Wednesday, 3 April 2013

"Bach: A Passionate Life" - a great documentary by Sir John Eliot Gardiner

There are only two original portraits of  Bach. This is the one  which for many years was in Sir John Eliot Gardiner's home when he was a young boy.  

“I have always kept one end in view, namely ... to conduct a well-regulated church music to the honour of God.” 
― Johann Sebastian Bach

Few people are more suited to make a documentary on J.S. Bach than Sir John Eliot Gardiner, who already since the early 1960s set about challenging established ideas about how Bach's music should be performed.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Sir John's documentary "Bach: A Passionate Life", which includes wonderful musical extracts, was without doubt one of the absolute highlights of the BBC's Easter programming. There is still no information about when the documentary, with music performed by Sir John's  Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and a number of outstanding vocal soloists, becomes available on Blu-ray/DVD, hopefully soon, because this is a programme not to be missed by any Bach lover. Later this year the documentary will be accompanied by Sir John's long awaited book on Bach

The St. Nicholas church in Leipzig, where Bach's St. John's Passion was performed for the first time.
A sculpture of Bach in Leipzig's St.Nicholas church.

Bach's grave went unmarked for nearly 150 years. In 1894 his coffin was finally discovered and reburied in a vault within St. John's Leipzig. This building was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II, and in 1950 Bach's remains were taken to their present resting place at Leipzig's Church of St. Thomas.

Members of the Monteverdi Choir.

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