Bach's St. Matthew Passion, in Concert from Symphony Hall



Join us for the pinnacle of J.S. Bach's sacred music, in concert at Symphony Hall in Boston with the Handel and Haydn Society and conductor Harry Christophers, Sunday, Mar. 24, at 3pm, and Friday, Mar. 29, at 7pm on Classical New England.

The soloists include tenor Joshua Ellicott as The Evangelist, bass baritone Matthew Brook as Jesus, soprano Gillian Keith, alto Monica Groop, tenor Jeremy Budd, and bass Stephan Loges.

"... this performance was easily one of his finest hours in Boston."

When the Handel and Haydn Society first performed excerpts of Bach's St. Matthew Passion in Boston in 1871, it was the first time that this incredibly powerful music had been heard on these shores. For that performance, the orchestra numbered 100, the chorus 700. On Good Friday eight years later, H&H gave the first U.S. performance of the entire work, and it returned many times over the subsequent years.

In celebration of its 200th anniversary in 2015, the Handel and Haydn Society is returning to works it premiered in this country, including the St. Matthew Passion in performances at Symphony Hall in Boston.

To hear the concert, click on "Listen" above.

Download complete program notes and translations [pdf].

Jeremy Eichler of  wrote that the chorus's singing was "clear yet full, beautifully balanced and musically alert. It felt just right for Christophers’ conception of this work, not as a hoary lumbering masterpiece but as a fleet, vibrant, and intensely dramatic score to be revered precisely through close attention to its musical storytelling. That conception was strikingly realized last night. Christophers’ tenure at H&H has not been without its ups and downs, but this performance was easily one of his finest hours in Boston."


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