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A feast of Bach.

MUSIC from Johann Sebastian Bach's happiest years is showcased on Tyneside this weekend through a couple of concerts headed by two virtuoso players.

After a long spell as a Weimar court musician, suffering under a stubborn and unsympathetic employer, Bach's new post as chorusmaster for music-loving Prince Leopold at C|then in the 1720s meant more freedom and better resources to help him explore and extend the range of instrumental music, for ensembles through his Brandenburg Concertos as well as sets of solo works for his highly-skilled players.

All six of the Brandenburgs will be performed by the Northern Sinfonia over two concerts at The Sage Gateshead, the first tonight and the second on Sunday, both starting at 7pm. And the bonus is that they will be interspersed with all six of the spell-binding Suites for solo cello. Directing the orchestra from the harpsichord will be Laurence Cummings, one of Britain's leading Baroque specialists. He is head of historical performance at the Royal Academy of Music, music director of the London Handel Festival, and as a continuo player has worked with such international ensembles as Les Arts Florissants, The Sixteen and Paul McCreesh's Gabrieli Consort. RISING - Adr Brendel One of the rising stars in the cello world, Adrian Brendel, will take on the challenging role of performing the half-dozen Cellos Suites alongside the Brandenburgs over the two evening performances. As well as performing across Europe, the USA and Japan, Adrian works frequently with such Sage favourites as pianists Imogen Cooper and Paul Lewis - and his recent two-year musical partnership with his legendary pianist father, Alfred Brendel, performing all of Beethoven's music for their instruments at venues throughout the world, was a huge public and critical success.

Tonight's concert opens with the first Cello Suite, and numbers four and two will be interspersed with the sixth, first and second Brandenburg Concertos. Sunday night's concert presents the rest: the third, sixth and fifth Cello Suites and the fourth, third and fifth Brandenburgs. Tickets for each evening are pounds 7-pounds 29.50, tel (0191) 443 4661, and there is a preconcert talk at 6pm each evening which is free to ticket holders.

STAR IN ANOTHER double-act, the world-renowned vocal group The King's Singers are on Tyneside this weekend to share their skills with two of Tyneside's leading choirs.

On Saturday from 7pm they share the stage at Newcastle City Hall with the Felling Male Voice Choir - tickets pounds 10-pounds 15, tel (0191) 261 2606 - and over in the Sage's Hall Two on Sunday at 2pm they will be making music with Gateshead's Quay Voices youth choir. Tickets for that concert cost pounds 7, tel (0191) 443 4661. For more classical listings go to www.whatsonne.co.uk before clicking on Music, then Music News.

RICHARD YATES richardcyates@talktalk.net

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RISING STAR - Adrian Brendel
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 28, 2010
Words:472
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