Friday, October 9, 2009

St John Passion in English

I have been listening again to the performance conducted by Benjamin Britten. This is a very famous performance- still available on CD, though I first got it on LPs in the 70s.

It start controversially at the very first word - Sire!, rather than LORD, because Britten and Imogen Holst thought the word Lord did not have enough impact. For me, now that I know the German quite well, I think I am missing a bit of the impact of the German words. It is a point, because of course we want the people hearing the work to know what is going on. In Canberra the most recent performance I was in was a curious hybrid, where the arias and choruses were in German, but the recit was in English. I suppose it worked. I think I sang St John four times in Canberra. It is still an emotionally draining work

At the moment I am listening to the Evangelist sung by Peter Pears. This is a very special performance.

1 comment:

daharja said...

Oh gosh, you're so much more refined than me.

I've been checking out villainous lairs for my Evil Twin:

Villainous starter home


Melting arctic ice reveals over 100 secret villainous lairs

What? You didn't know I had an Evil Twin?

Ahhhhhh! But maybe I AM the Evil Twin!


[goes off to feed pet pirahnas]