Format: COMPACT DISC
Firma Melodiya presents a historic recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St John Passion as it was performed for the first time in the former USSR by domestic musicians. The recording features the Boys’ Choir of the Moscow Sveshnikov Choral College and the Leningrad Chamber Orchestra of Old and Modern Music, one of the best chamber collectives of the 1970s and 1980s in this country, led by Eduard Serov. All three musicians had been educated in the school of Alexander Sveshnikov, one of the greatest figures in Russian music culture of the 20th century. A prominent choirmaster, educator and tireless enlightener who was at the helm of the best choral collectives and music educational establishments of this country, Sveshnikov will also be remembered for his numerous pupils who continue the traditions of Russian choral culture. This 1981 performance of the St John Passion at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory was marked with the highest professionalism, a refined sense of Bach’s style and in-depth comprehension of the performed music. It could be rightfully called a deserved monument to the prominent choirmaster’s achievements. Among the other soloists, we should note outstanding interpreter of chamber music Alexei Martynov as the Evangelist and an owner of rarely beautiful and expressive bass Anatoly Safiullin as Jesus. The St John Passion was performed for the first time on Good Friday of 1724 in one of the churches in Leipzig shortly after Bach received the post of cantor there. For the composer, it was the first and extremely important opportunity to show his worth before the townsfolk and at the same time check the performing capabilities of the choristers and musicians he supervised. Later on, Bach performed the St John Passion on a number of occasions, but after his death the work shared the lot of most of his works and was consigned to oblivion. The St John Passion was performed again as late as in 1831. This release is dedicated to Alexander Sveshnikov’s 125th anniversary.