St. John Passion

by Johann Sebastian Bach

Compact disc

Bach, St. John Passion, Emmanuel Music, Craig Smith

Johannes-Passion (Gesamtaufnahme) [DOPPEL-CD], mit Arleen Augér, Peter Schreier, Armin Ude, Theo Adam, Siegfried Lorenz, Heidi Rieß, Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Hans-Joachim Rotzsch,


St. Matthew Passion

jrpsong Index Page


Upcoming performance:

Bach St John Passion

Collegium Vocale Gent / Herreweghe

5 April 2007 / 19:30
Barbican Hall

Orchestra and Choir Collegium Vocale Gent
Philippe Herreweghe
Christoph Prégardien Evangelist
Konrad Jarnot Christus
Camilla Tilling soprano
Ingeborg Danz mezzo soprano
Jan Kobow tenor
Peter Kooij bass

On the afternoon of Sunday March 13, 2005, I attended a performance of Bach's Saint John Passion at Jordan Hall in Boston.

The Cantata Singers & Ensemble
David Hoose, Music Director
John Harbison, conducting
William Hite, tenor, Evangelist
Mark Andrew Cleveland, baritone, Jesus
Karyl Riczek, soprano
Lynn Torgrove, alto
Charles Blandy, tenor
David Kravitz, bass
Dana Whiteside, bass, Pilate
Jason Sabol, tenor, Servant I
Alan McLellan, bass, Servant II
Kathleen Kew Lee, alto, Maid
Brian Church, baritone, Peter

John Harbison, composer of the opera The Great Gatsby, conducted a moving performance that brought out the drama inherent in the work. Tenor William Hite as the Evangelist gave an exceptionally memorable performance, his very pleasant voice delivering the text clearly and dramatically, but never overdoing the drama. The orchestra and chorus were superb, and the soloists were all of high standard.

Richard Dyer wrote in a review for the Boston Globe:

Harbison's performance of the ''St. John" was text-oriented and exceptionally dramatic; after all, Harbison is a composer of opera. And the storytelling dimension of the piece was intense and compelling, and the chorus's characterization of mob mentality was terrifying in its violence and smug self-righteousness.

* * *

Tenor William Hite delivered the Evangelist's texts like a fire-and-brimstone preacher, and with hauntingly personal vocal colorations.

There had been a previous performance on the evening of Friday March 11, 2005, also at Jordan Hall.