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Van Zweden's Bach: Monumental, Moving

Posted Friday, March 30, 2012 in Reviews

By Chris Shull

Buy tickets NOW to hear Bach's St. Matthew Passion >>


Hearts were touched Thursday when Jaap van Zweden led the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas in J. S. Bach's masterpiece St. Matthew Passion. The performance at the Meyerson Symphony Center was the first by the DSO in fifty years and elicited rapt stillness and rapturous applause.


"This was a performance that both pleased the ear and moved the emotions," wrote Olin Chism for KERA's Art & Seek. "A couple of highlights for me … were [alto Jennifer] Johnston's aria "Erbarme dich," with gorgeous violin accompaniment by Alexander Kerr, and [soprano Camilla] Tilling's moving aria "Aus Liebe." But there were many more, including the wonderful work throughout the evening of [tenor Johannes] Chum as the evangelist."


"Van Zweden did much that was aptly stylish with the orchestra," wrote Scott Cantrell in The Dallas Morning News.


Noted John Norine, Jr. on TheaterJones: "The choirs are expertly prepared by Joshua Habermann (Dallas Symphony Chorus) and Cynthia Nott (Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas). The children's chorus is wonderful to experience; they possess a clear tone that cuts through the other performers to soar over the ensemble. The adult chorus represents themselves nobly as well, nestling into the overall sound of the ensemble without being overpowering."


And opera tenor David Cangelosi, in Dallas preparing to sing Monostatos in the Dallas Opera's upcoming The Magic Flute revealed wonderful insight and personal reflection in a blog post about the performance on


"Concertmaster Alexander Kerr lent his considerable virtuosic talents to Jennifer Johnston's gorgeous rendition of Erbarme dich, resulting in a half-swoon of pure satisfaction from a nearby audience member upon completion," Cangelosi wrote. "The chorus was well prepared and took the roles of angry mob and sympathetic believers well in hand. The Passion is a solemn work, heavy-laden with poignancy, and Mo. van Zweden never lost sight of this; conducting with pathos and insight throughout."


Don't miss this truly monumental and moving evening of music-making. Get your tickets NOW to hear Bach's St. Matthew Passion >>


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