“Johann Sebastian Bach’s St John Passion is one of the greatest works not only of Baroque music, but of the whole Western Classical tradition. An extraordinary narrative journey, it tells the story of Jesus’ passion and crucifixion through a series of musical forms which were entirely revolutionary in their ability to communicate with listeners in the eighteenth century, and which still have the power to speak to us with uncanny emotional directness today.
Written for the 1724 Good Friday liturgy in Leipzig, such was the St John Passion’s impact and success that it was performed again the following year. This 1725 version, which here receives its West Somerset premiere, includes a number of changes and additions, notably the exquisite Chorale Fantasias which begin and end the Passion.
Performed by the Gramophone Award-nominated singers of The Marian Consort and a hand-picked orchestra of some of the UK’s leading baroque instrumentalists, with Nicholas Mulroy (‘the most sought-after evangelist of his generation’ Sydney Morning Herald) as Evangelist and Matthew Brook (‘Matthew Brook, who turns anything he sings to gold’ The Guardian) as Christus, this is sure to be a memorable and moving finale to our 2019 Festival.”