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Bach: St Matthew Passion

From intimate grief to monumental crowd scenes, the St Matthew Passion is Bach's most profound musical testimony. The sorrowful retelling of Jesus' final hours is sculpted into a gripping drama under the direction of Jonathan Cohen.
London, Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall £15 - £64 (Premium £85)

General booking for this event will open in October 2024.

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St Matthew Passion

Anna Dennis soprano
Iestyn Davies contertenor
Hugo Hymas tenor
Nick Pritchard Evangelist (tenor)
Thomas Bauer baritone
Florian Störtz Christus (bass-baritone)
Jonathan Cohen conductor

First performed in 1727 and revised until late in his life, in the St Matthew Passion the mystery of faith seems to fully collide with the mystery of JS Bach’s genius.  

It is a work of compelling theatricality. The drama is heightened by the collaboration between Bach and his librettist, Picander and the technically deft layering of the gospel texts and Lutheran chorales with meditations for soloists. Above all, the audience is thrust into the heart of the drama by the decision to make the choir active participants in the drama, almost as if we ourselves are standing in Pilate’s courtyard.

Jonathan Cohen’s reputation has rocketed in recent years through his work with Arcangelo, the ensemble he founded, his appointment as music director of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and with the OAE at Glyndebourne. He is joined by a cast of prized exponents of historically informed performance, including Nick Pritchard (a former Rising Star of the Enlightenment) as the Evangelist and countertenor Iestyn Davies.

"The accumulated power of the score is magnificently managed and driven by conductor Jonathan Cohen, with the old instruments of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in peak-period condition, dazzlingly pungent, light and airy, with a total sense of stylistic confidence. "
The Telegraph