears strong similarities to another cantata from this time, Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, BWV 131, which we know for certain Bach composed in the Thuringian city. Scored in four voice parts accompanied by two recorders, two violas da gamba and basso continuo, the Actus Tragicus draws together a mixture of scriptural and chorale texts into a symmetrical structure arranged around a central chorus. Alternating between choruses and solos/duets, Bach employs a range of incredibly subtle musical effects, including compact fugal passages, quiet echoes, and endings that fade out rather than resolve, thereby constructing a musical language capable of expressing the core beliefs surrounding death — influenced by both the Old and New Testaments — to which early 18th-century Lutherans would have adhered.

The Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043 is a later work, probably dating from around 1730, when Bach was at the height of his creative powers and well established as Cantor in Leipzig. While Bach had built up extensive experience with the concerto genre during his time in Cöthen (1717-23), in the works he composed for the Leipzig Collegium musicum (the instrumental ensemble founded by Telemann, which Bach directed between 1729–39) he began to experiment with increasingly ambitious musical structures. In this concerto, the main theme of the opening Vivace takes the form of a fugue that is broken up by increasingly virtuosic episodes for the two solo violins. The ensuing tension between apparently fixed and freer writing gives the movement a palpable sense of musical drama. By contrast, the central Largo is more understated, revealing Bach’s occasionally overlooked ability for writing simple yet touching lyrical melodies. However, the concluding Allegro immediately returns to the more urgent mode, with its solo episodes continually building toward a powerful climax arrived at via a scintillating sequential passage — before finally reprising the ritornello (the main theme of a concerto, which literally ‘returns’) one last time.

O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34 was written for Pentecost Sunday (or Whitsun), the feast commemorating when the Holy Spirit reportedly visited the Apostles as a rushing wind with tongues of fire. This cantata was previously thought to be one of Bach’s later works, based on the inscription on a set of parts dated 1746/47. However, it has since been shown (based on the evidence of a libretto discovered in St Petersburg) that these materials were, in fact, prepared for a revival performance — and it seems the cantata was actually composed as part of Bach’s 1727-28 cantata cycle. A so-called ‘parody’ of a wedding cantata with the same first line (BWV 34a), it opens with a white-hot chorus, readily evoking the vivid imagery of the biblical account ably captured by Bach’s anonymous librettist. Bookended by two short recitatives, the central alto aria offers a brief moment of repose before the lead into the final chorus, which immediately returns to the rapturous mood of the opening and brings the cantata to a suitably celebratory close.

David Lee

Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus Tragicus), BWV 106

1. Sinfonia
2a. Chorus

Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit.
‘In ihm leben, weben und sind wir, solange er will.
In ihm sterben wir zur rechten Zeit, wenn er will.

••

God’s time is the very best time.
‘In Him we live, move, and have our being,’ as long as He wills.
In Him we die at the right time, when He wills.

2b. (tenor)

Ach Herr, ‘lehre uns bedenken, daß wir

sterben müssen, auf daß wir klug werden.’

••

Ah Lord, ‘teach us to remember that we

must die, so that we become wise.’

2c. (bass)

‘Bestelle dein Haus; denn du wirst sterben und nicht lebendig bleiben!’

••

‘Put your house in order, for you shall die and not remain living!’

2d. SATB

‘Es ist der alte Bund:’ Mensch,

‘du mußt sterben!’

Sopran:

‘Ja, komm, Herr Jesu!’

••

‘It is the Old Covenant:’ man,

‘you must die!’

Soprano:

‘Yes, come, Lord Jesus!’

3a. Alto

‘In deine Hände befehl ich meinen Geist; du hast mich erlöset, Herr, du getreuer Gott.’

••

‘Into Your hands I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, Lord, You faithful God.’

3b.

[Baß]

‘Heute wirst du mit mir im Paradies sein.’

[Alt]

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
In Gottes Willen,
Getrost ist mir mein Herz und Sinn,
Sanft und stille.
Wie Gott mir verheißen hat:
Der Tod ist mein Schlaf worden.

••

[Bass]

‘Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.’

[Alto]

With peace and joy I go to that place,
According to the Will of God;
My heart and mind are established,
Meek and quiet.
As God has promised me:
Death has become my sleep.

