Magazine article Gramophone

Chilcott: St John Passion

Magazine article Gramophone

Chilcott: St John Passion

Article excerpt

Chilcott

St John Passion Ed Lyon ten Evangelist Neal Davies bass Christ Darren Jeffery bass-bar Pilate Laurie Ashworth sop Matthew Souter va Richard May vc Nick Baron tjrnp Jonathan Vaughn or a Wells Cathedral Choir, Oratorio Society and Voluntary Choir; Chaconne Brass / Matthew Owens Signum (F) SIGCD412 (68' * DDD * T)

Bob Chilcott's compact St John Passion follows in outline Bach's work. It opens powerfully: the chorus proclaim Christ as saviour of mankind, Chaconne Brass introducing these verses in a declamatory style. Ed Lyon sings his long role with conviction. The voice is agile, a touch monochrome at times, but the words are clear and at key moments in the drama, as in 'The Crucifixion', he comes into his own with some expressive singing in the upper register. Neal Davies in his portrayal of Christ has a more sombre timbre, with brass and organ lending gravity to his words. Darren Jeffery, in the passive role of Pilate, is the lighter baritone. Laurie Ashworth's pure timbre complements the ethereal choral tone in two of the meditations, striking an appropriately personal note in 'Christ, my beloved', where the tender part-writing is a pleasure to hear. …

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