This year’s Festival clearly has an entirely healthy obsession with Johann Sebastian Bach. This fascinating concert brings together two composers who undoubtedly knew of each other before they actually met. Sylvius Leopold Weiss was one of the most renowned, technically accomplished lutenists and prolific composers of lute music of his day. In the field of improvisation, the two men maintained a healthy rivalry, as the German composer, writer and music critic Johann Friedrich Reichardt bore witness Anyone who knows how difficult it is to play harmonic modulations and good counterpoint on the lute will be surprised and full of disbelief to hear from eyewitnesses that Weiss, the great lutenist, challenged J. S. Bach, the great harpsichordist and organist, at playing fantasies and fugues.
Weiss was a friend of Johann Sebastian Bach's eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann, who was most likely instrumental in the two men meeting. When in 1739 Weiss and his friend stayed in Leipzig for a month, they made frequent visits to the Bach household where, it is reported, something extra fine in the way of music
took place. This concert re-visits that encounter between two master musicians.
Please Note: This venue may have limited access for those with disabilities. Please call the box office on 027 52788 for further information.