1705 THREE BRILLIANT Bs: BACH, BRAHMS AND BEETHOVEN
Dr Barry Smith, musicologist, conductor and organist
The great trio of German composers, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, will be celebrated in three evenings of lecture-performances, with a focus on examples of their choral, organ and chamber music.
Although their lives did not overlap, the period of their compositions spanned almost two hundred years of exceptionally rich music in Germany – religious, classical and romantic – to which each contributed his unique creative gifts.
Johann Sebastian Bach is often regarded as the greatest composer of all time. In its outstanding innovation and variety his work foreshadowed many later developments in music. Bach was an organist of wide renown in his lifetime. The first evening will feature one of his compositions for his favourite instrument, also a choral work and some chamber music.
The second lecture-performance will be devoted to Ludwig van Beethoven and particularly his chamber music. The performances will include a violin sonata, a cello sonata, and the piano trio Opus 70 (the ‘Ghost’).
The focus of the final evening will be Johannes Brahms and will include a choral work with organ accompaniment, and two of the composer’s best-known chamber works: the piano trio in B major which he revised, and the great G minor piano quartet.
1. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
2. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
3. Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)