Bach in the Dark in June

Cellist Rachel Scott presents the second concert in the 2012 series of Bach in the Dark  in mid-June.

The unusual Sydney venue for these concerts is the crypt of St James’ Church in King Street. This intimate space with its low ceiling and gently reverberant acoustic complements the sound of the cello, the repertoire and the other instruments which Scott integrates into her ensembles.

Previous performing partners have included percussionist Ben Sibson, cellist David Pereira, accordionist Anthony Schulz and oboeist and cor anglais player Rachel Tolmie.

In June, by popular demand she teams up again with harpist Genevieve Lang and soprano Jane Sheldon with a programme of music as always founded in JS Bach, but moving into the works of other composers- this time, Beethoven and Offenbach.

Rachel Scott aims to make her concerts informal and intimate. She invites her audiences to absorb the music in the semi-darkness of the candle-lit crypt. Hearing the music takes precedence over a visual focus. Wine and non-alcoholic beverages are on offer as Scott poses the question: “When was the last time you really stopped and listened to beautiful music?”

That collection of ‘beautiful music’ includes Wachet Auf  from Cantata BWV 140, Höchster, mache deine Güte from Cantata BWV 51 and Komm in mein Herzens Haus from Cantata BWV 80, all by JS Bach and all selected by Jane Sheldon. The challenge, says Scott, was to realise the continuo part to be played by the harp – surely a first?!

They will also perform Bach’s Air from Orchestral Suite in D major BWV 1068 (arr. Reeves), and Reynaldo Hahn’s Baroque parody À Chloris, about which Scott says “I love this piece, and arranged it many years ago. The words are quite beautiful – and I also am amused that the bass line to this begins the same way as the Air on the G string.”

There’s also Beethoven’s Mit einem Gemalten Band, Merula’s Canzonetta Spirituale and Offenbach’s Les Larmes de Jacqueline.”This piece was introduced to me by an amateur cellist – I’d never heard it before. It’s quite beautiful. I also love the OffenBACH in the Dark link – but that’s just me. The piece is very haunting – Du Pre used to play it a great deal, but I think it’s gone out of favour with cellists these days. Shame – it should be heard more…..” observes Scott.

“We decided we’d add a set of folk songs. We’ve included a Timorese one because of my links with the country there – setting up the music programme for the McKillop East Timor Mission has shown me how brave and strong the Timorese are. I admire them tremendously. After everything they have gone through they still have a smile on their face, and a sense of joy about life. We could learn a lot from them.”

Traditional Timorese (arr. Wesely-Smith): The Fighters who Fell
Traditional (arr. Scott) She Moved Through the Fair

Traditional (arr. Ellis) Salley Gardens

Traditional (arr. Sheldon) The Dying Stockman

Tickets $30 and include a glass of wine or non-alcoholic drink.

Call (02) 9591 1207 for bookings. Booked tickets not collected at the door at least 15 minutes before the performance will be released for door sale.



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