The Bach Festival in Leipzig

Bach’s Thomaskirche Leipzig  (Photo Ad Meskens, Wikimedia Commons, above)

Our group has just concluded six terrific days in Leipzig at the Bach Festival, one of the most inspiring festivals anywhere in the world. Here is our brochure for the whole tour: June 2016 Tour Brochure

But not only is Leipzig one of the most friendly and fascinating German cities, its musical heritage is second to none: Bach’s home for the greater part of his professional life, residence of one of the oldest and most famous orchestras, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and the spiritual home of at least two other great composers, Mendelssohn and Schumann. During our stay, we:

  • Attended a performance of the St Matthew Passion directed by John Eliot Gardiner and his English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir – can’t get any better than that
  • The superb violinist Christian Tetzlaff playing Bach’s solo Partitas and Sonatas
  • The incoming Music Director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Andris Nelsons conducted the orchestra for the first time since his appointment, playing a stupendous performence of Mahler’s 3rd Symphony, sounding glorious in the rich but clear acoustic of their great concert hall, the Gewandhaus (Cloth Hall)
  • Visited both the Schumann and Mendelssohn houses and museums
  • Last night, on the last day of the Festival, William Christie directed a wonderful performance by Les Arts Florissants of the Bach B minor Mass in Bach’s own church, the Thomaskirche. During the Agnus Dei at the end, the sun poured through the clouds and lit up the east end of the great church as if handed down from on high in honour of the sublime music

Julia meets William Christie after the B minor Mass

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