Sir John Eliot Gardiner was joined by actor and comedian Alexander Armstrong to launch a fund-raising campaign to complete the multi-Award-winning Bach cantata project. The Ascension cantatas were originally scheduled to be recorded in Salisbury Cathedral in 2000, but recording was abandoned due to noise, so plans are underway to fill this gap in the series.
Sir John Eliot, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra will perform the Ascension cantatas in two concerts on May 10 at St Giles Cripplegate in London. To enable the concerts to be recorded and released on CD £50,000 needs to be raised. As Armstrong put it, 'Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata recordings are glorious and I have followed the series from the beginning. To play a small part in helping to complete such a historic collection is a huge privilege and I hope thousands of people will join me in a rare chance to be an arts philanthropist.'
For £20, you will be credited as part of the production team and receive a copy of the finished CD; for £50 you will also be credited on the Monteverdi and SDG websites and have your name appear in the programme; for £150 your CD will be signed by Sir John Eliot and you will receive year's complimentary membership as a Friend of Monteverdi; for £500 you will also be acknowledged as a Benefactor of the Friends of Monteverdi. Make a donation to the Bach Ascension Cantata project.
The two concerts on May 10 comprise: (Programme 1 at 6.30pm): Cantatas Nos 128, Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein; No 37, Wer da gläubet und getauft wird and No 11, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen. (Programme 2 at 8.30pm): Cantatas No 128, Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein; No 43, Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen and No 11, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen. Click here for ticket information.
Volume 1 in the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage series won Gramophone's Recording of the Year at the 2005 Gramophone Classic FM Awards, and the entire project was acknowledged with a Special Achievement Award in last year's Awards when Sir David Attenborough, making the presentation to Sir John Eliot Gardiner, described the series as 'the most extraordinary, ambitious and successful recording project in the history of the gramophone'.