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Music in Mayfield

The Mayfield Festival of Music & Arts is now in full swing and Tester & Jones was incredibly proud to sponsor the concert in St Dunstan’s Church last night. The Brandenburg Concertos by JS Bach are being played over two days and a packed church – including members of the Tester & Jones team – enjoyed numbers 4, 5 and 2.


Bach composed the Brandenburg Concertos in 1721 at a time of transition in this life. He’d enjoyed a tremendous run as music director in the court of the German Prince Leopold but his job security was beginning to look uncertain. It was against this backdrop that he composed these six works for Christian Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg (then a territory in the Kingdom of Prussia).


In addition to these pieces, we were treated to the Coffee Cantata, also by Bach, and the absolutely spellbinding Eternal Source of Light Divine. The musicians were expertly led by Jack Gonzalez-Harding, who combined conducting with playing the beautiful harpsichord, which took centre stage. During the evening, musicians played instruments including the recorder, violin and trumpet.


The Coffee Cantata was composed at some point between 1732 and 1735 but it could have been a modern-day tale. A miniature comic opera, it tells of an addiction to coffee. While it was sung in German, the programme offered a translation. At one point, the Soprano sings: ‘If I couldn’t, three times a day, be allowed to drink my little cup of coffee, in my anguish, I will turn into a shrivelled-up roast goat’. Many of us might admit to feeling a little like that!


The Festival continues until 12 May and there is so much music to enjoy

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