A gift with consequences

Mendelssohn's version of the "St Matthew Passion" on CD

The Analekta label has released a recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's "St Matthew Passion" in the version by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. The recording with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem under the baton of Christopher Jackson was the first to use the reconstruction by Malcolm Bruno and Caroline Ritchie, published by Bärenreiter in December 2023 (BA11308).

For almost three quarters of a century, from Bach's death in 1750 to Mendelssohn's 15th birthday in 1824, the "St Matthew Passion" had fallen into oblivion. The precious birthday present for young Felix – a specially made copy of the Passion – was to change music history when he conducted the first performance in Berlin five years later.