4. Chorale

Glorie, Lob, Ehr und Herrlichkeit
Sei dir, Gott Vater und Sohn bereit’,
Dem Heilgen Geist mit Namen!
Die göttlich Kraft
Macht uns sieghaft
Durch Jesum Christum, amen.

••

Glory, praise, honour, and majesty
Be given to You, God the Father and Son
And to the Holy Spirit by name!
May the power of God
Make us victorious
Through Jesus Christ. Amen.

O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34

1. Coro

O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe,
Entzünde die Herzen und weihe sie ein.
Laß himmlische Flammen durchdringen und wallen,
Wir wünschen, o Höchster, dein Tempel zu sein, Ach, laß dir die Seelen im Glauben gefallen!

1. Chorus

O eternal Fire, O source of Love,
Enkindle our hearts and consecrate them.
Let heavenly flames penetrate and well up;
We desire, O most High, to be Your temple;
Ah, let our souls please You in faith!

2. Recitativo (tenor)

Herr, unsre Herzen halten dir
Dein Wort der Wahrheit für:
Du willst bei Menschen gerne sein,
Drum sei das Herze dein;
Herr, ziehe gnädig ein.
Ein solch erwähltes Heiligtum
Hat selbst den größten Ruhm.

2. Recitative

Lord, our hearts hold out to You
Your Word of Truth:
You would gladly be with man,
Therefore may my heart be Yours;
Lord, graciously enter it.
Such a chosen sanctuary
Itself has the greatest renown.

3. Aria (alto)

Wohl euch, ihr auserwählten Seelen,
Die Gott zur Wohnung ausersehn!
Wer kann ein größer Heil erwählen?
Wer kann des Segens Menge zählen?
Und dieses ist vom Herrn geschehn.

3. Aria

Blessed are you, you chosen souls,
Whom God has selected for His dwelling!
Who could choose a grander salvation?
Who count the multitude of blessings?
And this is the Lord’s doing.

4. Recitativo (bass)

Erwählt sich Gott die heilgen Hütten,
Die er mit Heil bewohnt,
So muß er auch den Segen auf sie schütten,
So wird der Sitz des Heiligtums belohnt.
Der Herr ruft über sein geweihtes Haus
Das Wort des Segens aus:

4. Recitative

If God chooses the holy tabernacles,
Which He inhabits with salvation,
Then He must also pour blessing on them,
Then the seat of the sanctuary is rewarded.
The Lord calls out over His consecrated house
These words of blessing:

5. Coro

‘Friede über Israel!’
Dankt den höchsten Wunderhänden,
Dankt, Gott hat an euch gedacht!
Ja, sein Segen wirkt mit Macht,
Friede über Israel,
Friede über euch zu senden.

5. Chorus

‘Peace upon Israel!’
Thank the wondrous hands of the Highest,
Be thankful: God has been mindful of you!
Yes, His Blessing works mightily
To send peace upon Israel,
Peace upon you.

Performers & Credits

John Butt director & harpsichord
Julia Doyle solo soprano
Jess Dandy solo alto
Thomas Hobbs solo tenor
Matthew Brook & Robert Davies solo bass

Matthew Truscott & Huw Daniel solo violin


Vocal ripienists
Claire Evans
Judy Louie Brown
David Lee

Violin I
Matthew Truscott
Sarah Bevan-Baker
Kristin Deeken

Violin II
Huw Daniel
Rebecca Livermore

Viola
Mark Braithwaite

Cello/viola da gamba
Jonathan Manson
Emily Ashton

Double bass
Carina Cosgrave

Flute
Georgia Browne
Graham O’Sullivan

Recorder
László Rózsa
Graham O’Sullivan

Oboe
Alexandra Bellamy
Frances Norbury

Trumpet
Paul Sharp
Simon Munday
Brendan Musk

Timpani
Stephen Burke

Organ
Stephen Farr

•••

Video Production
Arms & Legs

Directed by
Ross Addy and Tommy Slack

Motion Graphics & Titles
Bartosz Liszka

Audio production
Matthew Swan

Lighting Design
Jamie Heseltine

•••

Supported by

Dunard Fund


Artist Biographies

John Butt

John Butt is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and musical director of Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort.

