<<< << -- 3 -- Robert Hugill A PASSIONATE COMMITMENT -- >> >>>
But of course a group like the Bach Choir never stands still, and once the Rütti première is over, the group will start preparing for the next challenge, its annual Easter performance Bach's St Matthew Passion. This year Hill and his choir are returning to the Royal Festival Hall after a gap of two years whilst the hall was refurbished and improved acoustically.
Hill already has some experience of the hall's new acoustics and has noticed more activity in the bass. It is still a large hall to fill, but he feels that the delivery of sound is more encouraged and enhanced by the changes, so he is looking forward to hearing the Bach Choir in the new acoustic.
Not that Hill was ever completely dissatisfied with the old hall, feeling that it gave groups the opportunity to sound wonderful if they were in good shape; something which, of course, applies to the current Bach Choir under Hill's dynamic leadership.
The Bach Choir. Photo © Edward Webb
For Hill, the Bach Choir sings Bach's St Matthew Passion as if it owns it; it is a work which is inside the choir's bones and the singers never disappoint him in the work. Hill always finds Bach's St Matthew Passion a challenge, and is unashamedly happy to perform it with a wide variety of groups. He has performed it with men and boys and a few strings, and with just one singer per part. But in the Royal Festival Hall, a venue far larger than Bach's St Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Hill thinks that a large scale version is needed. For Hill, Bach belongs to everyone: performances on every type of scale can work well.
Copyright © 31 January 2008
Robert Hugill, London UK