Although it seems inconceivable to us today, Johann Sebastian Bach’s music long fell into oblivion after his death. Indeed, the St Matthew Passion was only rediscovered when Felix Mendelssohn conducted it in 1829. The work is now considered timeless – immune to any difference in culture, background or age. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s annual Passion performance is a tradition, one which is almost as old as the orchestra itself. While the Passion and Palm Sunday Performances now sometimes feature contributions by contemporary composers, Bach is still the benchmark.
The Nederlands Kamerkoor (Netherlands' Chamber Choir) is a regular guest, but it’s been over twenty years since Ton Koopman led the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the St Matthew Passion. It’s high time the orchestra again invited this eminent Baroque specialist – together with his very own Amsterdam Baroque Choir, which has established a reputation as one of the leading choirs in the world.