As an undergraduate at Cambridge University, he held the office of organ scholar at King’s College. Continuing as a graduate student working on the music of Bach he received his PhD in 1987. He was subsequently a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and a Fellow of Magdalene College Cambridge, joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1989 as University Organist and Professor of Music. In autumn 1997 he returned to Cambridge as a University Lecturer and Fellow of King’s College, and in October 2001 he took up his current post at Glasgow. His books have been published by Cambridge University Press: these include Bach Interpretation (1990), a handbook on Bach’s Mass in B Minor (1991), Music Education and the Art of Performance in the German Baroque (1994). Playing with History (2002) marked a new tack, examining the broad culture of historically informed performance and attempting to explain and justify it as a contemporary phenomenon. He is also editor or joint editor of both the Cambridge and Oxford Companions to Bach and of the Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music (2005). His book on Bach’s Passions, Bach’s Dialogue with Modernity, was published in 2010, and explores the ways in which Bach’s Passion settings relate to some of the broader concepts of modernity, such as subjectivity and time consciousness.

John Butt’s conducting engagements with the Dunedin Consort (2003 –) have included major Baroque repertory and several new commissions. He has been guest conductor with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, The Irish Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, The Royal Academy of Music Bach Cantata series, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Baroque Orchestra and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. John Butt also continues to be active as a solo organist and harpsichordist. Eleven recordings on organ, harpsichord and clavichord have been released by Harmonia Mundi. As conductor or organist he has performed throughout the world, including recent trips to Germany, France, Poland, Israel, Korea, Canada, Belgium, Holland and Irish Republic.

In 2003 John Butt was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and received the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association. That year his book, Playing with History, was shortlisted for the British Academy’s annual Book Prize. In 2006 he was elected Fellow of the British Academy and began a two-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for his research on Bach’s Passions. He has recently served on the Council of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In January 2011 he became the fifth recipient of the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation’s Bach Prize, for his work in the performance and scholarship of Bach. In 2013 John Butt was awarded the medal of the Royal College of Organists and the OBE for his services to music in Scotland.

Julia Doyle

Originally from Lancaster, Julia studied Social and Political Sciences at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge before embarking on a singing career, and has since performed all over the world and become established as a specialist soprano in Baroque repertoire.

She has performed Bach St John Passion at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (Sir John Eliot Gardiner), and in Toronto (Tafelmusik), St Matthew Passion at Alice Tully Hall in New York (Philippe Herreweghe), Christmas Oratorio in Sydney and Melbourne with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (Richard Tognetti), BWV 202 with Music of the Baroque in Chicago (Nicholas Kraemer), BWV 199 with Bach Vereniging (Alfredo Bernadini), Mozart Exsultate Jubilate at the Cité de la Musique in Paris (Arsys Bourgogne), Mass in C Minor in Budapest (Györgi Vashegyi), Handel Occasional Oratorio at the Halle Handel Festival (English Concert), La Resurezzione at the Wigmore Hall (London Handel Orchestra), Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Richard Cooke) and at the Palace of Versailles with The King’s Consort (Robert King), Apollo e Dafne with Concerto Copenhagen (Alfredo Bernadini), Haydn Nelson Mass in the Canary Islands with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightement (Eamonn Dougan), Haydn Paukenmesse and Beethoven Symphony No.9 with J.S. Bach Stiftung (Rudolf Lutz), and Haydn Creation in St Paul’s Cathedral with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Julia has a wide discography including recordings of Handel Messiah with Britten Sinfonia and Polyphony (Stephen Layton) as well as with The Bethlehem Bach Choir (Greg Funfgeld), Israel in Egypt with Arsys Bourgogne (Pierre Cao), L’Allegro with Kölner Kammerchor (Peter Neumann), Mendelssohn Israel in Ägypten with The King’s Consort (Robert King), Bach Magnificat with Dunedin Consort (John Butt) and also with The Bethlehem Bach Choir (Greg Funfgeld), Bach Cantatas and the Mass in B Minor with J.S. Bach Stiftung (Rudolf Lutz), Lutheran Masses with The Sixteen (Harry Christophers), Astro Nuevo: En Torno a Rabassa with Orquesta Barocca de Sevilla (Enrico Onofri) and Lutoslawski Dwadziesci Koled with BBC Symphony Orchestra (David Zinman).

