Joy and celebration are invariably expressed with trumpets and timpani in Baroque music; the two works in this programme are no exception. Besides its grand, stately overture, Bach’s third orchestral suite, dating from 1731, includes several sparkling French dances and the ubiquitously famous but profoundly moving Air for strings. The Easter Oratorio was first performed in 1725, but Bach continued to work on it for almost 25 more years. It is a true oratorio, which means that it has no chorales or evangelist; the narrators are Jesus’ most faithful followers who express a range of feelings about the Easter miracle in joyful arias and exuberant choirs. A radiant oratorio that is not often performed.