You are joining IT&T as Director/Soloist for ‘Concertos and Curiosities’ . Do you have a particular favourite piece from this eclectic programme? And if so, what is it about this piece which distinguishes it above the others?
I must say that I don’t have a favourite, I love the variety that the programme offers! But if I’m allowed to choose two, I’ll pick the J S Bach D minor concerto and the W F Bach Suite. The concerto, because of it’s extraordinary depth of expression - I struggle to think of a more desolate slow movement or a more grittily determined finale. It’s also wonderful to play, somehow the resonances of the key really suit the instrument. And the W F Bach because it’s a new piece to me and I’m really intrigued to discover its rather unusual musical language.
Your work encompasses quite a broad spectrum; from instrumental soloist to directing operas. Is there a part of your professional life which you are most drawn to? Are there any aspects of it which you find particularly challenging?
I think deep down, my first love is the human voice. I realise that in all my work, whether it’s playing a harpsichord concerto, conducting an orchestra or coaching a singer, I’m looking for the power of speech and of line - as if it’s being sung. It unites all the music making I do. So then the challenge - and great privilege - is sharing that love with other musicians and audiences.
Which projects, professional or personal, are you particularly looking forward to in the coming months?
I’m really looking forward to working with students at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, which I conduct in March for them. Helping the young singers and players discover this extraordinary score is wonderful. I’m also looking forward to harpsichord concerto practice, a glut of Bach Passions and a week of East Anglian seaside with my wife and small children.
Christopher Bucknall directs Instruments of Time and Truth in 'Concertos and Curiosities' on March 23rd, 7.30pm at the Holywell Music Room. Tickets cost £25 (£5 NUS/U18) and Oxfordshire County Music Service students can sign up in advance for a free ticket. To find out more and book your tickets visit our 2018-2019 Season page.