Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Chandos: CHSA5183(2)

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Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245



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Release date:

31st March 2017




1 hour 49 minutes


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Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

in English

Sophie Bevan (soprano), Robin Blaze (countertenor), Benjamin Hulett (tenor), Robert Murray (Evangelist), Andrew Ashwin (Pilate, Peter), Neal Davies (bass-baritone), Ashley Riches (Jesus) & Peter Jaekel (organ)

Crouch End Festival Chorus & Bach Camerata, David Temple

SACD - 2 discs

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Read our exclusive interview with David Temple here.

For its very first excursion on Chandos, the Crouch End Festival Chorus presents a landmark recording of J.S. Bach’s St John Passion sung in English – the first for over forty-five years.

With communicative zeal, beautiful articulation, and focused energy, this choir of more than 100 voices lends precision and power to the performance alongside the instruments of the Bach Camerata, one of the finest UK baroque orchestras, all under the inspired direction of David Temple.

The essence of the work is the conveying of a human story underpinned by the universal themes of love, betrayal, loss, and hope. The performance in English allows the drama and visceral energy of the work to go straight to the heart of the English-speaking listener.

The narrative is immediately understood, and the power of the storytelling imbues Bach’s music with extra freshness and meaning.

Thanks to an array of superb soloists and orchestral musicians, the new recording brings those qualities together in a performance which will present a well loved piece in a completely new light, and appeal to existing and future generations of music-lovers alike.

Johann Sebastian Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245, Pt. 1 (Sung in English)

Part I: Hail! Lord and Master (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Jesus went with His disciples over the brook Cedron (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Jesus of Nazareth (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Jesus saith to them (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Jesus of Nazareth (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Jesus answered them (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: O mighty love, O love beyond all measure (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: So that the saying might be fulfilled which He had spoken (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Thy will, O God, be always done (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: The band then, together with the Captain and the soldiers of the Jews (Evangelist)

Part I: Aria: From the bondage of iniquity (Alto)

Part I: Recitative: Simon Peter followed Jesus afar of (Evangelist)

Part I: Aria: I follow Thee gladly, my Lord and my Master (Soprano)

Part I: Recitative: Now that other disciple was known unto the High Priest (Evangelist, Maid, Peter, Jesus, Officer)

Part I: Chorale: O Lord, who dares to smite thee? (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Now Annas sent him bound unto the other High Priest (Evangelist)

Part I: Chorale: Art thou not one of His disciples? (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: But Peter denied it and said (Evangelist, Peter, Servant)

Part I: Aria: Ah, my soul, where shall I hide my shame (Tenor)

Part I: Chorale: Peter, with his faithless lies (Chorus)

St. John Passion, BWV 245, Pt. 2 (Sung in English)

Part II: Chorale: Christ, whose life was as the light (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And then they led forth Jesus from Caiaphas… (Evangelist, Pilate)

Part II: If this man were not a malefactor... (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And Pilate said unto them (Evangelist, Pilate)

Part II: For us it is not lawful to put a man to death (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: So that the saying might be fulfilled... (Evangelist, Pilate, Jesus)

Part II: Chorale: O mighty King, how marvellous Thy glory! (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Then Pilate said unto Him (Evangelist, Pilate, Jesus)

Part II: Not this man, no not this man but Barabbas! (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Now this Barabbas was a robber (Evangelist)

Part II: Arioso: Come ponder, O my soul, with fearful trepidation (Bass)

Part II: Aria: Behold Him! See His body (Tenor)

Part II: Recitative: And when the soldiers had plaited Him a crown of thorns... (Evangelist)

Part II: See! We hail Thee, King of Jews (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And they smote Him with their hands (Evangelist, Pilate)

Part II: Crucify Him! (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Then Pilate saith to them (Evangelist, Pilate)

Part II: We have a sacred law (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And when Pilate heard that saying (Evangelist, Pilate, Jesus)

Part II: Chorale: Our Lord in prison cell confined (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: But the Jews cried out the more and said (Evangelist)

Part II: If thou let this man go, then thou art not Caesar's friend (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And when Pilate heard that saying (Evangelist, Pilate)

Part II: Away with Him, crucify Him! (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Pilate saith unto them (Evangelist, Pilate)

Part II: We have no King but Caesar (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And then he delivered Him to them (Evangelist)

Part II: Aria and Chorus: Haste, haste, all ye whose souls are weary (Bass, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And there crucified they Him (Evangelist)

Part II: Write thou not the King of Jews (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: But Pilate answered (Evangelist, Pilate)

Part II: Chorale: Thy name, O Lord, is shining (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And then did the soldiers (Evangelist)

Part II: Let us not divide it (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: So that the Scripture might be fulfilled (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part II: Chorale: See Him, in His agony (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And from that hour he took her unto his own home (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part II: Aria: It is fulfilled (Alto)

Part II: Recitative: And, bowing His head, He gave up the ghost (Evangelist)

Part II: Aria: My Lord and Master, let me ask Thee (Bass) - Chorale: Jesu, Thou who tasted death (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: And then behold, the veil of the Temple was rent in twain (Evangelist)

Part II: Arioso: My heart, see how the world itself is suff'ring (Tenor)

Part II: Aria: O heart, melt in weeping (Soprano)

Part II: Recitative: The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation (Evangelist)

Part II: Chorale: Help us, Christ, God's only Son (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: At last, after this Joseph of Arimathea (Evangelist)

Part II: Sleep well, and rest in God's safe-keeping (Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: O Jesus when I come to die (Chorus)

Gramophone Magazine

April 2017

“…one will struggle to find more committed, well-balanced, agile and crisp singing than that of the Crouch End Festival Chorus, who are on top form throughout. Frankly none of the soloists could be bettered, nor the superb continuo team. Congratulations to all concerned on producing such a buoyant, absorbing and sonically thrilling recording.”

BBC Music Magazine

May 2017


“there’s plenty to recommend a recording – purposefully conducted by David Temple – that also swims against the tide with a hefty 100-plus chorus mustering venom aplenty. The solo line-up is without a weak link; among its glories Sophie Bevan’s deeply affecting ‘Zerfliesse, mein Herze’, Benjamin Hulett’s finely nuanced ‘Erwage’, and Robin Blaze’s exquisitely judged ‘Es ist vollbracht’. Robert Murray’s Evangelist holds everything together with narrative acuity.”

Classical Ear

June 2017


“its drama and emotional potency derive from the deeply felt, musically sublime and spiritually ardent performances marshalled with palpable intensity by David Temple. Wholly authentic and immediate, John Jenkins’s eloquent New Novello Choral Edition is, in itself, something of a marvel, prompting richly characterised contributions from all concerned”

July 2017


“Sung in English, rather than the original German, with considerable gusto by the Crouch End Festival Chorus, it bears all the best aspects of the tradition of choral society performances in the UK: enthusiastic, upfront singing and an impressive, effusive body of sound from a massed choir.”

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