Notes and Editorial Reviews
This magnificent recording of J.S. Bach's groundbreaking masterpiece, the St. John Passion, is the resulto f Jeannette Sorrell's visionary concept of a dramatic production which was presented in seven acclaimed performances in Cleveland and New York City in March, 2016. Leading her Cleveland-based baroque orchestra, Apollo's Fire, the Apollo's Singers and a stellar cast of soloists including tenor Nicholas phan as the Evangelist, baritone Jesse Blumberg as Jesus and baritone Jeffrey Strauss as Pilate, Sorrell's vision brings immediacy and clarity to Bach's dramatic setting of the Passion story according to the gospel of St. John. "A resplendent performance...The production belonged entirely to Ms. Sorrell, who devised the concept, which she called 'a dramatic presentation'...Jesse Blumberg sang the role of Jesus handsomely and acted vividly. Nicholas Phan sang the Evangelist beautifully, with unusual animation and dramatic vehemence. Jeffrey Strauss turned Pilate into a living, breathing figure for a change. The chorus allowed Ms. Sorrell some exquisite moments...breathtaking." - The New York Times
St. John Passion has dramatic tautness tempered by musical finesse nurtured by conductor Jeanette Sorrell. The Apollonian music-making is characterized by instrumental playing of elegant refinement, polished choral singing, and communicative delivery of the text. Sorrell's attention to detail ensures that in many respects this recording hits the sweet spot time and again.