* Notes *
John Eliot Gardiner conducted (pictured left, photograph by Sheila Rock / Decca) English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir in Johannes-Passion BWV 245 at Lucerne Festival Friday night. The playing was crisp and genial, and any intonation errors were within reason given the period instruments. The singing was lucid and very much together. The choir has a gorgeous, clean sound.
The soloists are all fine singers. Hannah Morrison sang the soprano aria "Ich folge dir gleichfalls mit freudigen Schritten" with a spring-like freshness. Meg Bragle sang "Es ist vollbracht!" with strength. Tenor Nicolas Mulroy (Evangelist) was only slightly quiet when singing with the full ensemble, otherwise his voice is pleasant, while Andrew Tortise sounded sweet singing the tenor arias. Dietrich Henschel (Jesus) and Peter Harvey (Pontius Pilate and bass arias) made for a good contrast vocally.
* Tattling *
The woman in Gallery 3 Left Seat 16 spoke on a few occasions during the music, while the men in Seats 19 and 20 tended to only whisper slightly. There were a lot of coughs when the orchestra was tuning between parts.