The Guardian festival blog: Bach Weekend review – fluent and fleet cello suites after artful Goldbergs | Music


The spine of the Barbican’s Bach weekend was provided by John Eliot Gardiner’s three programmes of cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, but the other events grouped around them were just as full of interest and novelty, too. A concert by Solomon’s Knot had included four of the motets, and Isabelle Faust and Kristian Bezuidenhout played violin sonatas, while the Goldberg Variations and three of the cello suites came from Jean Rondeau and Jean-Guihen Queyras respectively.

Rondeau was a pupil of the celebrated harpsichordist Blandine Verlet, and seems to have acquired a cult following in his native France. But other than prefacing this performance of the Goldberg with a statement of the main theme that was almost overwhelmed by ornamentation, before then playing the aria as Bach indicated, there was little evidence of the eccentricity and irreverence on which that reputation has been based. In…



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