Recent and future engagements include Mozart Mass in C Minor in Toronto with Tafelmusik, tours of Europe performing Vivaldi Juditha Triumphans and Messiah with The King’s Consort, Handel Aci, Galatea e Polifemo at Halle Handel Festival (Peter Neumann), performances of Messiah with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Choir, Rias Kammerchor as well as at Canterbury Catherdral and York Minster, a European tour of St John Passion with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, Bach Cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, concerts and recordings of Bach St John Passion with J.S. Bach Stiftung (Rudolf Lutz), St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Handel Occasional Oratorio with Bayerische Rundfunk (Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin) as well as recitals with the lutenist Matthew Wadsworth in Cambridge and Norfolk.

Jess Dandy

From Cumbria, contralto Jess Dandy has been praised for her instrument of velvety plangent timbre, and her artistic maturity of remarkable immediacy.

Jess has appeared on the concert platform with the Orchestre révolutionnaire et romantique, The English Concert, Florilegium, BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Dunedin Consort, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Les Arts florissants; collaborating with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Harry Bicket, Trevor Pinnock, John Butt William Christie, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Stephen Layton.

Highlights of the 20/21 season include her international opera debut as Orphée in Orphée et Eurydice with the Opéra Comique and Raphaël Pichon; Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium with the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg at the Großes Festspielhaus; and Jess’s Wigmore Hall debut which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Thomas Hobbs

Thomas Hobbs is “one of the most interesting and significant Bach tenors” of his generation and is in high demand with many leading baroque and early music ensembles. Highlights of his 2020/21 season include numerous performances of Bach Cantatas with Gli Angeli Geneva, Le Banquet Céleste and the Dunedin Consort, Handel’s Messiah with RIAS Kammerchor, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Ensemble Pygmalion and Magnificat with Les Arts Florissants.

Recent highlights include Handels’ Messiah with Early Music Vancouver, Sinfonietta Riga, Tafelmusik Toronto, RIAS Kammerchor and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, various projects with Collegium Vocale Ghent under the baton of Philippe Herreweghe and Gli Angeli Geneve under Stephan McLeod, Bach B minor mass on a European tour and at the Salzburg Festival with Collegium Vocale Gent and Herreweghe, Haydn Creation with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the CBSO, Schumann Requiem with Richard Egarr and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Evangelist in Bach St Matthew Passion on tour with the Netherlands Bach Society, and Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican. He also sang Bach cantatas with Les Violons du Roy, the
Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and travelled to Australia to sing Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Choir of London and Australian Chamber Orchestra. Hobbs performed Bach, Britten and Haydn with the Israel Camerata, sang Handel Alexander’s Feast with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, as well as Bach programmes with Gli Angeli Geneve, La Chapelle Harmonique, Dunedin Consort at Wigmore Hall,
and with the Milan Symphony Orchestra. On the opera stage Hobbs performed a critically acclaimed Telemachus The Return of Ulysses in a new production for English National Opera conducted by Jonathan Cohen, Apollo and Shepherd in Monteverdi Orfeo in semi-staged performances with Richard Egarr and the AAM and the title role in Albert Herring and Ferrando Così fan tutte.

Hobbs’ ever-expanding discography includes Bach B minor Mass with both CVG and Dunedin Consort, Bach Motets, Leipzig cantatas and Christmas Oratorio with CVG, Christmas Oratorio with Dunedin Consort, Bach Weimar Cantatas with Alia Mens, Handel Acis et Galatea and Esther with Dunedin Consort and Beethoven Mass in C with Stuttgart Kammerchor. His recent recordings of Handel Chandos Anthems with Stephen Layton and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Mozart Requiem with John Butt and the Dunedin Consort have been universally praised, with the latter receiving the 2014 Gramophone Award for best Choral recording.

Matthew Brook

Matthew Brook has appeared widely as a soloist, and has worked extensively with conductors such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Richard Hickox, Sir Charles Mackerras, Harry Christophers, Christophe Rousset, Paul McCreesh and Sir Mark Elder.

Recent and future highlights include Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Dido and Aeneas with the Handel and Haydn Society, Bach’s St John Passion with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Haydn’s Creation and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Il Re di Scozia Ariodante with the Staatstheater Stuttgart, and on tour with The English Concert, Argante Rinaldo with Ópera de Oviedo, Claudio Agrippina at Teatro de la Maestranza, Handel’s Messiah with Les Violons du Roy in Québec and the Ottawa National Arts Centre Orchestra, a tour of Bach cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging and with Early Music Vancouver, a tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and with Gli Angeli Genève, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time at Festival St Denis, and the roles of Herod and Father in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.

