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Bach, Handel and Haydn – Iceland Symphony Orchestra

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The elegance of the 18th century is on full display at this concert, which features music by masters such as Bach, Handel, and Haydn, as well as one of the loveliest movements in the Baroque canon, French composer Georg Muffat’s Passacaglia. Haydn’s Symphony no. 102, one of several he wrote for performances in London late in his life, is generally considered among his best in the genre.

Eighteenth-century women seldom had the opportunity for great achievements in composition, but this programme includes seldom-heard numbers from operas by two noblewomen. Princess Maria Antonia of Bavaria was both a harpsichordist and a composer who wrote two operas. Duchess Anna Amalia reigned in Weimar and made it a centre of art and culture. Her only opera, Erwin und Elmire, is based on a text by Goethe, who was a personal friend.

British conductor Matthew Halls is a specialist in the performance of early music. In recent years he has led the Iceland Symphony in outstanding performances of works by Bach, Handel, and Mozart. He also conducts many of the world’s leading orchestra and recently received rave reviews for his performance of Handel’s Messiah with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Matthew Truscott, who appears as soloist and concertmaster, is an unusually versatile violinist. As concertmaster of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, he performs on a modern instrument, and as a leader of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, he uses Baroque technique and instruments. He teaches violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Orchestral Suite no. 1
Georg Muffat: Passacaglia from Sonata no. 5
Georg Friederich Handel: Concerto grosso, op. 3 no. 2
Maria Antonia Walpurgis: Talestri, overture
Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel: Erwin und Elmire, intermezzo
Joseph Haydn: Symphony no. 102

Matthew Halls

Soloist and concertmaster
Matthew Truscott