There is something wholly reliable about Bach-guru and the-man-you-most-like-as-your-backup-grandfather Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Him marking is 70th birthday with a 9 hour long marathon concert of JS Bach’s repertoire at the Royal Albert Hall on Easter Monday only emphasises the point.

As concerts go, it’s an unusual proposition. Many ‘normal-length’ events struggle to sell to capacity, so the idea of putting on such a total immersion-style day and selling all-day tickets is bold. At £125 for a grand tier seat for 9 hours of music, or £29 to stand in the arena (presumably they’ll let you bring a cushion), the ticket prices represent excellent value for money not least because there’s more going on in the Royal Albert Hall than just performance.
Performances from cellist Alban Gerhardt, violinist Viktoria Mullova (seen here playing a Chaconne for solo violin in 2008) and the English Baroque Soloists amongst others, nestle with speakers including professor of behavioural neurology Michael Trimble, the steely eyed cellist Matthew Barley and science writer Anna Starkey. This isn’t your usual marathon concert. This is music performance combined with all the great things of a study weekend. All in a day. All (actually) reasonably priced.There’s a full line up on the Monteverdi Choir website.

I’ve not been asked to say that. I’m not that easily bought. And even if I was, writing to advertise this forthcoming event would be a redundant process. When I went to interrogate the ticketing database at the Royal Albert Hall, I got this message in my browser window.

Number 39 in the Online Waiting Room queue for the Easter Monday Bach Marathon concert. Either the ticketing system has fallen over or Eliot Gardiner's big Bach event is an extremely popular affair.

Number 39 in the Online Waiting Room queue for the Easter Monday Bach Marathon concert. Either the ticketing system has fallen over or Eliot Gardiner’s big Bach event is an extremely popular affair.

As it happens, the wait in the queue didn’t take long and there were tickets available. Just a shame I won’t be able to get along in person. I’ve got a wedding to go to (and to play at). 

Buy tickets for the event that starts at 1pm on the Royal Albert Hall website. If you can’t get a ticket, BBC Radio 3 will also be broadcasting it live.

Gardiner will reprise events in Cite de la Musique, Paris on 6 and 7 April.

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