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22 March 2018Johann Sebastian Bach
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Johann Sebastian Bach Peter Medhurst Thursday 22 March 2018

Music lovers generally regard JS Bach as the greatest of early 18th century composers. In fact, he is so important in the history of music that we close down the Baroque period with his death in 1750. However, Bach is also one of the most challenging of composers and rarely reveals the subtleties of his music on first or even second hearing, causing some of his listeners to feel distanced from many of the finer moments in his output. This study day goes beneath the surface of Bach’s music to decode some of his musical symbolism, to reveal some of his working methods and to highlight some of his aesthetic goals.

 Session 1

A general background to the life and music of JS Bach, a look at his position in Western music and his impact on later generations, and a brief study of his publishing history

 Session 2

An exploration of Bach’s musical language, to include examples from instrumental works such as the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Inventions, the Sinfonias, and selections from the preludes and fugues

 Session 3

focuses on Bach’s vocal music and includes moments from the St Matthew Passion, the Anna Magdalena Notebook, and examples from the secular and church cantatas

Peter Medhurst’s work as singer, pianist and lecturer-recitalist has taken him all over the world.  Closer to home, he has presented events at the Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, and the Royal Festival Hall.  In addition to his appearances on the concert platform and in the lecture hall, he sets aside time to devise and lead tours abroad. 

 Peter Medhurst was born of German and English parents, and did his musical training at the Royal College of Music  In 1978, a scholarship from the Austrian government gave him the opportunity to have coaching with the accompanist Erik Werba at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.  On his return to England he took harpsichord lessons with Ruth Dyson, who became his accompanist and fellow keyboard duettist in a professional partnership that lasted until her death nearly 20 years later.

The cost of the Study Day is £35.00 and includes tea and coffee on arrival.