ST JOHN PASSION
Chelmsford Singers in the Cathedral
Stephen Decker was in the audience, and kindly submitted this review
From the outset of this Chelmsford Singers performance of Bach’s St John Passion in Chelmsford Cathedral it was clear that our attention was going to be captured. The choir sang the opening chorus with an urgency and energy that set the stage perfectly for the drama to come.
Under the skilful direction of Peter Nardone, the passion unfolded with attention to detail which conveyed the emotion of the story with young soloists who also fully entered into the spirit of the work. The choir and soloists were supported by the excellent Chelmer Baroque Orchestra who added colour to the whole performance; in particular mention should be made of the cellist who beautifully accompanied some of the most anguished moments in music.
The whole narration was held together admirably by an outstanding singer, Benedict Hymas, as the Evangelist. His superb diction, feeling for the words and engagement with the audience kept everyone fully involved with the story.
Chelmsford Singers had clearly prepared this score well. They fully conveyed the drama and the moments of reflection with fine attention to the dynamics necessary. Overall it was a highly appropriate contribution to Lent, and made one realise how fortunate we are to have Chelmsford Cathedral as the ideal space for such a moving performance.
Stephen J. Decker