Mr Suzuki’s Bach

We are delighted to welcome one of the greatest living Bach interpreters, Masaaki Suzuki, as he makes his SCO debut in music by the great man himself, and by his greatest admirer Felix Mendelssohn. This will be Mr Suzuki’s first time conducting a Scottish Ensemble and a rare opportunity to see him in the UK. Suzuki places Bach’s searching, poignant cantata at the heart of the programme, contrasting it with early and mature Mendelssohn either side of it.

Suzuki has an impressive discography on the BIS label featuring all Bach’s major choral works, as well as complete works for harpsichord, which has brought him many critical plaudits – the Times has written: “it would take an iron bar not to be moved by his crispness, sobriety and spiritual vigour”. In 1990 he founded the Bach Collegium Japan and this season marks the triumphant conclusion of his Orchestra’s epic recording of the complete Church Cantatas initiated in 1995 and comprising fifty-five volumes. In 2010, Suzuki and his ensemble were awarded both a German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik) and a Diapason d’Or de l’Année for their recording of Bach motets, which was also honoured in 2011 with a BBC Music Magazine Award.


Listen to BBC 3 interview Suzuki

Suzuki recently spoke with InTune on BBC Radio 3 about his acclaimed Bach cantata recordings with Bach Collegium Japan, an epic project spanning 55 CDs, and his highly anticipated debut with us. He discussed why the works of Mendelssohn and Bach are brilliant to pair together in the SCO’s programme.

“I’m very much interested in doing Mendelssohn in terms of this closer relationship with Bach… He has been so much influenced from his [Bach’s] Cantatas and his Passions and these influences you can see easily in his vocal work and his Symphony.”

Listen here from 38:00 for the full interview.

Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of Bach, are you a Bach expert? Try the quiz below:

1. What Bach organ work was transcribed for orchestra and used in Disney's Fantasia?
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
Mass in B Minor?

2.What publisher and composer said, "Music owes as much to Bach as religion to its founder?
Ludwig van Beethoven
Robert Schumann
Claude Debussy
G.F. Handel?

3.For what purpose were most of his cantatas written?
Church services

4,The Brandenburg Concertos were named after the famous Brandenburg Gate in Germany.

5.Bach was a practicing Catholic, as is evidenced by his Mass in B Minor.

Comment below with your answers!

Book your tickets now:

Younger Hall St Andrews Wed 13th Nov
Queen’s Hall Edinburgh
Thurs 14th Nov
City Halls Glasgow
Fri 15th Nov