Mayfield Festival Choir and Mayfield Baroque Orchestra directed by Jeremy Summerly with Peter Davoren as the Evangelist, Angus McPhee as Christ and Martin Johnson as Pilate and soloists Charlotte Burden, Emma Roberts, Ted Black and Daniel Barrett, all from the Royal College of Music.
When he was appointed to a Director of Music post in Leipzig in 1723, few could have imagined what Bach would compose within a year of his arrival. The St John Passion was written in a six-week flurry of musical activity and is a profound and intense creation for soloists, choir, and orchestra. Moments of high drama are pitted against deeply reflective music that captures the humanity and spirituality of the Passion. In this performance, the period instruments of Mayfield Baroque are joined by Mayfield Festival Choir, seasoned vocal soloists, and four young postgraduate scholars from the Royal College of Music. The performance has been scheduled earlier in the year than normal so that it can take place during Lent – the dark time of the church year which marks the momentous events that led to Christ’s death. Bach used his native German language to carry the narrative, so that the Good Friday congregation in Leipzig’s St Nicholas Church would find the presentation as intelligible as possible. In order to replicate that immediacy, this performance will be given in English.