On Saturday, I took part in a performance of JS Bach’s St John Passion BWV 245 at St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, an in-house performance of the work. The professional church choir, of whom I am one of the altos, shared the solo arias as step-outs: I sang Von den Stricken meiner Sünden. Director of Music Stephen Farr played continuo with music scholar & cellist Finlay Spence and an orchestra of instrumentalists from the associated Royal College of Music was directed by Assistant Organist Michael Papadopoulos.
Clare McCaldin was a passionate and inventive interpreter of these disparate texts (Hugh Wood’s “Beginnings”). Her dramatic punching-out of the word ‘fists’ at the end of the central setting contrasted well with her gorgeous dying fall in the concluding bars of the opening song and the ecstatic, sustained ‘Domine’ which brought the piece to an emotionally satisfying close.