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Monday, 4th March 2024

Bach’s Matthew Passion runs high at Drogheda Classical Music!

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The Irish Baroque Orchestra during their performance of The St. Matthew Passion at St Peter’s Church of Ireland on Friday last. Photo: Jenny Callanan Photography.

Stunning performance of St Matthew Passion from Irish Baroque Orchestra

Drogheda Classical Music continued its superlative series on Saturday last, March 2, when the Irish Baroque Orchestra played one of JS Bach’s great masterpieces – The St Matthew Passion.

The closest that Bach ever got to writing an opera, the St Matthew Passion was composed in 1727 during Bach’s extraordinary Leipzig period, and has endured as a masterpiece of the Baroque repertoire.

This powerful and moving work was brought to life in the beautiful surrounds of St Peter’s Church of Ireland by the Irish Baroque Orchestra and chorus, under the artistic direction of the Oliver award-winning Peter Whelan.

A stellar line-up of soloists including Irish soprano Aisling Kenny and English tenor Nick Pritchard - one of the leading Evangelists of his generation – served up a superb performance which left the sold-out St Peter’s Church of Ireland audience uplifted and mesmerised!

During the preconcert talk with Dr Gavan Ring, conductor Peter Whelan explained to an eager audience how the evening’s performance would probably have been closer to Bach’s original, much smaller, orchestral and choral forces with soloists also singing the ensemble numbers.

Well Whelan and co did not disappoint!; Whelan took charge of the Irish Baroque Orchestra with aplomb, directing the performance with ferocious energy and enthusiasm. Among the aforementioned soloists Kenny and Pritchard were international sensations Hugh Cutting (countertenor) and Matthew Brook who played the role of Jesus.

It was music-making of the highest possible order and a performance at Drogheda Classical Music which will live long in the memory for all who were there!

If you haven’t already sampled the delights of Drogheda Classical Music this year, the series finale will take place on 19 April at 7pm when the renowned Vanbrugh Quartet and Friends land at St Peter’s Church of Ireland for a sensual programme of Boccherini, Beethoven and Dvorak!

Tickets are €20 (€18 conc.) and booking is available through Droichead Arts Centre (041 9833946). U-18 tickets (€5) and Student tickets (€10) available at the door with ID and subject to availability.  


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