BACH-St. John Passion
We have watched in dismay as gospel music has celebrated the passion narrative as a means by which people can live how they like as long as they acknowledge God verbally, thus reducing this story to clichés and soundbytes. We have equally been amazed to see how performers and composers working in European sacred music has spent more time focussing on the passion at the expense of the resurrection. We need both! But the very point of Bach’s passions is that Jesus won a victory that transcends language – so the biggest exposition of Bach’s theological thought are not the texts, but the music – which is profoundly eloquent in ways which also transcend language!
For this project we chose to work in German as to remain faithful to the music/language sonorities that the composer had in his mind. It was a fantastic experience to share this amazing muisc and story with an audience who, largely, had not experienced much of this sort of music – concert halls are great, but this music is for everyone, everywhere.