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Jonathan Sells - St Matthew Passion in Brussels

Here's a though-provoking extract from Jonathan Sells' recent newsletter:

Looking back: Gardiner’s Matthew Passion

March was always going to be a ‘heavy’ month, with 8 Matthew Passions and quite a bit of touring to get through.  However, no one could anticipate the terror attacks which took place in Brussels the day before we were due to perform there.  There was a lot of soul-searching (and discussions with various governments and ambassadors), but in the end we went, and performed the only concert in the city that evening.  It is not very often that the power of music is apparent in an obvious way, but in that concert one could truly feel that the people needed that music, as an opportunity to come together and mourn collectively, as well as to show defiance in the face of fear.  As a piece that deals with issues of faith, doubt, fear, death, hatred, murder, and forgiveness in such a deep and meditative way, the Matthew Passion could not have been more appropriate.  It is a moment that I shall never forget.

Posted on April 14th 2016