December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The choristers of Norwich cathedral are preparing for a performance of Bach’s St John Passion that will launch the venue’s programme of music for the coming year.
On March 23, the boy and girl choristers will join together for the performance with the men of Norwich Cathedral Choir, and they will be accompanied by Norwich Baroque. The concert, on the Eve of Palm Sunday, will mark the start of the cathedral’s observance of Holy Week and Easter.
Ashley Grote, the cathedral’s master of music, said: “A performance of such a monumental work by the Cathedral Choirs will, I hope, be a great thrill both for those taking part and for those who come to listen. The piece is intensely moving, musically and spiritually, and cannot fail to leave a lasting impression. I cannot think of a better way to begin Holy Week.”
Bach wrote his Passion according to St John for the service of Vespers at St Nicholas’ Church in Leipzig in 1724.
In Norwich’s Cathedral’s 2013 concert, the Evangelist (narrator) will be played by young tenor William Blake while the role of Christ will be sung by Bradley Travis, leading bass soloist from the Royal College of Music. The distinguished soprano, Amy Carson, will be joined by other soloists from Norwich Cathedral Choir. Mr Grote said the concert is part of an exciting programme of music at the cathedral.
He said: “I am enormously excited about the programme of musical events at Norwich Cathedral in the year ahead. It is such a magnificent and beautiful space and the most uplifting place both to perform and listen to music. I hope that the wide variety of different concerts and services will contain something that is appealing to everyone, whether that be some organ favourites played at one of our free Bank Holiday Monday concerts, Bach and Handel performed with baroque orchestra in March and December, or the Cathedral Girls’ choir singing Britten’s Ceremony of Carols with beautiful harp accompaniment next Christmas,”
The performances include free monthly lunchtime organ recitals, bank holiday organ concerts, a festival in June marking the centenary of Benjamin Britten, and a candlelit performance of Handel’s Messiah in December.
• Bach’s St John Passion is at 7.30pm on March 23. Tickets £8-£16. To book call 01603 630000, visit www.cathedral.org.uk/stjohnpassion or go to the cathedral gift shop or Prelude Records.