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Bach Cantatas: Advent to Christmas

Bach Weekend with the Monteverdi Choir

Portrait of Sir John Eliot Gardiner

John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists launch a weekend-long celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Few conductors and few ensembles have identified more closely with Bach’s cantatas than John Eliot Gardiner and his Monteverdi Choir, along with English Baroque Soloists. They begin a weekend-long celebration of this endlessly rich music with four works that show Bach’s genius at its most dramatic – and inexhaustible.

Bach, says Gardiner, ‘can make a scene as vivid as anything in an opera’. In this emotionally-charged first of seven all-Bach concerts, he focuses on music that sets light against darkness, pain against joy. These performers’ recorded cycle of the Bach cantatas, wrote The Observer, ‘ranks as one of the musical events of the decade’.

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Watch: short extract from Bach Cantata Pilgrimage


Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists in this short extract filmed during the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage at St David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

photo of john eliot gardiner

Watch: John Eliot Gardiner - celebrating the Universal Bach


John Eliot Gardiner talks Bach and his relationship to music.

Barbican Hall