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A passionate Sellars-Rattle triumph with Bach's 'St. Matthew'
A passionate Sellars-Rattle triumph with Bach's 'St. Matthew'

Bach's "St. Matthew" Passion, that most exalted of music's numinous monuments, was performed Saturday night by the exalted Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by the exalted Simon Rattle, sung by superb (and of course exalted) soloists and chorus at the Proms in that London monument, the spacious Royal Albert Hall. The performance was further, and significantly, "ritualized" by Peter Sellars. A spiritual journey was made personal and communal, an offering not only to each listener as an individual but meant also as a collective experience. More than 5,000 sat or stood in seeming quiet wonder through a long Passion. There were no projected titles translating the...

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