Filled with wonder and sorrow, a survivor tells his tale. As other voices tell their stories, the chorus becomes an accusing crowd, and an ancient tragedy comes startlingly alive. This is Bach’s St Matthew Passion, in an intimate and powerful performance from Academy of Ancient Music and a consort cast of acclaimed soloists.
The St Matthew Passion has become a Good Friday tradition, but this year AAM gets back to the music’s roots, using a chamber-scaled orchestra that Bach himself might have recognised and solo singers who step out of the ensemble to share their testimony. Performed like this, the emotion feels even more intense, and as ever, no religious belief is required: just a readiness to experience one of western music’s most beautiful – and transforming – masterpieces.