Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Layton conductor
Ruairi Bowen Evangelist, tenor
Christopher Richardson Christus, bass
David Greco Pilatus, bass
Sara Macliver soprano
Ashlyn Tymms alto
Warren Trevelyan-Jones chorus director
Bach St John Passion
About this performance
Wrapping up MSO’s Baroque Festival is this special 300th Anniversary performance of Bach’s oratorio of biblical proportions – St John Passion.
Lauded for his ability to amplify a work’s immediacy and drama, Stephen Layton – former Music Director at Trinity College Cambridge and founder of world-leading London consort Polyphony – conducts the orchestra for this historic concert, alongside the mighty MSO chorus and an all-star cast of soloists.
First performed on Good Friday 1724 in Leipzig’s cavernous St Nicholas Church, Bach’s intensely dramatic St John Passion narrates the Easter Passion of Christ, according to the gospel of John.
Compared to his later St Matthew Passion, the St John has a raw, uninhibited sense of tragic momentum. With spitting, bloodthirsty mobs and heartbreaking arias, this spectacular work hurtles towards the inevitable: a showcase not only of Bach’s incredible technicality, but of the immense power of musical storytelling.
Duration: approx. 2 hours and 40 minutes, including interval