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Bach: St John Passion CD


Price: £8.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Bach: St John Passion + Bach, J.S.: St. Matthew Passion
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Product details

  • Performer: Sir Peter Pears, Gwynne Howell, Heather Harper, Alfreda Hodgson
  • Orchestra: Wandsworth School Boys' Choir, English Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Benjamin Britten
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (14 Mar. 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Double Decca
  • ASIN: B00000425Q
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,886 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "Sire, Lord and Master"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir10:00Album Only
Listen  2. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "Jesus Went With His Disciples"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Gwynne Howell and Sir Peter Pears and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 2:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "O generous Love!"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Sir Peter Pears and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 1:08£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "So That the Word Might Be Fulfilled"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Sir Peter Pears 1:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "Thy Will Be Done, O God Of Love"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir0:55£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "The Band Then, Together With the Captain"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Sir Peter Pears0:49£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "To Release Me From the Prison"Alfreda Hodgson and Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra 5:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "Simon Peter Also Followed Jesus From Afar"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Sir Peter Pears0:18£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "I'll Follow Thee Also"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Heather Harper 4:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "Now That Same Disciple Was Known Unto the High Priest"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Gwynne Howell and Jenny Hill and Russell Burgess and Sir Peter Pears 3:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "Ah, Who Would Dare To Smite Thee?"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 1:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "Now Annas Sent Him Bound Unto the High Priest"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Russell Burgess and Sir Peter Pears 2:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "Ah! Take Flight"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Robert Tear 3:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part One - "Peter, Who Denied His Lord"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 1:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Christ, Who Gave Us Life and Light"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 1:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Then Led They Jesus From Caiaphas To the Judgement"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Gwynne Howell and John Shirley-Quirk and Sir Peter Pears and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 4:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Ah, King Of Heaven"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 1:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "And Pilate Said Unto Him"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Gwynne Howell and John Shirley-Quirk and Sir Peter Pears and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 2:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Look Yonder, O My Soul"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Gwynne Howell 3:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen20. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Consider, How His Body"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Robert Tear 9:26£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "And When the Soldiers Had Plaited a Crown Of Thorns"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Gwynne Howell and John Shirley-Quirk and Sir Peter Pears and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 7:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Thy Bonds, O Christ, Have Set Us Free"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 1:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "But the Jews Cried Out and Said"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and John Shirley-Quirk and Sir Peter Pears and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 4:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Haste, Ye Souls Forlorn and Weary"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and John Shirley-Quirk and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 5:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "And There Crucified They Him"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and John Shirley-Quirk and Sir Peter Pears and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 2:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Within My Heart, O Saviour"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 1:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "And Then Did the Soldiers"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Gwynne Howell and Sir Peter Pears and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 4:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "When His Life Had Reached Its End"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 1:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "And From That Hour He Took Her Unto His Own Home"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Gwynne Howell and Sir Peter Pears 1:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "The End Is Nigh"Alfreda Hodgson and Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Sir Peter Pears 6:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "My Dearest Saviour, Wilt Thou Answer?"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and John Shirley-Quirk and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 5:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "And Then Behold, the Veil Of the Temple Was Rent"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Sir Peter Pears0:30£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen13. