Berliner Philharmoniker / Rattle - Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg, 3 April 2010
Soloists - Camilla Tilling, Magdalena Kožená, Mark Padmore, Topi Lehtipuu, Christian Gerhaher, Thomas Quasthoff, Axel Scheidig, Soren von Billerbeck, Jorg Schneider; Rundfunkchor Berlin, Salzburger Festspiele Kinderchor
Bach's St Matthew Passion is big enough to stand up to almost any kind of treatment - or mistreatment. Opera, theatre, ballet, historically-informed, conductorless - you name it. Even so, placing the direction in the hands of Peter Sellars, best known for his interventionist opera productions, might sound on paper a step too far. But it turned out his direction (or 'ritualization' as the programme has it) was understated and intelligent, an aid to understanding not only the text, but also the musical structure of the work.