Plymouth Philharmonic Choir performs Bach’s St Matthew Passion
Sunday, April 14 in Plymouth Guildhall at
On Sunday 14 April 2019, Plymouth Philharmonic Choir will perform J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion, an oratorio widely acknowledged to represent the epitome of Western civilization.
Renowned tenor and musicologist Neil Jenkins
The choir is very fortunate to have the internationally-renowned tenor and musicologist Neil Jenkins singing the role of the Evangelist for this performance. Early in his unique and distinguished career he sang with The King’s Singers, and has worked with all the big names in conducting from Leonard Bernstein to John Eliot Gardiner. Neil edited the New Novello score with English translation of the text, the version they will be using for this concert.
St Matthew Passion
St Matthew Passion tells the story of the final suffering of Jesus Christ, opening as he carries wood for the crucifix on which he is to die, and ending when his body is laid to rest in the tomb. The measured style of the music contrasts with the deeply emotional, highly dramatic nature of the drama being played out: this is an opera in all but name.
The story is narrated by the Evangelist, while the powerful drama is played out by the main characters, Jesus, Pilate and Judas, aided by the chorus which elaborates and comments on each scene, acting such diverse parts as jeering mob or pious disciples.
Energetic conductor Christopher Fletcher
Guided and inspired by their energetic conductor Christopher Fletcher, Plymouth Philharmonic aims to convey the same immediate sense of drama as that experienced by the congregation of the St Thomas Church in Leipzig on Good Friday in April 1727, hearing Bach’s composition for the very first time.
Other soloists include Catherine Hamilton (soprano), Alison Kettlewell (alto), Nicholas Hawker (tenor), with John Hobbs and Darren Jeffery (basses).
Due to the length of the work, the performance will start at the earlier time of 7pm at Plymouth Guildhall.
Tickets cost £17 in advance, £19 on the door, £5 under 16s/students, and are available from choir members, or the choir ticket manager on 01822 853791.
For more information and further ticket availability please visit the choir’s website.
Philip R Buttall
top image: Plymouth Philharmonic Choir with Neil Jenkins (inset)