B Minor Mass - Solomon’s Knot - Shoreditch Town Hall

Solomon’s Knot Baroque Collective performed Bach’s B Minor Mass on Sunday the 11th of December 2016 at Shoreditch Town Hall in London. This, the penultimate concert of Spitalfields Music’s Winter Festival 2016, had been selected by The Times as their 'top pick' in the Classical column (written by Richard Morrison).

© James Berry

Solomon's Knot brought their characteristic - now trademark - intimacy to the performance with the singers performing the entire B Minor Mass from memory. This created an unhindered connection between the performers and the audience. Though there were incredible individual moments throughout, it felt as though no single element stood out beyond the architecture of the whole. This created a cohesive and, by all accounts, deeply immersive experience for the audience.

That said, the finale 'Dona nobis pacem' was the most debilitatingly beautiful rendition I have heard. The comma-punctuated repetition of the mantra 'pacem' was artfully articulated by the players to match this reiteration within the vocal text, unique to this final movement. This integrated care and attention-to-detail highlighted the level of musical refinement on-show between the players and singers in Solomon's Knot.

“By the end of the Dona nobis pacem, as the trinity of trumpets soared upwards, it felt as though the hall itself was swelling.” - The Times

The audience gave a standing ovation, reminiscent of the reaction at the Leipzig BachFest earlier this year.

"The sheer joy of the infectiously swinging Cum sancto spiritu and the desolation of the Crucifixus were just two of many high points in a performance where great musicianship allied to unaffected communication made everyone in the hall feel included." - The Guardian

"With an orchestra of twenty and only ten singers, the ensemble was guided by breath and bow" - The Times

As well as being an excellent concert, the rehearsal process was also most enjoyable.

“Also, the trio of natural trumpets and the timpani were outstanding.” - Bachtrack

Russell Gilmour
William Russell
Gareth Hoddinott

Rosemary Toll

Anneke Scott

Eva Caballero
Thomas Hancox

Leo Duarte
Robert de Bree

Inga Maria Klaucke
Hayley Pullen

Violin I
James Toll
Guy Button

Violin II
Jamie Campbell
Beatrice Philips

Joanne Miller
Nichola Blakey


Jonathan Rees

Jan Zahourek

Harpsichord & Organ
Chad Kelly
Soprano I
Zoë Brookshaw
Clare Lloyd-Griffiths

Soprano II

Ciara Hendrick
Jessica Gillingwater

Kate Symonds-Joy
Roderick Morris

Thomas Herford
Edmund Hastings


Alex Ashworth
Jonathan Sells

© James Berry

Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.