Thursday 2 February 2023
West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Unfolding the secrets of Bach’s gift for a king
Academy of Ancient Music
Laurence Cummings director & harpsichord
JS Bach: The Musical Offering BWV1079
The Musical Offering: music written by a giant for a king, explored and performed by Laurence Cummings and the AAM.
On 7 May 1747 Johann Sebastian Bach arrived at the court of King Frederick the Great of Prussia. The greatest musician of his age locked musical wits with a monarch who saw himself as a philosopher, and Bach responded with The Musical Offering – a collection of pieces designed to put the nature of music itself to the ultimate technical, intellectual and emotional test.
Dazzlingly imagined and endlessly rich, The Musical Offering has fascinated performers and scholars for centuries. Today, we unfold its secrets and explore its remarkable story, as Laurence Cummings and the Academy of Ancient Music focus all their insight, energy and verve on one of music’s sublimest puzzles. Bach probes the nature of creativity, harmony and (of course) genius, in a masterwork that never grows old.