Events

Bach: The Last Resort

Bach’s rich musical legacy as we know it today is partly the result of a historical accident. When he applied for the position of Kantor at Leipzig’s Thomaskirche in 1722, Bach was only third choice for the post. Telemann turned the offer down after some deliberation and Graupner was not released from his post of Kapellmeister in Hesse. ‘Since we cannot get the best, then we will have to settle for average’, the Council concluded, as it handed the title to Bach. Join us as we step back in time and explore the programme that Bach put together for this fateful application, a move that would shape the history of western music for centuries to come.

Matthew Passion

From the intractable swell of the opening chorus to the profound solemnity of the last, its tone one of quiet resignation, the Matthew Passion is a work with the power to move us like no other. Bach conceived it on a grand scale, allowing for double chorus and double orchestra, and the themes it explores are just as monumental too. How each of us, of all faiths and none, can find joy and hope even amidst the depths of sorrow.

We welcome Trevor Pinnock, a towering figure of the early music movement, to Dunedin Consort for the first time. He will conduct the work in its original format of one voice per part.

Handel: Apollo & Daphne

In the years before his reputation as the opera composer du jour was forged, Handel poured his creativity into a series of increasingly adventurous cantatas, among the most ambitious of which is Apollo and Daphne. Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, this ancient fable finds striking parallels with modern day power struggles, as Daphne fights to resist Apollo’s advances and transforms herself into a laurel tree, her branches watered forever by his tears. This extraordinary tale of passion and penitence is rendered by Handel in music of searing intensity, its rapturous obbligato writing by turns, playful, poignant and seductive.

Handel’s Messiah – Edinburgh

When Handel’s Messiah was first unveiled to the public in 1742, it caused a sensation. Dublin’s Musick Hall was so full that the men attended ‘without swords’ and the ladies were asked to wear skirts ‘without hoops’ to make room for more listeners. The press declared a triumph: ‘The Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender… conspired to transport and charm the ravished Heart and Ear.’ More than 250 years on, it still holds a remarkable place in the repertoire, its ability to delight and enthral virtually unparalleled, its powerful choruses and exquisite solo writing together creating a score that is as fresh and inspiring as ever.

Bring your children to a short performance at 3pm specially designed for them.

Children’s Messiah

Fun for all the family is guaranteed in our interactive 45-minute concerts specifically devised for children which will include all the best tunes from Handel’s Messiah. You can even expect an appearance from Handel himself to introduce his most famous melodies…!

No age restriction.

The Golden Age

Ben Parry director

The Spanish Golden Age, which flourished during the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries, led to some of the most gloriously opulent choral music of the late Renaissance. Ben Parry, co-founder of Dunedin Consort, returns to direct this choral tour of music by Tomás Luis de Victoria and Francisco Guerrero, framed here both by the works of their Scottish contemporaries Robert Johnson and David Peebles, and by those of 21st-century composers Morten Lauridsen and James MacMillan, whose vocal writing resounds with the influences of these sixteenth-century polyphonic masters.

Armonico Tributo

rThe richness of five-part instrumental writing was not new to the 18th century: German, Italian and French composers had all been exploiting this sonority for decades. But it was Georg Muffatt, born in Savoy of Scottish parentage, who for the first time aimed to reconcile these styles into a single genre. His music, remarkable in its expressive range, combines the sophistication and rhythmic poise of the French, the vibrancy and colour of the Italians and the depth and richness of the Germans. Paired here with works by Biber and Schmelzer, both groundbreaking in their intricate, pictorial details, we celebrate the first tranche of composers to truly push the boundaries of technical ability on the violin.

Download the concert programme here.