Johann Sebastian Bach’s St John Passion with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle was one of the outstanding events of the season 2013/2014. The New York Times praised the “brilliant and energetic” playing of the orchestra, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the “haunting, almost unsurpassable singing of all those involved”. The top-class ensemble of singers was led by Mark Padmore, one of the leading Evangelist interpreters of our day.
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“Sellars is an intrinsically 'musical' director...Williams's Christ all but steals the show - even alongside tenor Mark Padmore whose Evangelist fearlessly interrogates as well as interprets the narrative...this St John Passion has a thought a thought-provoking and unsettling authenticity that can be overwhelming.” BBC Music Magazine
“On its own terms - and how else should we take it? - the performance makes for the kind of compulsive but almost unwatchable experience familiar from Zimmermann's Die Soldaten and the films of Michael Haneke...[the members of the Berlin Philharmonic] seem more ready to match the singers and colour the text than four years previously in their recording of the St Matthew.” Gramophone