Our spring concert 2018 wasa performance on Saturday 24th March of J.S.Bach’s magnificent St Matthew Passion, generally considered to be one of the masterpieces of Western music. Written in 1727 as part of the Lutheran church service on Good Friday it tells the dramatic story of events leading to the crucifixion and burial of Jesus.
St Matthew Passion is abig work requiring two choirs and two orchestras, a large group of soloists as well as a children’s ‘ripieno’ choir. We were delighted that Pipers Corner School joined us in that role.
The main story was told by the Evangelist, tenor Alistair Walker, who also sang Evangelist in our recent performance of How’s Advent Cantata; Christus was sung by Lawrence White, much renowned for his interpretation of this role; while Sarah Bosquet from Belgium sang soprano.
Of particular local interest was mezzo soprano Janet Shell, former head of music at Waddesdon School and a former member of ACS (!) who has gone on to establish an international operatic career. In this performance Janet sang the Alto role.
Orchestral accompaniment was provided by Aylesbury Sinfonietta and the performance was under the baton of ACS musical director Jeff Stewart.
Soloists Alistair Walker - Evangelist, Lawrence White - Christus Sarah Bousquet - Soprano Janet Shell - Alto William Pearson - Tenor & False Witness 2 Simon Thorpe - Bass, Judas, Peter & High Priest Sara Daly - False Witness 1 & 2nd Maid Claire Doran - 1st Maid & Pilate’s Wife Gareth James - Priest 1 Alexander Thacker - Priest 2 & Pilate
Requiring as it does such a multitude of musicians, St Matthew Passion is not performed as frequently as other great choral works such as Messiah or Creation. ACS last performed it more than 20 years previously.