In collaboration with the Cork Orchestral Society, we are delighted to welcome back Irish harpsichordist Malcolm Proud for the second installment of Bach’s incomparable Six Partitas BWV 825-830.
This concert has been funded by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Touring and Dissemination of Work Award.
The importance of Bach’s Six Partitas for Harpsichord is best captured by a statement from the composer’s biographer, J.N. Forkel:
This work caused quite a sensation among his contemporaries in the world of music; such splendid keyboard compositions had never previously been seen or heard. Whoever learnt to perform any of these pieces to a high standard could make his fortune in the world.
These splendid compositions, as Forkel put it, perfectly balance the French and Italian styles and it is clear that in publishing them as his Opus 1, Bach was making a statement. The edition which Bach had published at his own expense describes them as being written ‘to refresh the souls of music-lovers’, and their perfection still speaks to music-lovers today.
Malcolm Proud won the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition in 1982. Since then he has performed world wide including John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, a tour in Japan of Monteverdi’sOrfeo with tenor Mark Padmore and the Purcell Quartet, with violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch at the Frick Museum in New York, in Bach’s St. Mark Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music in Lucerne and with Swiss violinist Maya Homburger at the Anima Mundi Festival in Pisa. In 2009 he gave solo organ recitals in the U.S. and on the 1610 Compenius organ in Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark.
He has make over 25 CD recordings with leading instrumentalists and ensembles, the most recent being Bach’sMusical Offering with Camerata Kilkenny. Last year he performed all Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with the English Baroque Soloists at the London Proms and at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. He is also a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra.
He partners regularly on harpsichord, organ and piano the Irish soprano Roisin O’Grady and in May this year to mark the 100th anniversary of Mahler’s death he toured with Irish mezzo soprano Bridget Knowles a programme of Mahler, Wolf, Duparc, and de Falla. He has also given recitals and recorded with sopranos Lenneke Ruiten, Nancy Argenta, Emma Kirkby, baritones Maarten Koningsberger and Michael George, tenors John Elwes and John Mark Ainsley, and counter tenors James Bowman and Michael Chance.
He lectures and teaches keyboard instruments on the BA Degree Course in Music at the Waterford Institute of Technology, and is organist at St. Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny.