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St John Passion at Durham Cathedral (Avison Ensemble)

Tickets: £8 to £28.

Tickets available from Durham Cathedral Visitor Desk, by phone on 0191 3387 178 or online here.

The Avison Ensemble and Durham Cathedral Choir
Conducted by Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral

We are delighted to be performing Bach's St. John Passion with the Choir of Durham Cathedral in the stunning surroundings of Durham Cathedral and under the direction of Daniel Cook, who has recently taken up the position of Master of the Choristers and Organist at Durham Cathedral having been Sub-Organist and Assistant Director of Music at Westminster Abbey.

Bach's St. John Passion was the first setting of the passion story that he composed after assuming the prestigious position of cantor at the Thomas Church in Leipzig, being first performed on the afternoon of Good Friday, 7th April 1724. Of the two surviving Passions by Bach, the St. Matthew Passion is the more impressive, but the St. John Passion is the more dramatic. It is not as comforting and consoling as the St. Matthew Passion and is the more stark and painful evocation of the Passion story.

The St. John Passion is a compelling biblical narration of the crucifixion story, with a penetrating reflection of the meaning of the events as described by John. Listeners find themselves alternating between active participation in the events and meaningful contemplation. The conclusion of the St John Passion is very different from that of the Matthew; it is affirming, confident and assuredly looking forward to the life beyond, whereas Matthew leaves us simply with entombment.