This Passion by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was announced as conducted by Mark Padmore and that was not fully true. Maybe he conducted during the rehearsals, maybe the idea and conception of the performance was his but he was not conducting anything during the public performance. It’s ok to have a chamber orchestra without conductor, and many baroque ensembles rely on the continuo players to get tempi indications and attacks.
Some weeks before the usual Easter performances of Bach passions we had an interesting proposal from the BBC Signers: the UK premiere of Mendelssohn edition of Bach Matthäus-Passion. Coming from a choir and directed by a choral conductor the stress of this performance was more in the choral side than in the orchestral one, which was relegated to the circumstantial band St. James’ Baroque. This was a pity because the biggest differences with the original version, other than cuts, were on the orchestral side, with some bass line significant changes.