Bach: St John Passion (sung in English) (2SACD)

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Crouch End Festival Chorus, Bach Camerata, David Temple

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

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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.

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BBC Music Magazine

“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.”

Gramophone Magazine

“…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.”