Bach’s Magnificat is a Baroque masterpiece that needs little introduction. In this relatively brief work – approximately half an hour – Bach manages to conjure up twelve contrasting musical worlds, honing in with a miniaturist’s precision to extract every possible nuance from the Latin text. He exploits the ensemble in various permutations, from pared back solo movements with an almost chamber music flavour, to bombastic tutti sections made even more exciting by contrast.
A Time to Dance was written as a companion piece for the Bach Magnificat. The music takes us on a journey through the year and through the ages of man; Spring Morning, Summer Noon, Autumn Evening and Winter Night, with a soloist as our guide in each section – a soprano, tenor, alto and bass respectively. Roth crafts a gorgeously tuneful score with the lightest of touches – with the aid of a patchwork libretto of many classic and less well-known poems, the piece explores the span of human life, and yet with charming humour it never takes itself too seriously.