The Bach Passions, two of the greatest sacred choral masterpieces, performed in the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge. Available together for £23.99 (£29 when bought separately).
Bach: St Matthew Passion
King’s College presents a new account of one of sacred music’s greatest masterpieces, the Bach St Matthew Passion, recorded before Sir Stephen Cleobury’s untimely death on 22 November 2019.
For this recording Cleobury conducted the King’s Choir and the Academy of Ancient Music alongside an outstanding team of soloists led by one of the finest Evangelists of our time, James Gilchrist. The album is released as a 3CD set and playable in 5.1 surround-sound with an SACD player. It is accompanied by a booklet with over 60 pages of texts and photographs, including a full translation by Michael Marissen and a specially-commissioned essay by Bach scholar John Butt.
Bach: St John Passion
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 Davies, 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 expressive, none more so than Es ist vollbracht!, in which the countertenor – Iestyn Davies – and the viola da gamba weave their melodies together in the most beguiling way.