Sir John Eliot Gardiner rehearses Bach's Cantata BWV 63

John Eliot Gardiner in rehearsal with the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists

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Through his particular combination of scholarship and inspired musicianship, John Eliot Gardiner has won international acclaim as a key figure in the revival of early music.

His concert performances and recordings with the ensembles he has founded – the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestra Révolutionnaire et Romantique – are unmistakable, not just for their zest and technical mastery, but as highly personal readings of music from Monteverdi to Verdi and beyond.

This present film of the rehearsal of Bach's Cantata BWV 63 is intercut with comments from the singers and an interview with John Eliot Gardiner which reveals not only the depth of his knowledge of Bach's music but also his profound love of the composer's work. He talks incisively about Bach's music as a whole, the place of the cantatas in the composer's oeuvre, the particular structure and brilliance of Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, and explains something of his reasons for championing authentic rendition.

Featuring some of today's leading conductors in rehearsal, this series gives a unique insight into the process of creating great music. The conductors' very different styles and methods; the dialogue between an orchestra and an inspired interpreter; the intensity of the preparations for a concert performance; and the struggle towards perfection are captured in these revealing audio-visual records. Most episodes include a full run-through of the work rehearsed. All include interviews with the conductor who is seen at work.

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