Phoenix Choir is looking forward to its performance of the beautiful Passion Of St Matthew by Johann Sebastian Bach at All Saints Church in Eastbourne on Saturday February 17.
The work tells the story of Christ’s crucifixion at Calvary according to the Evangelist St Matthew. Many have described this great work as the opera that Bach never wrote. Perhaps frustrated at his failure to obtain work in opera, Bach incorporated many operatic traditions into the piece; it is musically ambitious and intensely dramatic with double choir and double orchestra. Much of the story is told by a tenor Evangelist and Christ’s words are sung by a bass. As was traditional, verses from chorales familiar to the congregation are placed throughout the work, allowing them to join in with the narrative; soloists and choruses have the opportunity to comment or reflect on the action taking place.
The piece evolved as Bach returned to amend it several times in his life. Incredible as it seems now, it lapsed into relative obscurity and was rarely heard performed even by Bach himself. It was Felix Mendelssohn who in championing many of Bach’s works rescued the piece 79 years after his death.
Phoenix Choir will perform the Passion in German and with a Baroque orchestra. Musical director Michael Fields is recognised for his talent at engaging audiences with his fresh and dramatic interpretation of established works. This promises to be a special evening and one not to be missed. A cast of renowned soloists - Julian Podger, Aishling Kenny, Daniel Ochoa and Johanna Krodel - all celebrated for their dramatic and expressive style, will complete the ensemble. There will be a retiring collection in aid of Medical Detection Dogs.
Tickets £15 (under 18/students £7) available from WeGotTickets.com; Reid+Dean Estate Agents, Cornfield Road; Tourist Information Centre - or on the door.