Bach’s 330th Birthday will be celebrated at St John’s College Chapel at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Renowned organist Christopher Wrench will play his Prelude and Fugue in C BWV 545, Selections from the ‘Leipzig’ Chorales and the sublime Passacaglia in C BWV 582 showcasing the Kenneth Tickell Pipe Organ installed in the Chapel in 2011. He will be sure to wow those in attendance on Saturday 21st March at 4pm. Christopher’s playing of Bach has been described as ‘a perfection of execution that is jaw dropping’.
The collected works of composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) were first published by the Bach-Gesellschaft (Bach Society), 1851-1900 using the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (Thematic-Systematic Listing of the Works of J.S. Bach) by Wolfgang Schmieder – hence the BWV classifications. Bach completed a collection of 24 preludes and fugues in all major and minor keys, which he called “The Well-tempered Clavier”.
During the next twenty years he wrote a further 24, making the present total of 48. They have a complex structure with a wealth of detail that utilize and extend the full possibilities of the organ keyboards, and represent a challenge for any organist. Bach was the Court Composer in the city of Weimar, Germany for two ruling Grand Dukes 1708 – 1717 and then, at Cöthen for a youthful Prince Leopold.
He wrote works for small court orchestra, including toccatas, capriccios, fantasias, fugues, variations, suites, sonatas, and miscellaneous shorter pieces for teaching. His six acclaimed Brandenburg Concertos were dedicated to the Margrave of Brandenburg in 1721. In 1723 he was employed as Cantor for the Choir School of St. Thomas in Leipzig where he was given responsibility for the music life at five principal city churches.
Christopher Wrench is well versed in Bach’s works, the composer who carried the robustness of his fugues to their zenith, exploring all the possibilities of the organ as an instrument and its limits of expression. They are character pieces, carrying us into the region of the composer’s imagination, both masterful and profound. Show stopping stuff!
Saturday 21 March, 4pm St John’s College, University of Queensland - TICKETS AT THE DOOR