Bach's St Mark Passion in a new English translation,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER
The last twenty years or so have seen a flurry of activity surrounding J S Bach's St Mark Passion. Only the libretto survives, but the similarity of the verse structure of some numbers has led scholars to the composer's Trauer-Ode, BWV 198, as the likely origin of some of the music. Several reconstructions have been performed and recorded; Derby Bach Choir has gone one better by commissioning the work's first English translation from Nicholas Fisher and John Russell, of which they have just given the premiere (Derby Cathedral, Derby, UK, 24 March 2012).
Its modern-English take on the story mostly succeeds, though it still needs some fine-tuning -- there are a number of places where verbal stresses do not mesh with musical ones, and some of the word repetition sounds odd...
Copyright © 29 March 2012