Ex Cathedra, the Birminghambased chamber music orchestra led by Jeffrey Skidmore, has released a new English language recording of the St Matthew Passion. The orchestra, which is famed for its historically sensitive performances, uses 18th-century period instruments to achieve an authentic sound.
Attention to historical detail does not stop the ensemble from using both male and female voices to sing the Matthew Passion to great effect. The orchestra uses a recent translation of the words into contemporary English, which are well adapted to the tone and rhythm of the music. It certainly contributes to the listening experience.
The recording is of a performance in the Birmingham Symphony Hall on Good Friday of this year. Thomas Guzman