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J S Bach's St John Passion

Academy of Ancient Music

A thorny bush

On Good Friday, Laurence Cummings and the Academy of Ancient Music bring all their insight and commitment to the rarely heard 1725 version of JS Bach’s St John Passion

‘Crush me, you rocks and hills; heaven, hurl your bolts at me!’ J S Bach’s setting of the Passion according to St John is one of the supreme masterpieces of sacred music, but it’s also an intensely human story – a drama of turmoil and betrayal, suffering and redemption, that never loses its urgency. It’s a Good Friday tradition wherever western music is performed.

This year, as Laurence Cummings takes up the musical direction of the Academy of Ancient Music, he brings a strikingly personal perspective to this towering work. He’s using Bach’s less familiar 1725 version – in which Bach subtly adjusts his focus from heaven to Earth, from the Divine to the all-too-human, without losing any of the majesty and searing emotional power of this timeless spiritual drama. Music to refresh the spirit, performed with heart and soul.

This performance ends at approximately 5.30pm, with a 20-minute interval.

Produced by the Academy of Ancient Music


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Subject to availability


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Pre-concert talk

14:00, Barbican Hall

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