This year for the first time ever, the full performance of Bach’s monumental masterpiece St Matthew Passion can be watched and heard in the cinema in marvellous visual and audio quality. This is the moving and acclaimed performance, directed by Reinbert de Leeuw, staged last year in De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Following the release last year of a short, introductory documentary (‘De Matthäus Missie van Reinbert de Leeuw’), the performance itself is now being screened.
With soloists Joanne Lunn (soprano), Delphine Galou (alto), Christopher Watson (tenor), Tomáš Král (bass), Andreas Wolf (Christus),Benedikt Kristjánsson (evangelist), Holland Baroque, the Nederlands Kamerkoor (Netherlands Chamber Choir) and the Roder Jongenskoor (Roder Boys Choir). The concert master is Judith Steenbrink. This unique recording is directed by Cherry Duyns.
Pianist, composer and conductor Reinbert de Leeuw, 78 years old, has devoted his life to modern classical music: from Schönberg to Oestvolskaya. Now, in his twilight years, he is turning his attention to an earlier period, embracing Johann Sebastian Bach and his St Matthew Passion. He has spent months studying the score: incessantly and almost obsessively. He is a man on a mission, dreaming every night of St Matthew Passion. He would have preferred to have cancelled all his other concerts. “If I had to spend the rest of my life focusing exclusively on St Matthew Passion, I would,” he says.