Richard Tognetti headlines this program of Bach – with a little Haydn thrown in for good measure
Nothing Bach wrote is famous as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, but he churned out so many masterpieces that there’s barely time to put them on your bucket list. In this showcase of the mid 18th century you get one of the two ‘standard’ violin concerto Bach wrote (the E major), plus the one for two violins (a fierce duel), plus one for three! This lesser-known triple concerto appears to have been reconstructed from a similar concerto for harpsichords; Bach often switched instrumentation.
The soloists are the ACO’s Director Richard Tognetti and the preeminent Satu Vänskä and Helena Rathbone; the fiddlers three all play instruments from around Bach’s time, with period bows and gut strings. But this dream team could succeed with Nylon-strung ukuleles.
You can appreciate Bach’s genius even from bad recordings, and even when the instruments are changed or poorly played, but when you are seated among top musicians intent on delivering Bach’s message well, the reward for listening carefully is a close encounter with one of the greatest artists who ever lived.
Also on the line-up are Haydn’s symphonies 22 (‘The Philosopher’) and 27.