A 25th birthday calls for a rousing celebration, and we intend to mark it in suitable style. As we kick off a year of birthday events, we invite you to join us for an all-Bach extravaganza, with concerts pairing two of his most powerful and richly scored cantatas with some of his finest instrumental music. This is music of depth and solemnity but also of salvation and celebration, movingly performed by a cast of Dunedin Consort regulars and friends. Like all good birthdays, this one involves a great party. We hope you will join us afterwards at The Queen’s Hall for a slice of cake, a glass or two of bubbles and a late-night celebration.
Exquisitely restrained yet indescribably intense, Arvo Pärt’s Passio is a modern masterpiece. This hour-long setting of St John’s Gospel draws upon some of the earliest settings of the passion story to reframe and distil its message for modern listeners. Interpolating passages for solo voices and choral ensembles, we are never far away from familiar passion territory and yet, with Pärt’s characteristic vocal candour and pared-down orchestration, it is a work that somehow remains timeless. In a Dunedin Consort first, we are delighted to be joining forces with Hebrides Ensemble in presenting this meditative and inescapably moving work to audiences across Scotland.
Over the years, our celebrated interpretation of Bach’s Matthew Passion has earned us five-star reviews, coveted awards and taken us around the world. It has become one of the cornerstones of our season. But in 2020, for the first time in our history, the concert halls fell silent and our annual performances were cancelled. It was a strange and sombre Easter without Bach’s music for comfort.
This year, we return to Edinburgh and Perth with one of Bach’s most heart-rending works, a piece that feels more powerful now than ever. With that silent Easter behind us, we look forward to rejoicing once more in Bach’s glorious music, and its message of hope, togetherness and salvation.