Midori’s recent interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin has earned her many accolades by audiences and the media worldwide. In August 2016, Midori performed these pieces, known as some of the most challenging for any violinist, for an audio-visual recording at the Castle of Köthen (Schloss Köthen) where Bach served as Court Chapel Master between 1717 and 1723. Continue reading
Music, especially the music of Bach, made it possible for Zhu Xiao-Mei to cope with the worst challenges of her existence. The pianist experienced all of the consequences of the Mao regime and the Cultural Revolution: years of indoctrination and “reeducation,” five years confined to a labor camp, a shattered family, hardships and harassment. In 1980, she emigrated and ultimately made Paris her new home.
When music and musicians combine in the service of a good cause, the memory alone makes it worthwhile. Add that to the historic charity concert held by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in April 1786 “for the local medical institute for the poor”, which was of momentous importance for the history of reception for his father’s music. Continue reading
Zhu Xiao-Mei ranks among the greatest pianists of our times and is one of the most renowned interpreters of J. S. Bach’s music. The Goldberg Variations stood at the beginning of her international career and represent the “greatest musical encounter” of her life. “It is a universal piece of music that knows no frontiers”; this is the message of her extraordinary playing which is being celebrated in concert halls around the world. Continue reading
The Mass in B Minor, Bach’s last completed vocal work as well as the climax of his creativity, reveals the overwhelming wealth of his compositional skills. In the history of music it ranks highly, as the “Montblanc of church music” (Franz Liszt) – composed during Bach’s time as cantor at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. Performed in this important composer’s domain, the Mass in B Minor casted a spell over its listeners as the crowning glory of the Leipzig Bach Festival in 2013. Continue reading
The St. Thomas Boys’ Choir is widely acknowledged as one of the finest boys’ choirs in the world: In 2012, the choir celebrated its 800th anniversary – an almost unbelievable period of time, all ups and downs of European history the choir outlasted, maintaining its unbroken traditions over the centuries and holding onto established principles such as the inclusion of the elder boys in the education of the younger ones. Continue reading
In March 2012 the St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig celebrates its 800th anniversary – promptly for this unique centenary anniversary the choir appears in a full-length documentary film on the big screen for the first time. Through their personal stories, a sensitive portrayal of the St. Thomas Boys emerges, which raises questions about the fascination of the traditional ensemble. Continue reading