On the concert platform, notable performances include Brahms’ Requiem with the St Petersburg Philharmonic; Bach’s B Minor Mass and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse with the Dresden Staatskapelle; Nielsen’s Symphony no. 3 with the Hallé Orchestra; Bach’s Mass in B minor and St Matthew Passion with Collegium Vocale Gent; Bach’s St John Passion with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Bach Cantatas with Marcus Creed and the Tonhalle-Orchester, Zurich; Elijah at the Three Choirs Festival with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Robert Davies

Born in Colchester, Robert studied at the University of Sheffield and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before embarking on a solo career, both on the opera stage and concert platform.

Awarded the Erich Vietheer Memorial Award at Glyndebourne, he went on to appear as Mr Gedge Albert Herring, Marcello La Bohème, Count Almaviva Le Nozze di Figaro and Doctor Falke Die Fledermaus on the Festival Tour. Other notable roles at Glyndebourne include Curio Giulio Cesare, Indian The Bartered Bride, Guccio Gianni Schicchi and Shepherd Pellèas. Roles elsewhere include his debut at the Opera Comique, Paris as Ottoker Der Freischutz (also a BBC Prom); Ned Keene Peter Grimes for the Stadttheater Bern; Zurga Pearl Fishers and for Reisopera, Holland; Verdi’s Rigoletto for Bury Court Opera; the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kuligin Katya Kabanova and Papageno in The Magic Flute for English Touring Opera; Verrina Fiesque in the critically acclaimed British première of Lalo’s opera at the Bloomsbury Theatre (UCL), Belcore L’Elisir D’Amore and Sharpless Madame Butterfly for Opera Box, Greek Captain Les Troyens in the Gramophone Award-winning production at the Châtelet Theatre, Paris, Dancaïre Carmen for Endellion Festival and Diva Opera, Pish Tush The Mikado for D’Oyly Carte, Waiter/Footman Der Rosenkavalier at the Spoleto Festival and Aeneas Dido and Aeneas at the Edinburgh and Bath Festivals. Robert also sang in the European premieres of Ned Rorem’s Hearing and The Robbers.  In 2007, Robert was shortlisted for the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Robert has sung under the baton of such distinguished conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Emanuelle Haim, Sir Mark Elder, Richard Hickox, Edward Gardner and Robin Ticciati. With a wide concert repertoire, performances include Monteverdi Vespers in St Mark’s, Venice; Handel Messiah in Barbican, London and St. David’s Hall, Cardiff; Orff Carmina Burana in the Barbican, London; Haydn Creation in Cadogan Hall, London; Brahms Requiem in Coventry, Westminster and Worcester Cathedrals; Mozart Mass in B Minor in Duomo, Pisa; Mendelssohn Elijah; Elgar The Kingdom; Bach St John Passion in St John’s, Smith Square and Theatre du Champs-Elysees, Paris (OAE); Mozart Requiem; Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle; Britten War Requiem and Elgar Caractacus.

As well as his opera and concert work, Robert is in demand as a consort singer. He regularly performs with the Dunedin Consort and has been featured as a consort soloist with the Gabrieli Consort (Elijah, BBC Proms 2011). He also specialises in educational projects. He works very closely with the OAE and has premiered several works for the Derby-based orchestra, Sinfonia Viva.

Recent and future engagements include the World Premiere of Goode’s Blitz Requiem in St Paul’s Cathedral, London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (recorded live for Classic FM), Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs and Faure Requiem in Wells Cathedral and Handel Messiah in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Chelmsford Cathedral, Monteverdi Vespers in King’s College, Cambridge, Barcelona and Versailles (Gardiner), Mozart Mass in C minor in St David’s Hall, Cardiff with Florilegium, Handel Acis and Galatea in France, Handel Messiah in Australia and Seattle, and the roles of Don Alfonso Cosi fan Tutte for Reisopera and Leone Tamerlano Handel for Buxton Festival. Recordings include Monteverdi Vespers with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Handel Esther and Bach St John Passion with the Dunedin Consort, a live concert recording of Haydn Creation (ORF Alte Musik/Steinaecker) and a future release of Patrick Hawes ‘Angel’ (Decca).

