St Albans Abbey hosts cool, calm Collection

THE start of Lent finds the Woodmansterne Collection returning to St Albans Abbey on Saturday (6) to perform Bach s masterpiece, St Matthew Passion. Conductor Paul Woodmansterne has secured some of the best Bach soloists to take part in the concert includ

THE start of Lent finds the Woodmansterne Collection returning to St Albans Abbey on Saturday (6) to perform Bach's masterpiece, St Matthew Passion.

Conductor Paul Woodmansterne has secured some of the best Bach soloists to take part in the concert including Charles Daniels as Evangelist and Peter Harvey as Christ.

Paul has known both men since his days in Oxford and believes that the voices of both men have improved over the years.

He said: "Charles's characterisation and vocal panache has become more and more finely honed over the years without losing any of its youthful charm. Peter's voice has become richer and warmer with a mellow golden core."


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He added: "I have no idea what you look for but for the character of Christ, I choose qualities I can admire - generosity, kindness, empathy. In Peter's sound, I can identify all the strength, warmth and humanity I would wish for to represent us on the cross."

The concert will also feature husband and wife team, Annabella Tysall, soprano, and Robin Blaze, counter tenor. Robin's recordings with Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan have been described in Gramophone as "heart-stopping."

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Two newcomers will also be joining the Woodmansterne Collection - Richard Edgar-Wilson, a renowned English Evangelist in his own right, and Christopher Purves, one of the most impressive basses on the London concert platform in recent years.

The ensemble combines the soloists with two choirs and two orchestras, playing instruments authentic to Bach's time.

The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets at �25, �20 and �15 reserved and �8 concessions and unreserved can be obtained by calling Angela on 01923 200619 or the Abbey information desk on 01727 890256.

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