Bach writes music of sensuous delight for his aristocratic patrons, and gives voice to his deep religious faith in music for the church. He’s touchy, he’s fabulously rude, he has high standards (he stabs a bassoonist for playing badly) and he’s constantly in trouble with his employers.
Music is the family business – both his wives and all his children are musicians. His eldest son, Wilhelm, is brilliant, chaotic and paralysed by his father’s genius. Tense, industrious Carl is less talented than his father but more successful. As the years pass, their gripping family drama provokes furious arguments about love, God and above all music. What is it for – to give pleasure, like a cup of coffee in the sun, or to reveal the divine order that gives life its meaning?
Nina Raine’s beautiful, profound and funny new play is an anthem to the art that draws us together and sings of our common humanity.
Deeply flawed script that is elevated by the strength of its performers
Offers a tetchy take on the Baroque composer
Simon Russell Beale was born to play the great composer
I’ll willingly suspend many layers of disbelief to watch Beale
There's a lot to strike a chord with music aficionados
Humorous and deeply intelligent
Simon Russell Beale brings the Baroque to life
Rich in musical theory
Hits a flat note