Ex Cathedra St Matthew Passion review

A MAGNIFICENT ST MATTHEW PASSION FOR GOOD FRIDAY AFTERNOON

ST MATTHEW PASSION
Ex Cathedra at Symphony Hall *****

A buzz of anticipation arrived with afternoon crowds arriving at Symphony Hall on Good Friday for Ex Cathedra under the thrall of superlative boss, Jeffrey Skidmore. Bach's St Matthew Passion wooed everyone into total committed silence as we looked at the packed platform with performers from the wider reaches of the city, from Community Choirs to the Ex Cathedra Choir, Baroque Orchestra and Academy of Music.
We wielded thick, comprehensive programmes: German text and clear translations, with illuminated surtitles above the platform, an addition for the familiar horrifying narrative..
Some truly committed solos from contrasting instruments discreetly anchored by the small baroque organ, centre stage. Very convincing string solos added to haunting wooden wind instruments -. recorders, flutes, oboes.
All the solo singers gave of their all, moving tactfully forward to sing from the front . Numerous smaller threads were taken by choir members, beautifully performed with lovely musicality throughout. Very professional. Marcus Farnsworth as Jesus and
Jeremy Budd (Evangelist) were particularly notable with their large amounts of story content, however everyone devotedly created a magical performance.
Discreet reliable direction from the rostrum never ever got in the way, but truly delivered a magnificent result. We finished by all joining in with a lusty Now thank we all our God.accompanied by the full-throated concert organ.

Maggie Cotton

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