Solomon’s Knot performs Bach’s Mass in B minor
This performance was on the top of my list for the winter season. I was interested on “Solomon’s Knot take on Bach’s Mass in B minor for several reasons. Authenticity was not really one of them, not because the small ensemble did not match the monumental writing of the work because there is no really authentic way of perform this piece.
I was mostly curious about the idea of singing this work from memory and without a conductor. Not because of the kink of performing it without the safety net of the score or the extra difficulty but because of the extensive work needed to achieve this: deep knowledge of the score plus a lot of time rehearsing the performance to be able to do entrances and endings.
The performance started a little bit cold following the venue own temperature. But at the end of the Gloria the ensemble was already in top form. Choruses were extra communicative, and the group added some theatrical experience with on stage movements: entering and exiting it, getting soloists over the podium, etc… The players were all top class with exquisite performances.
Choral parts were in general more satisfactory than soloist ones, mostly because the voices were perfectly glued and we missed that magic during the arias.
The wort part of the whole experience was the freezing temperature at St. John’s Smith Square. To make it worse all doors were wide open during the intermission. Seriously, what’s wrong in England regarding energy efficiency? It’s not just about the money, it’s also about the planet.