All-star line-up for charity concert
PUBLISHED: 11:04 15 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:51 20 February 2013
On Saturday 26 March, the acclaimed Bristol Bach Choir will be performing BachÂ¹s <br/><br/>masterpiece, the St Matthew Passion, in Bath Abbey in aid of Dorothy House Hospice Care.
On Saturday 26 March, the acclaimed Bristol Bach Choir will be performing Bachs masterpiece, the St Matthew Passion, in Bath Abbey in aid of Dorothy House Hospice Care.
The Passion tells the story of Christs final days, from his betrayal right through to his death.For the concert, the Choir will be joined by some of the worlds finest soloists, including:
* James Gilchrist ("unsurpassed among lyric tenors in sweetness and technical security, and for his musical intelligence", The Independent)
* Carolyn Sampson ("one of the wonders of the operatic world", The Independent)
* Michael Chance ("a seasoned exponent of what is still the best counter-tenor since Handel's time", The Guardian).
The Choir will be accompanied by leading period ensemble the Parley of Instruments ('an outstanding combination of technical excellence and interpretative flair', Classic CD).
Speaking ahead of the concert about the Choir's reasons for supporting Dorothy House, conductor Gavin Carr said:
"Dorothy House does a phenomenal job of supporting patients and their families through the most difficult times of their lives. Nothing speaks more to the conflicting emotions death arouses than Bach's magnificent music this piece seems to emerge from the deepest places in the human psyche, and for that reason it makes a perfect connection with the work of Dorothy House. Audiences pick up on this, and the pairing has received fantastic support."
Dorothy House Chief Executive Sarah Whitfield added:
"We're thrilled that Gavin Carr has once again chosen to support Dorothy House through a performance of the St Matthew Passion. Bath Abbey is the most wonderful setting for this magnificent and deeply moving piece of sacred music and Gavin has brought together an impressive array of soloists for this performance."
Speaking about the music, Gavin Carr added:
"At the time of its writing The St Matthew Passion was the biggest thing ever attempted, with its massive double choruses, two orchestras, and incredibly intricate design, and it remains the greatest expression in western culture of the Passion story. Though Bach wrote several other Passions, it was always referred to in his own household as 'the great Passion' his family certainly understood the measure of his achievement!
Audiences come to it as to a pilgrimage, with a measure of concentration and devotion that lifts performances out of the usual sphere: when the cast is as world-renowned as this one, the effect can be extraordinary."
Bristol Bach Choir is acclaimed for its excellence and in 2010 performed a sell-out concert of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers (to mark the pieces 400th anniversary) in Bristol Cathedral. In an extraordinary coup for an amateur regional choir, it was joined by soloists from The Sixteen, familiar to many from the BBC's 'Sacred Music' series.
Established over 40 years ago, the Choir attracts singers young and old from all walks of life in and around Bristol and Bath and has built up a loyal fan base across the region. In addition to performing throughout the South West, the choir has toured extensively overseas and performed on BBC, ITV and Sky.
The Choir will shortly be releasing a CD of popular choral works from the Renaissance through to the present day, which will be available to buy from the Choir's website at http://www.bristolbach.org.uk/