The performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion around Easter is one of the oldest traditions established by the Concertgebouworkest. And the tradition is still very much alive and kicking. An old hand at the game is Trevor Pinnock, who knows like no other how to put on Bach’s monumental St Matthew Passion.
Hearing Bach’s St Matthew Passion is always a moving experience. Willem Mengelberg, chief conductor of the Concertgebouworkest from 1895 to 1945, introduced the annual performance of Bach’s mighty St Matthew Passion around Easter back in 1899. Later, the orchestra alternated the Passion story according to St Matthew with Bach’s equally brilliant St John Passion, and more recently also with Passions by other composers. But Bach’s St Matthew is still number one in the Netherlands, having topped the favourites lists of classical music lovers for years.
The conductor and harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock has been a welcome guest conductor with the Concertgebouworkest for years, particularly when it comes to works from the Baroque and early Classical periods. The early music specialist knows like no other how to put on Bach’s monumental St Matthew Passion.