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Event: St John Passion - J S Bach

Sunday 6th March 2016 at 7:30pm, St Albans Cathedral - St Albans

St John Passion, composed in 1724, was the first of 4 Passions by Bach but  unfortunately the only other one that survives is St Matthew Passion.  Neither work was particularly well-known until the 19th Century when Felix Mendelssohn effectively rediscovered the grand  St Matthew Passion – written for double choir and double orchestra – and famously performed it in 1829.   This contributed significantly to a revival in the appreciation of Bach’s genius and it was only a matter of time before St John Passion would be similarly acclaimed.

Our performance will be in English using the relatively recent edition by Neil Jenkins.  The translation replicates as far as possible the phrasing of the original German – for example the number of syllables in a musical phrase.  As a result, the performance should sound very much as the composer intended while at the same time absolving the audience from the need to keep their heads buried in the translation! 

The authenticity of the over-all performance will be further enhanced by the accompanying orchestra, Charivari Agréable ( ‘one of the classiest baroque bands’  The Observer  ‘specialising in the ingenious use of period instruments to produce ravishing sonorities and full-bodied textures’  Gramophone).  They accompanied us for the acclaimed performance of Handel’s Messiah in 2011 – also in St Albans Cathedral.

Our Chairman spoke about the concert in a recent wide-ranging interview for Radio Harrow.  To hear what was said, please click here.

Click here to display the front of the 2 sided concert poster and here to see the back.



  • Orchestra (period instruments):

    Charivari Agréable:
    We are delighted to welcome once again the acclaimed Charivari Agréable as our orchestra for this concert - 'one of the classiest baroque bands' (The Observer), 'specialising in the ingenious use of period instruments to produce ravishing sonorities and full-bodied textures'. (Gramophone). We last performed with them in 2011 when we sang Handel’s Messiah – also in St Albans Cathedral.
  • Soprano:

    Hilary Musgrave
    Hilary was born in Co. Durham and studied singing with Joy Mammen at the Royal Academy of Music. Subsequently, she gained a great deal of performing experience, especially in opera and sang leading roles with many opera groups in the London area as well as teaching stage movement at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio. Hilary is an experienced soprano soloist and in addition to teaching singing, has been running our highly successful Training Choir (Singing for Starters) since 1996. Hilary has appeared as soprano soloist with us on many occasions, including Handel’s Messiah at St Alban’s Cathedral, Mendelssohn’s Elijah in the historic Speech Room of Harrow School – celebrating Harrow Choral Society’s 75th anniversary - and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle.
  • Counter tenor:

    Nicholas Hariades
    Nicholas Hariades was born and brought up in London - his father was Greek, his mother English. He was educated in Wells Cathedral School, Somerset where he sang in the cathedral choir, and at Southampton University, reading medicine and then physiology whilst taking singing lessons privately in London. After university he moved to Germany to carry on studying singing. Soon after, he made his professional debut in the Hessen State Theatre, Wiesbaden. His career as a singer has taken him to some of the most prestigious opera houses in Europe including the Zurich Opera House, Comic Opera Berlin and Vienna Volksoper. He is also an active concert and recital performer. At present he lives with his wife and two children near Munich, Germany.
  • Tenor:

    Tom Raskin
    Tom was born in Bath and studied at the RNCM in Manchester and New College, Oxford, before going on to become a Britten-Pears Young Artist, studying at Aldeburgh. Together with numerous other awards, Tom has been the recipient of a major Scholarship from the Peter Moores Foundation since 2000 which has funded study both in Italy and London. His international concert appearances have included St Mark’s Basilica, Venice for Monteverdi Vespers and Siberia for Messiah in the Novisibirsk Festival and he has also sung regularly for the London Handel Festival at St George’s, Hanover Square, Recent other concerts have included Dee Palmer’s Nuremberg Cantata in Hove, Christmas Oratorio in Harwich and Rossini Stabat Mater & Puccini Messa di Gloria in Colchester. Tom has also sung regularly for world-renowned vocal groups The Sixteen and the Monteverdi Choir. Tom performed with us in the summer of 2011 for our performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle
  • Bass:

    Trevor Bowes
    Trevor Bowes was born in Victoria, Canada and studied at the University of Toronto, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme and at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Among his many operatic roles are the title role in “Le Nozze di Figaro”, Leporello (Don Giovanni), and Don Alfonso (Cosi Fan Tutte). Other major concert appearances include Bach’s Cantata 71 under Helmuth Rilling in the Toronto International Bach Festival and the thief in Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” with the RSNO. Trevor has also performed in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Hamburg and since 2008 has worked regularly for Opera North in Leeds where he has performed and covered various roles. Highlights include performing opposite Sarah Connolly as Talbot in Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda”, and the drum-maker in Jonathan Dove’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio Trevor performed with us in our French Affair concert in the Spring of 2014.

Booking information

Tickets cannot be purchased for past events.

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