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Bach Reloaded 2023: Peter Martens playing Bach`s Six Cello Suites at Montpellier Wine Estate

24 September 2023

Bach Reloaded Peter Martens

SAMA, Fiësta and Woordtrofee award winning musician, Peter Martens, will be performing “Six Suites for solo cello by J.S. Bach”, paired with six fine wines by Montpellier de Tulbagh as a specially created event experience, to be held at the scenic Montpellier Wine Estate in Tulbagh on September 24th.

Bach Reloaded Peter Martens

Martens is the only South African cellist to have released a commercial recording of all six Bach Cello Suites. The performance on the 24th will be the fourth at the coveted wine farm since 2017. The performance will start at 12h00 with the first suite accompanied by a beautifully light and sparkling bubbly. On the hour for each hour thereafter until 17h00, another sublime Bach suite accompanied by a tantalising wine will be introduced at a different location on the farm. The performance will end at 18h00. Patrons will also enjoy a selection of canapés throughout the afternoon.

The unique concept was inspired by two different events attended by Riëtte Eggink, musicologist and brand ambassador for Montpellier wines. First was the annual Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, a small mountain village in the French Pyrenees where the Spanish-Catalan Casals lived for most of his 23 years in exile from the Franco regime. The festival takes place, among other venues, in one of the jewels of Romanesque Catalonia, the Abbey of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, surrounded by vineyards at the feet of the Canigou.

Bach Reloaded Peter Martens

Second was the Cello Biënnale in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Every other year, the Muziekgebouw becomes the world’s epicentre for the cello during the Cello Biënnale. As part of this festival, Bach & Breakfast is presented every morning. A Bach Cello Suite is performed each day by a different cellist.

Inspired by the stories of these two events, the owner of Montpellier Wine Estate in Tulbagh, Lucas van Tonder (passionate about music himself), and our own acclaimed South African/Belgian cellist Peter Martens were immediately enthusiastic about the idea of performing the Bach Cello Suites in the iconic little chapel surrounded by mountains and vineyards at Montpellier de Tulbagh, which is one of the six special locations on the day of the concert.

Whilst all venues will be easily accessible, some may be outdoors (weather permitting). Comfortable shoes, warm clothing and/or sunscreen and a hat are recommended.

Bach Reloaded Peter Martens

The Montpellier Wine Estate was established in 1714 by two Frenchmen from the city Montpellier (“Spyseniersberg” or “Chef’s Mountain”) in France. Montpellier is renowned for producing wines with integrity and character representative of the Tulbagh Valley terroir. In addition to producing award-winning wine, Montpellier serves as a tranquil getaway and stunning event venue. Its charming hillside chapel, Cape Dutch homestead, reception facilities and expansive grounds offer breath-taking views of the magnificent surrounding mountains and provide the perfect setting for any memorable occasion.

Tickets for Bach Reloaded 2023 are R600 per person (including wine and canapés)
Reservations: 082 334 4334
Accommodation, dinner & breakfast packages available.

Peter Martenss interpretations are thoughtfully prepared and generally commendably executed, balancing modern performance practices with the simple clarity of period style. Martens brings aristocratic poise, poetry and rhythmic flexibility to the preludes. His courantes are generally fast and light and his sarabandes are profound and freely contemplative. Martens is playful in the gallantries, giving spring to the pairs of menuets in nos. 1 and 2, playing the bourées in mischievous vein and injecting the gavottes with a sense of fun.” Robin Stowell, Strad Magazine.