Passiontide at Rayfield Allied: Easter Tidings

26 March 2015

In the run up to Easter, Rayfield Allied artists are engaged internationally in a variety of concerts of traditional Passiontide music.

J.S. Bach’s settings of the passions according to St Matthew (BWV 244) and St John (BWV 245) are at the forefront of musical choices during the time leading up to Easter and particularly Holy Week.

Nicholas Mulroy, referred to as the “Evangelist of Choice” by Fiona Maddocks in The Observer is performing the St Matthew Passion on tour with the Dunedin Consort throughout Scotland and with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh in Aix-en-Provence on Good Friday. Mhairi Lawson will sing alongside Nicholas in Aix. Nicholas also performs the St John Passion with Wroclaw Baroque and at the Wigmore Hall with Dunedin Consort on Holy Saturday, alongside Matthew Brook. Nicholas Sharratt will be singing the St John Passion at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, where Andrew Parrott recently conducted Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.

On Holy Saturday Robin Blaze will sing the St John Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music and the world-renowned Choir of King’s College, Cambridge as part of “Easter from King’s”. Performing the work in the iconic King’s Chapel, this concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Fflur Wyn, Matthew Brook and Robin Blaze are all involved in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s ground-breaking tour of the St Matthew Passion, which will be performed without a conductor. The tour includes many of the top European venues including the Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Both William Towers and Benjamin Bevan are performing the St John Passion with the Hanover Band at St Andrew Holborn on 31 March, as well as further concerts in Rottingdean and Arundel on Good Friday. Benjamin also performs the same work with the City of London Choir at St John’s, Smith Square. James Oxley and Peter Savidge perform the St Matthew Passion in Derby Cathedral. Further afield James Oxley performs the same work with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in Dublin and Peter Harvey sings it with the Philharmonie Zuidnederland throughout Holy Week, having recently performed the St John Passion with Tafelmusik Baroque in Canada.

Laurence Cummings, Director of the London Handel Festival, conducts their annual St Matthew Passion at St George’s Hanover Square on Good Friday, integrating into the liturgy of the Good Friday Vespers, as it would have been when the work was performed during Bach’s days in Leipzig. Tobias Ringborg also conducts the work with the Dala Sinfoniettan in Falun, Sweden and in what is being described as a unique performance, Philipp von Steinaecker joins the Residentie Orkest of The Hague, the Residentie Bachkoor and the Haags Matrozenkoor for two concerts at the Dr Anton Philipszaal Hall.

Pamela Helen Stephen will be live on BBC Radio 3 singing Rossini’s Stabat Mater, a religious work that refers to the sorrows of Christ’s mother Mary at the foot of the cross, at King’s College Cambridge.

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