Chester Cathedral Choir will perform the St John Passion by J S Bach on Good Friday (30th March 2018) at 8pm.
Originally written for Good Friday in 1724, the passion is a masterpiece of technical precision and musical beauty which recounts the events leading to the crucifixion of Christ.
Featuring the choir of Chester Cathedral, conducted by director of music Philip Rushforth, the performance will include contributions from world-class soloists Alison Rose, Soprano; Marta Fontanals-Simmons, Mezzo Soprano; Robert Murray, Evangelist; Tristan Hambleton, Christus and Marcus Farnsworth, Bass.
David Lewis will lead the Eighteenth Century Sinfonia, an orchestra playing on authentic baroque instruments.
Philip Rushforth commented: “Bach’s passion is a perfect balance of the theatrical with the devotional and whilst it delivers the intense sorrow of the Good Friday story it anticipates the resurrection; with many a dramatic twist and turn it ultimately provides optimism and hope.
“In my opinion, this is some of the greatest music ever written.”
Bach used chapters 18 and 19 of the Gospel of John in the Lutheran Bible, and intended the congregation to participate in hymn-like chorales within the solo sections.
When the congregation were not singing, the composer made sure the mood of the story was represented in the music which results in a work brought to life by exquisite drama and emotion sung in Bach’s native German, a language understood by everyone at the time, rather than Latin.
Entry to the St John Passion is free, with a retiring donation.