Packing them in for a Passion
‘A packed audience in St John’s Church in Southdown, Harpenden, was treated to a simply magnificent performance of Bach’s landmark masterpiece, the John Passion on Saturday.
Terence Charlston expertly directed the whole performance from the organ with the Amici Baroque players, a wonderful ensemble of established professional musicians playing some unusual and rarely seen period instruments such as the Oboe da caccia and Violincello da Spalla.
They accompanied the Amici Voices, an incredibly exciting and vibrant chamber choir consisting of eight young singers who are final year or recent graduates from this country’s finest universities and music academies.
Members of Amici Voices had a busy night for not only were they singing the chorus movements of the work but also all of the character solos were sung by members of the choir. Special mention should go to Hiroshi Amako who sang the challenging role of the Evangelist with great energy and Jonathan Pacey whose rich bass tone brought real emotional sensitivity to the role of Jesus.
This really was music making of the very highest standard. The only disappointment is that we have to wait until December 6 to hear the Amici Voices and Amici Baroque players again when they perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the Harpenden’s High Street Methodist Church.’
RUSSELL TUCKER, Herts Advertiser, April 2014