I was in the anatomy training at that time. The 3rd grade of medical faculty. One time, a teacher asked us if there was anyone who would like to listen to that Matthews Passion right on the day. I raised hand for that. Earlier than ususal, around sunset, I hurried to NHK Hall in Shibuya, where the concert was supposed to be held.
It was an overwhelming performance. One of the very few musical experiences that I was moved not only emotionally but also in the depth of existence. Warm heartedness in this tragic passion has kept me. I still remember Rilling conducting passionately and the bass singing the part of Jesus. That bass singer has sung the bass part of the chorus in the final piece hanging his head down. It seemed everyone has devoted to the music in that way. My anxiety. worry and difficulty in life was, even if for a while, relieved listening to that performance.
Wondering how Rilling was doing now, I have googled about him. He seemed to have retired at the age of 80 years 3 years ago. I knew that he had been working at Oregon University. It was a surprise that Bob W6CYX had told about him being invited as a conductor at Carmel Bach Ensemble years ago. I guess I have already told about it somewhere in this blog. I felt Rilling had linked me and Bob through the concerts in Tokyo and Carmel.
A video clip of a lecture concert in oregon in 2010. He must be around 77 years old at this time. Still very sharp and active. He gave a good lesson about the first 3 pieces of this enormous work. Based on his hard work on Bach, his performance still sounds warm hearted to me.