Is it possible to say that Bach's St. Matthew Passion has now, in the year 2012, yielded up all its secrets? Not when a master conductor has the baton in his hand and when his musicians - all top soloists in their own right - can spread their wings in a domain they have made their own.
Bach pulls out all the stops in this magnum opus. The result is a brilliant exercise in balance between a riveting narration, pious reflection and a musical spectacular - an unrivalled 'tour de force' in Western musical history. It's no wonder then that this Passion still fills concert halls and remains up with the leaders in every list of classical hits. This is Bach's intelligent adaptation of the historical tradition, coupled with meditative and highly expressive music, and simple but pregnant chorales that are part of the successful formula of this score. The more one gets into the music, the more Bach's genius reveals itself. The way he is able to forge all this into a cycle - the instrumentation and the distribution of the chorus groupings, the musical characterization of the protagonists and the aria writing - is unsurpassed. The recipe of Bach's balm for the soul is still unequalled, and each performance gives further proof of its efficacy.