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.
I had this concert in my mind as “2nd Haitink gig”, “the other cool Brahms symphony I have not heard live this year yet” and “another fancy violinist doing Mendelssohn”. I hadn’t, however, though at all about the Thomas Adès that was opening the concert: Three Studies from Couperin. And it ended up being the most interesting part of the concert. The work is beautiful and perfectly showcased every good aspect about the London Symphony Orchestra.