Bach St Matthew Passion 2016

​Bach St Matthew Passion

Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner - conductor

Mark Padmore | Evangelist
Stephan Loges | Christus
Hannah Morrison | Soprano

Monteverdi Choir
Charlotte Ashley
Jessica Cale
Amy Carson
Alison Hill
Angharad Rowlands
Eleanor Minney
Reginald Mobley
Hugo Hymas
Andrew Tortise
Gareth Treseder
Alex Ashworth
Rupert Reid
Ashley Riches
Jonathan Sells
Lawrence Wallington

Tour dates
11 March Valencia
13 March Pamplona
15 March Barcelona
17 March Lucerne
22 March Amsterdam
23 March Brussels
25 March Paris
26 March London
15 June Braunschweig
16 June Leipzig
18 June Aldeburgh Festival
5 August San Sebastian
6 August Santander
13 August Edinburgh Festival
18 September Wroclaw
22 September Pisa

The St Matthew Passion tour began in Spain - almost 290 years after the work was first performed - and travelled across Europe visiting France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. As part of the tour, the Monteverdi ensembles returned to Leipzig in June 2016 to perform this magnificent work at the Bach-Archiv in Thomaskirche - Bach’s own church, where the St Matthew Passion was first performed on 11 March 1725.

In an unprecedented tour de force: the Monteverdi Choir performed the work entirely from memory. For a choir that has scaled great artistic heights and even won the title of ‘best in the world’, this abandoning of the safety blanket of the written page may have seemed mere bravado; in fact it stemmed from the desire to seek a level of communication with the audience that would have been unachievable from behind the barrier of the score.

The St Matthew Passion is often described as Bach’s crowning masterpiece: a score which he painstakingly reworked and revised, leaving the impression that he was aspiring to some sort of ideal. Even today in a mostly secular society, this masterpiece of the Lutheran church tradition can have an overwhelming effect on audiences, being essentially a human drama of immense struggle, betrayal and forgiveness, love and sacrifice, compassion and pity.

A live recording was captured at Pisa Cathedral during the Anima Mundi Festival in September 2016 and released on our SDG label. The recording received critical acclaim and was subsequently nominated for the 2017 Gramophone Awards in the Baroque Vocal category. For more information about the recording please click here.