When Bach composed his setting of the passion narrative from Matthew’s gospel for the Good Friday liturgy at Leipzig’s Thomaskirche in 1729, he could scarcely have imagined the universal connection that it was to make with musicians and audiences across the world. Even in the secular age, its relevance and impact are no less arresting. Whilst less immediately dramatic than the John Passion, its combination of choruses, arias and extended ariosos present unparalleled insight into and meditative reflections on some of our most profound emotional states.
With just eight solo voices and a team of the very best specialist instrumentalists under the guest director Kristian Bezuidenhout, one of the world’s foremost keyboard artists and interpreters of eighteenth-century repertory, Dunedin Consort deliver an inimitably fresh performance of this monumental work, which still forces us to confront some of the central questions defining human existence.
JS Bach – Matthew Passion