A Passion for Bach
With such sublime music, such a glorious setting, and such a stellar line-up of performers why let 3500 miles of water stop you from enjoying one of the musical events of the year? Tickets are available from the ever-helpful Prelude Records in Norwich, and I will be delighted to provide any more help to anyone wanting to attend via the email address in the side-bar. I would suggest making a two week vacation of it and taking in the Hilliard Ensemble singing the Gesualdo Tenebrae Responsories on Good Friday in Blythburgh Church as well, but I'm told that has already sold out. So hurry before the tickets for the St John Passion go as well.
The genius of Bach has been expressed no better than by author, cyclist and fellow pilgrim Anne Mustoe (see my post Lux Aeterna and not Ligetti) in her wonderful book Amber, Furs and Cockleshells ......"For me, there is music, and then there is Bach. Bach is transcedent. He is the sun, whose light blots out the feeble rays of other composers. There are many whose music I enjoy, but I would throw their entire opus on the bonfire to save one fugue of the divine Bach."
The two photos are of the powerful wire-mesh sculpture of the Crucifixion by David Begbie. I wrote about it in my article Pilgrimage, and you can see it installed in the Anglican shrine at Walsingham here in Norfolk. Images from David Begbie's web site.Now playing - Benjamin Britten's recording of Bach's St John Passion made in the Snape Maltings with Peter Pears as the Evangelist. It is sung in the English translation by Pears and Imogen Holst, and is suffused with the same humanity that fills every bar of Britten's own compositions .
If despite my advocacy a transatlantic trip is still out of the question Music of the Baroque is also performing the St John Passion in the Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Chicago at 8.00pm on 27th February, more details via this link.
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If you enjoyed this post take An Overgrown Path to Master Tallis' Testament.