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Spektrix Ref 1: MFAW21


16 December | 8:00pm | £22 / £18

Doors & mulled wine from 7.15pm | Concert 8:00pm


Music for Awhile, Artistic Director Margaret Faultless

with Amy Carson, soprano & Guy Cutting, tenor


Arcangelo Corelli - Christmas Concerto, op 6 no 8

George Frideric Handel - Messiah HWV 56 (extracts)

Johann Sebastian Bach - Excerpts from Advent Cantata BWV 61 Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

Johann Sebastian Bach - Excerpts from Christmas Cantata BWV 191 - Gloria in excelsis Deo

Johann Sebastian Bach - Excerpts from Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 - 4th and 6th cantatas


Founded in 1996 by Simon Whistler and Margaret Faultless, Music for Awhile is a collective of Europe’s most established early music performers, inspiring audiences with repertoire from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries using the instruments of the time. 


In addition to their extensive concert activity and acclaimed education work, Music For Awhile has premièred new editions of manuscript material from the British Library and created works combining music and poetry based around Ted Hughes’ Tales from Ovid.  A flexible ensembleit expands to form a large orchestra performing choral works in venues such as Westminster Abbey, Bath Abbey, Exeter, Gloucester, Hereford and Bristol Cathedrals. For this intimate concert, Music for Awhile has created unique chamber arrangements of Bach, Corelli and Handel for four string players and two singers including an audience open invitation to join the performers singing one of Bach’s Christmas Chorales (no experience necessary!) 



Bach at Christmas: 16th, 17th & 18th December


Our three candle-lit concerts all feature music by Bach: extracts from the Cantatas, three of his Suites and three Sonatas.  Bach at Christmas instinctively feels like a good fit. It’s easy to become swept up in the spirit of his rich musical invention and the merriment and ‘good company’ of his interlocking lines.


But this hearty, genial ‘essential Bach’ is only one side. ‘His music was a medium of truth, not beauty’ says Richard Taruskin. And the truth he explored could be bitter. Alongside the tenderness, some of the cantatas evoke pain, suffering and darker side of humanity. 


Perhaps this is why Bach at Christmas seems right; whether Christmas is a time of joy, difficulty, celebration or reflection, there is something in the ego-less, immutable music of Bach - its capacity for empathy and consolation – which is life affirming.  ‘Bach doesn’t judge, doesn’t moralise’ writes Erica Jeal, ‘he simply sits with us until we have found peace’.



You might also like:


Candle-lit Bach for cello performed by Jonathan Aasgaard on Friday 17th December BOOK NOW


Candle-lit Bach for lute performed by Elizabeth Kenny on Saturday 18th December BOOK NOW




Covid-19 and concerts

In line with the most up-to-date guidance Public Health for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, we:

  • clean all surfaces that people touch regularly and keep hand sanitizer around the site
  • ensure air flow remains good around the building (we have a highly efficient air extraction system in the concert hall)  
  • advise all ticket holders to take a lateral flow test before coming to an event at the Granary and insist that staff and visitors who are unwell do not attend the venue

Face coverings are currently not compulsory, but if the guidance changes we will communicate this to ticket holders