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Music School: St. Matthew Passion
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Program
J. S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244

Performers
Evangelist: Dennis Giesbrecht, tenor
Jesus: Gary Kendall, baritone
Mimmi Fulmer, soprano
Ilona Kombrink, mezzo-soprano
Paul Adkins, tenor
David Berger, bass
UW Choral Union
UW Chamber Orchestra
Robert Fountain, conductor

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Conducting the combined forces of the University's Choral Union and Chamber Orchestra, Robert Fountain's vision of the massive edifice of J. S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion was thoroughly imbued with love. In the incredibly long and difficult part of the Evangelist, Dennis Giesbrecht conveyed the narrative of the Passion with touching sensitivity. As Jesus, Gary Kendall was warm and human in scale. Soloists soprano Mimmi Fulmer and tenor Paul Adkins both had major vocal problems, but bass David Berger was relaxed, rich and flexible, while the laurels of true greatness rest with alto Ilona Kombrink, who brought stunning artistry to both music and text. There was much outstanding instrumental playing, and despite its overwhelming mass, the chorus was well articulated and fully inspired. While the musicians apparently outnumbered the audience at the first performance Thursday evening, a nearly full house received the mighty work on Sunday with probably the most unrestrained applause I've ever heard in Mills Hall. It was well deserved.

Isthmus, May, 1992
Copyright 1992 Jess Anderson




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