Bach: St John Passion

Annual Good Friday performances of Bach's St John Passion with Polyphony at St John's Smith Square, London, have been running for over 10 years.  In recent years, additional performances have been held in Europe in the Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris (2013), the Theatre an der Wien, Austria (2012), and most recently in the Blue Hall, DeSignel, Antwerp, Belgium (2014).  

In 2013, a CD recording of the work, featuring Polyphony and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, was released under the Hyperion Records label. 

Hyperion Recording

Polyphony & The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Ian Bostridge, Neal Davies, Carolyn Sampson,
Iestyn Davies, Nicholas Mulroy, Roderick Williams

Recording details: April 2012
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: March 2013
Total duration: 117 minutes 44 seconds

Click here for CD booklet

Hyperion Records promotional video

Selected Reviews

"Stephen Layton's outstanding new St John is about as state-of-the-art a Bach Passion recording as you'll hear … Ian Bostridge is the master story-teller who surveys all about him, impeccably delivering every nuance of every word … Alongside the top-class and pliable choral singing of Polyphony comes the roll call of impressive soloists … The noble Christ of Neal Davies and the deeply felt singing of Roderick Williams complement the kaleidoscope of vocal expression here with their capacity for reflective commentary, as does Iestyn Davies in a treasurable 'Es ist vollbracht." Gramophone Magazine

"There's no doubting the choir's passion and poise, whether as a baying mob … or in the expressively balanced unaccompanied chorale verses … Layton's pacing is compelling … It's crowned by Iestyn Davies's sublime account of 'Es ist vollbracht', his pure alto wrapped around the obbligato pathos of Richard Tunnicliffe's viola da gamba. Both Carolyn Sampson's arias are priceless." BBC Music Magazine

"Stephen Layton directs this intense, dramatic reading with intelligence and integrity, ably assisted by an excellent team of soloists. Ian Bostridge is a superly articulate, agile and expressive Evangelist." Early Music Today