Matthew Truscott

Matthew Truscott is a versatile violinist who shares his time between period instrument music and ‘modern’ performance, appearing with some of the finest musicians in both fields. He is concertmaster of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and one of the leaders of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In these roles he has directed orchestral performances from the violin in venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and at the Royal Festival Hall and BBC Proms in London.

As a guest leader he has appeared with ACO Collective, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera, Dutch National Opera and The English Concert.

Previously a member of the Dante and Quince Quartets, chamber music collaborations have also included projects with Trevor Pinnock, Jonathan Manson, Emmanuel Pahud and most recently Leif Ove Andsnes. Matthew teaches baroque violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

After many years guest-leading Dunedin Consort, Matthew was appointed as the group’s new leader in 2021.


Huw Daniel

Huw Daniel was a pupil at Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera, South Wales, and continued his education as an organ scholar at Robinson College, Cambridge, where he graduated with first-class honours in music in 2001. He then studied baroque violin at the Royal Academy of Music for two years with Simon Standage. In 2004, Huw was a member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO), the members of which formed Harmony of Nations and continue to play together under this name. He is a member of the Dunedin Consort, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, the Sixteen, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Since 2004 he is the leader of the Orquestra Barroca Casa da Música, Porto, Portugal, and has returned many times as guest-leader of EUBO. He has also guest-led the English Concert, the Sixteen, and Barokkanerne (Oslo), in concerts and recordings. Huw plays a violin by Alessandro Mezzadri c.1720, on loan from the Jumpstart Junior Foundation.

•••

Dunedin Consort
Dunedin Consort is one of the world’s leading Baroque ensembles, recognised for its vivid and insightful performances and recordings. Formed in 1995 and named after Din Eidyn, the ancient Celtic name for Edinburgh Castle, Dunedin Consort’s ambition is to make early music relevant to the present day. Under the direction of John Butt, the ensemble has earned two coveted Gramophone Awards – for the 2007 recording of Handel’s Messiah and the 2014 recording of Mozart’s Requiem – and a Grammy nomination.

Dunedin Consort performs regularly at major festivals and venues across the UK, giving its BBC Proms debut in 2017 with a performance of Bach’s John Passion. In the same year, Dunedin Consort announced its first residency at London’s Wigmore Hall, complementing its regular series of events at home in Scotland, as well as throughout Europe and beyond. It enjoys close associations with the Edinburgh International Festival and Lammermuir Festival, and broadcasts frequently on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and BBC Scotland. The group’s growing discography on Linn Records includes Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, both nominated for Gramophone Awards. Other Bach recordings include Mass in B Minor, Violin Concertos, Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio, Matthew Passion and John Passion, which was nominated for a Recording of the Year award in both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. A recording of Handel’s Samson, in its first version of 1743, was released in October 2019 to wide critical acclaim.

Alongside its performance and recording work, Dunedin Consort is committed to a wide-ranging education programme both in schools and in the wider community. This annual programme of activity includes Bridging the Gap (a mentoring scheme for emerging young professional musicians), voice and instrumental clinics for non-professional performers, choral workshops for amateur singers, and an extensive programme of workshops in schools across Scotland. In inspiring and encouraging musical participation, developing vocal skills and fostering a love of classical music, historical performance and new music, Dunedin Consort aims to develop and nurture its potential audience and to encourage the performers of the future.

While Dunedin Consort is committed to performing repertoire from the Baroque and early Classical periods, and to researching specific historical performance projects, it remains an enthusiastic champion of contemporary music. In recent years, the ensemble has commissioned and premiered new music by composers including Stuart MacRae, Ailie Robertson, William Sweeney, Errollyn Wallen, Nico Muhly, Peter Nelson, Stevie Wishart and Sally Beamish. In 2019 it premiered four new co-commissions with the BBC Proms, and in 2021 will premiere Dido’s Ghost, a new opera by Errollyn Wallen, co-commissioned with the Barbican Centre, Mahogany Opera and Buxton International Festival.

Dunedin Consort is grateful to Creative Scotland, Dunard Fund, Binks Trust and Baillie Gifford, as well as the many individual trusts and supporters who generously support its year-round programme.