Evening in the Palace of Reason

The Musical Offering

Mahan Esfahani leaning near hapsichord

May 1747: Frederick the Great, philosopher-king of Prussia, meets composer Johann Sebastian Bach – and challenges him to an unwinnable musical duel. Bach’s Musical Offering is the astonishing result.

In Evening in the Palace of Reason, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and author James R Gaines explore the story of Bach’s Musical Offering. And no question, it’s a powerful story – of timeless genius pitted against pure reason; of faith against Enlightenment; and two of the greatest figures of world history, king and musician, locked in philosophical combat.

James R Gaines, author of the bestselling account of their meeting, explains the human dimension, but the real miracle is Bach’s music. Performed by harpsichordist-without-limits Mahan Esfahani, it unlocks our weekend-long exploration of music’s most beautiful mind.

End-time to be announced nearer the event.

£10

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‘He’s unquestionably a player of great technical brilliance and musical intelligence, and there’s always the sense of that pioneering zeal in the way he plays the baroque repertoire.‘

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