On Sunday, 5th April the London Symphony Chorus has another opportunity to perform James MacMillan’s “St. John Passion” with the LSO. 12 years ago, under its dedicatee Sir Colin Davis, we had the pleasure to premiere this substantial passion, and to record it for LSO Live. At the time it was acclaimed as “a landmark of contemporary music”. This revisiting of the piece will be conducted by Gianandrea Noseda with Marcus Farnsworth as the baritone soloist.
In the booklet that accompanied the LSO Live recording, James MacMillan noted how “since my student days in Edinburgh, I have regularly participated in the Grgorian or Dominican chanting of the Crucifixion story. He continued, “I was also aware of the paradoxical tension created between the two highly contrasted musical contexts – liturgical chant and music drama.”
The critic in Gramophone magazine added, “MacMillan’s many admirers will deem it an essential acquisition.”