Bach to Berkeley at CIFM
The hardest job in directing a festival such as this is finding the balance between programming the stuff you know people want to hear, and the stuff you think people ought to try! J. S. Bach falls into the first category; his music is loved and admired the world over, both for its natural beauty and its compositional genius. But there are some composers who, despite possessing a fair chunk of genius themselves, remain distant and obscure figures, abandoned to text books and university seminars and out of the public eye.
I must confess to having struggled with Berkeley's style a little but have persevered largely due to the incredible dedication of a university friend named Douglas Stevens, who has devoted a fair portion of his life thus far to the promotion of Berkeley's work. He has completed a PhD with Berkeley as his subject and recently recorded the composer's complete works for piano, a disc that the Clifton Festival is delighted to launch on 24th June. Having listened to bits of the disc I am more confident than ever that Berkeley is something people ought to try! If you like the passion of Chopin and the playfulness of Poulenc, but like your music with an English accent then Berkeley's piano works are most certainly for you.
And just for a healthy balance why not come and hear The King's Singers (27th June) and Figo (29th June) too? That way you can discover something new and get a big fix of the Bach you know and love.
Pimlico, 24th May 2018