Continuing our much-loved tradition of Easter concerts, the Chamber Singers are joining forces with a splendid period instrument orchestra for an exciting and stylish performance of Bach’s St John Passion at The Concourse, Chatswood.
In the space of two hours, Bach draws on the theatrical conventions of opera to reveal the immediacy and humanity of John’s “eyewitness” Gospel account. And at the heart of the drama is the chorus – bringing a fierce, almost visceral realism to the crowd scenes and irresistibly drawing us into a spirit of contemplation in the chorales.
It’s a sign of great music that it survives change – new contexts, new trends, new audiences. No longer do you need to sit for hours in a Lutheran pew on Good Friday in order to hear one of Bach’s mighty “sermons in sound”. The dramatic power of his St John Passion – a vivid enactment of the Easter story – has transcended its church origins to speak a universal, musical message that combines storytelling and meditation.
And so for this “re-imagined” performance of Bach’s St John Passion we’ve commissioned two brief “reflections” that will comment on questions posed by this great work. In many ways, this will be the St John Passion as you’ve always heard it – turbulent and majestic, anguished and comforting, furious and serene – but with a 21st-century perspective to inspire new contemplation.