J.s. Bach: St. John Passion / Cleobury
Label: KING'S COLLEGE
Format: SACD / CD Hybrid
Davies, Iestyn; Kearns, Benedict; Cleobury, Stephen; Academy of Ancient Music; King's College Choir, Cambridge; Lyon, Ed; Bevan, Sophie; Williams, Roderick; Ward, Toby; Davies, Neal; Gilchrist, James
Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge are joined by the Academy of Ancient Music in Bach's much-loved St. John Passion. Captured live in 2016 during Easter celebrations at the College, it features an all-star line-up of soloists who are renowned for their handling of the repertoire, including King's alumnus James Gilchrist as The Evangelist and Neal Davis, Cardiff Singer of the World prize winner, as Jesus. The St. John Passion presents the dramatic narrative with a concentrated sense of urgency, in contrast to the vast proportions of the St. Matthew Passion. Many of the arias are deeply reflective and espressive, none more so than "Es ist vollbracht!", in which the countertenor and the viola da gamba weave their melodies together in the most beguiling way. This release joins the Choir's other critically-acclaimed recordings. The recent release of the Duruflé Requiem received a 5-star review from Choir & Organ and was nominated for the 2017 International Classical Music Awards, while Hymns from King's, a collection of popular hymns arranged by Cleobury, was chosen by John Suchet as a Classic FM "album of the week". The Choir of King's College, Cambridge is one of the world's foremost choirs and unquestionably among the most widely heard. It owes its existence to King Henry VI, who envisaged the daily singing of services in its magnificent chapel. This remains an important part of the lives of its sixteen choristers, who are educated at King's College School, and the fourteen choral scholars and two organ scholars, who study a variety of subjects in the College. The Choir has produced numerous professional singers including James Gilchrist, Christopher Purves and Gerald Finley.