Passions and fashions


My Passiontide playlist always includes the re-interpretation of Bach's St. Matthew and St John Passions by early music ensemble Sarband and their music director Vladimir Ivanoff, with the Lebanese singer Fadia el-Hage. What a pity this that this remarkable project (samples here) receives only a fraction of the attention given to the equally remarkable re-interpretation by Peter Sellars of the St. Matthew Passion. Because, as Sellars himself has said, "Bach wrote the music for us to place everything we hope and care about into the vessel of this music, and the music will not only carry it but elevate it". For those wishing to explore beyond current passions and fashions, the setting by the Syrian composer Abed Azrié of St. John's Gospel is recommended. A mindful Easter to all my readers.

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