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "My Heart, Behold How All the World"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Robert Tear 1:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "With Torrents Of Weeping"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Heather Harper 7:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "The Jews Therefore, Because It Was the Preparation"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Sir Peter Pears 2:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Help Us, Son Of God Most High"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 1:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "And After This, Joseph Of Arimethea"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Sir Peter Pears 3:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Farewell, O Weary, Broken Body"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 7:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. J.S. Bach: St. John Passion, BWV 245 / Part Two - "Lord Jesus, When We Come To Die"Benjamin Britten and English Chamber Orchestra and Wandsworth School Boys Choir 2:27£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By "quia-nihil-sum" on 10 April 2001
Format: Audio CD
If you are approaching Bach's wonderful Passion settings for the first time,you could not do yourself a bigger favour than to start your voyage of exploration with this quite lovely English language performance of the St.John.Almost nothing is lost in the translation from the German,and indeed this version was so carefully honed through successive performances,that at times it almost seems as though Bach had our native tongue in mind from the very start.
The Decca sound is well up to the standard of the period (1971) and aside from some bumps and thumps in the long opening chorus,it's almost ideally warm and full-bodied.
The musical forces involved are beyond my criticism:Benjamin Britten conducts with the authority and innate genius you would naturally expect,whilst the vocal soloists compete with each other to see who can most astound and beguile your ears next.Highlights include Heather Harper's stunning,"I'll follow thee also";Alfreda Hodgson's tear-jerking,"To release me from this prison";Robert Tear's tragic depiction of Peter's remorse after the denial of his friend,master and God,"Ah! take flight away from Human sight" and the magical,"Look yonder,O my soul" from the Bass John Shirley-Quirk.This last aria is Bach's meditiation on the supreme awfulness of the scourging of Jesus,and there are few more poignant or heart-rending moments in all music.J.S-Q gives it his most tender treatment and the ECO give him spine-tinglingly reverential support.
The crucial Choral element is in the safe collective hands of the assured Wandsworth School Boys' Choir under Russell Burgess.They are suitably indignantly incandescent in,"Ah! who would dare to smite thee ?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Crowe TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD
This recording was highly praised when it first appeared, but it hasn't worn too well. It all sounds a bit staid, and the sound is thick. The chorus is warm, but their sound too is heavy, and the chorales are sluggish. The soloists are fine; Gwynne Howell is a big-voiced Jesus, and Heather Harper, a great singer, is secure, although she sings her big aria rather straight -- is it possible that these singers might have been more familiar expressively with a German text? The major drawback, though, is Pears's Evangelist. He's sweet and expressive, but the voice is very uneven, and the sustained notes wobble distinctly. Compared with Anthony Rolfe Johnson on Gardiner's set (or even Haefliger, on the old Richter set), Pears does not seem particularly effective. The Chorus and the Evangelist are the heart of the St. John Passion, and it's the limitations with both that make this set perhaps less than it could have been. Britten's conducting -- in the days before the period instrument movement really took off -- is certainly efficient, but it doesn't seem all that interesting to me. I have to admit, though, that I don't much like another much-praised set: the Klemperer St. Matthew.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Penny Forum on 26 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ever since i first fell in love with this piece of music i have longed to hear it sung in english in the hope that it would add to my enjoyment, and thanks to the excellent, poetic Pears/Holst translation i can honestly confirm that there is a distinct pleasure in hearing this passion story in my own language.
My other copy of this work is the J.E. Gardiner version, which sounds better, with more clarity and space in the production, and this has coloured my rating of this version to just 4 stars.
I just wish that Gardiner would do the same and add english versions to his own canon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian A. White on 19 April 2014
Format: Audio CD
To those concerned about this being an English language version of Bach's work, I would say "Don't worry about a thing." Such is the quality of the translation by Peter Pears (who, as the narrator, gives an absolute master class in the singing of recitative) and Imogen Holst that, unless you are German and/or familiar with the original, I doubt that you will even be conscious that it isn't the original.

Though his whole realization of the St John Passion was developed and refined by Britten and his associates over many years, it seems almost as if, in this recording, that a capable amateur choir (that of the Wandsworth Boys' School) had got together with some professional instrumentalists and singers, under the direction of a conducter of exceptional ability, to give an impromptu performance of the Passion. Such vivid and heartfelt (yet controlled) singing and playing is something to be marvelled at, even after more than 40 years. It is "authentic" in the only way that really matters, ie, in its truth to the musical, dramatic and religious intentions of its creator.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 July 2001
Format: Audio CD
In so-justifiably handing out plaudits for this vigorous, vivid, utterly involving performance of Bach's St John Passion, the previous reviewer unaccountably fails to single out the soloist of whom we hear most in it, namely, Peter Pears (arguably the greatest English tenor of the twentieth century).
Let it be noted, therefore, that the control, variety and seemingly-effortless expressiveness that Pears brings to the singing of the Narrator warrants the utmost praise. It is difficult to imagine that it has ever been done as well, or will ever be done better.
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