The Passion According to St John: Severn Voices

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Event Description

Passio Secundum Johannem
The Passion According to St John
Johann Sebastian Bach 

Sung in English on the 300th Anniversary of the first performance

Severn Voices with the Sabrina Players

Jesus: Martin Robson
Evangelist: Peter Wilman
Soloists: Es Hoyle, Sebastian Field, Paul Badley, Oscar Buswell

£20 – Front Nave
£15 – Rear Nave
Available to purchase online or on the door

Introducing Bach’s Passion….

Imagine a world where there is no sound of any motor, where there is no such thing as ‘background music’ on the radio, and no internet creating instant entertainment. A world where every moment of music was created at that moment. And where music was regarded as one of the doors into Heaven. This was Leipzig in 1724, where music was a door to God’s mercy, so much so, that the boys of the Tomanerchor (the choir Bach directed at the St Thomas church) sang hymns outside the condemned murderer’s cell on the eve of their execution.

Good Friday 1724, three hundred years ago, was on April 7th and because no-one was working due to the solemnity of the day, all of Leipzig would have been required to attend one of the churches. No doubt the service at the St Nicholas church was the ‘hot ticket’ that year. For, this was the venue of the first performance of Bach’s Johnannes Passion, or St John Passion, due to repairs being carried out on the Tomaskirche, Leipzig’s principal church.

Let’s zoom in on Leipzig and ask, ‘who’s that walking briskly towards the St Nicholas church?’ He’s followed by a gang of men carrying a harpsichord. That’s him, of course, our ‘city composer’, Johann Bach, followed by his office staff, clutching sheaves of music manuscript. The harpsichord has been specially repaired, whith funds from the city, and his new ‘Passion’ is the talk of the town. Everyone wants a seat to hear his divine music and have a glimpse into a heavenly world.

To celebrate Bach’s achievement, we seek to create this sublime experience once again, three hundred years later to the day, and possibly the hour, where a community comes together to perform and hear music which opens the doors to Heaven.

Please join us at Christchurch, Avenue Rd. Malvern WR14 3AY on Sunday April 7th, 2024 – please note early start time of 6.30pm.


Sunday 7 April 2024


Christ Church


Christ Church

Avenue Road


WR14 3BG

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