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A Feast of Bach

Exeter Cathedral hosts a mini-festival of some of Johann Sebastian Bach’s most beautiful choral and instrumental music.

Over the two nights of Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April, the celebrated baroque violinist Rachel Podger performs the six sonatas and partitas for solo violin, while Corvus Consort, the up-and-coming London-based vocal ensemble sings the six choral Motets.

The contemplative and devotional intensity of Bach’s writing for the solo violin provides an illuminating contrast to the rich and varied textures of the Motets, ranging from double choirs to solo trios. Each concert will feature three of the Motets and three of the sonatas and partitas, a unique opportunity to experience this magical combination in the beautiful surroundings of the Cathedral.

Rachel Podger
Rachel Podger. Photo by Theresa Pewal

Proceeds from the concerts go to the Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation Trust. For over 30 years, the Music Foundation Trust has provided critical financial support to sustain Exeter Cathedral’s musical tradition.

Music is the lifeblood of Exeter Cathedral. It has been for hundreds of years. Its choir and music team enrich daily worship and special occasions in Devon, and their concert performances bring joy to audiences around the world.

The Cathedral’s musical life brings incalculable benefits to the young lives of its choristers and choral scholars too. Time and again, it has changed the trajectory of lives in ways that could never have been imagined. It teaches life skills and values such as teamwork, trust and responsibility, and provides world-class performance opportunities which will be remembered for a lifetime.

Many choristers benefit from their early training to become the professional performers of the future. One such former chorister is Freddie Crowley, the Founder and Director of Corvus Consort. Freddie says:

“I’m really grateful for the experience of being a chorister in Exeter Cathedral, which has had such a big impact on my life. The skills and experience I gained have been a hugely valuable foundation on which to build my musical training, and in helping me to forge a career as a professional musician.”

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The Feast of Bach project is supported by the Adrian Swire Charitable Trust