Soprano Mhairi Lawson joins us for an intimate programme of song, a genre that Purcell firmly made his own. With his flair for drama and extraordinary gift for bringing words to life, Purcell poured many of his most creative ideas into his songs — each of them miniature masterpieces, equally as captivating as anything he would compose for the stage. They are paired here with some of his most exquisite and intricately wrought instrumental works, shining examples of Baroque dialogue at its most eloquent.
Every year we perform Bach’s Matthew Passion in the days leading up to Easter and every year we discover its riches anew. This extraordinary retelling of the passion story has the power to move and inspire us like no other, a journey that is by turns heartrending and uplifting from the opening chorus to the last. This year, we welcome back Kristian Bezuidenhout, a central figure in the field of historically informed performance, to direct Dunedin Consort in our revelatory one-per-part interpretation.
In a Dunedin Consort first, we team up with our friends at the Scottish Ensemble to perform James MacMillan’s searing setting of the dying words of Jesus Christ. Premiered by Scottish Ensemble 25 years ago, it has since acquired a central place in the repertoire, connecting with audiences the world over through its astonishing emotional power. Whatever your beliefs, hearing Seven Last Words from the Cross is a transformative experience, one that lingers long after the final note sounds. Juxtaposing moments of aching intensity, heart-rending beauty and raw, keening desolation, this is music that is at once both intensely personal and magnificently universal.
Presented in association with Greyfriars 400 — celebrating the 400th anniversary of this historic Edinburgh Kirk.