Friday 27 March 2015

A Pair of Passions

Bach - St Matthew Passion - Bach's fair copy of the revised version
Bach - St Matthew Passion - Bach's fair copy of the revised version
I am sure that there are plenty of performances of Bach's St Matthew Passion occurring on Good Friday (3 April 2015) but two London performances caught my eye. The first, from Laurence Cummings and the London Handel Festival at St George's Hanover Square, partly because we are going to be attending, the second from Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican, because of a very strong cast indeed.

Nathan Vale will be singing the Evangelist at the London Handel Festival's annual performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion at St George's Church, Hanover Square, performed in the context of vespers (as it would have been originally). George Humphreys sings Christus and the bass solos, with soloists Anna Dennis and Alexandra Gibson. Over at the Barbican, James Gilchrist is the Evangelist, with Matthew Rose as Christus and soloists Elizabeth Watts, Sarah Connolly, Mark Le Brocq (replacing an indisposed Andrew Kennedy) and Christopher Purves, with Richard Egarr directing the Academy of Ancient Music. To coincide with their performance, the Academy of Ancient Music is releasing their recording of the passion on their own AAM Records label.

And if you are in Birmingham, then Ex Cathedra Choir, Baroque Orchestra and Academy of Vocal Music are performing the work at Symphony Hall with Jeremy Budd as the Evangelist, Greg Skidmore as Jesus, James Geidt as Pilate and Martha McLorinan, Christopher Watson,Katie Trethewey, Edward Grint, Matthew Venner, conducted by Jeffrey Skidmore.

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