2022 Les Arts Florissants La Grange Au Lac 3N8A4868 Matthieu Joffres


Singing Bach: The great Leipzig audition


Singing Bach: The great Leipzig audition


Vocal and instrumental ensemble of Les Arts Florissants

Musical direction



Miriam ALLAN, soprano
Maarten ENGELTJES, counter-tenor
Thomas HOBBS, tenor
Edward GRINT, bass

Today, Bach appears to us as a major and indisputable figure in the history of music. To imagine that he could have suffered in comparison with his contemporaries seems improbable; and yet...

When he applied for the post of Kantor of St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig in 1723, Bach was not the preferred candidate. The first choice was Christoph Graupner, but Graupner turned down the offer, preferring instead the Prince of Hesse-Darmstad. The renowned and prolific Georg Philip Telemann, founder of Leipzig's Collegium Musicum and a friend of Bach's, applied - only to withdraw almost immediately and turn to Hamburg. This left only Johann Sebastian Bach, with whom St. Thomas had to be content... and it was there, at the age of thirty-eight, that the composer premiered the first version of his St. John Passion for Holy Week.

For this concert, Paul Agnew and Les Arts Florissants plunge into the musical world of the time, imagining a "great audition" to decide between Bach and his contemporaries. A fictional reconstruction, featuring cantatas... and a digest of the finest German music in the early 18th century.

At the Philharmonie de Paris, a participatory "encore" will invite concert-goers to sing one of the arias on the program with the singers and instrumentalists of Les Arts Florissants, making this an unforgettable experience!

Upcoming concerts

Paris / France
Philharmonie de Paris

  • Tuesday, May 20 2025, 8pm
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