Bach St Matthew Passion

Evangelist Ian Bostridge

Overcome by emotion, a survivor of great and terrible events tells his tale. As he sings of his friend’s betrayal and killing, the ancient tragedy comes startlingly alive: the chorus becomes the angry crowd, and even the listeners are drawn into the story – adding their own thoughts to a spiritual drama that is now unfolding with overwhelming power.

For many listeners, Bach’s St Matthew Passion has more in common with Greek tragedy than with anything you’ll find in a hymn book, and whatever your own spiritual beliefs it’s quite simply one of the greatest works of art created in any form or on any subject. Everyone should hear it at least once, and there’s no more urgent or immediate way to experience it than in this pared-down performance by Armonico Consort – the Warwickshire-based period instrument ensemble that’s built a worldwide reputation for the freshness and drama of its interpretations.