Unfolding the secrets of Bach's gift for a king

The Musical Offering: music written by a giant for a king, explored and performed by Laurence Cummings and AAM.

On 7 May 1747, Johann Sebastian Bach arrived at the court of King Frederick the Great of Prussia. The greatest musician of his age locked musical wits with a monarch who saw himself as a philosopher, and Bach responded with The Musical Offering – a collection of pieces designed to put the nature of music itself to the ultimate technical, intellectual and emotional test.

Dazzlingly imagined and endlessly rich, The Musical Offering has fascinated performers and scholars for centuries. Today, we unfold its secrets and explore its remarkable story, as Laurence Cummings and Academy of Ancient Music focus all their insight, energy and verve on one of music’s sublimest puzzles. Bach probes the nature of creativity, harmony and (of course) genius, in a masterwork that never grows old.

Academy of Ancient Music
Laurence Cummings, director and harpsichord
Concert details
JS Bach Sonata in G for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord BWV1027
JS Bach Theme and ricercari from The Musical Offering BWV1079
JS Bach Trio Sonata from The Musical Offering BWV1079
JS Bach Ricercar à 6 from The Musical Offering BWV1079
JS Bach Concerto for Flute in G minor after BWV1056
Academy of Ancient Music
Laurence Cummings director and harpsichord
Concert date(s)
St James’ Church, Chipping Campden
Friday, 12 May 2023 | 7.30pm
Tickets: £1 – £45