J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

St. John Passion

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Benjamin Britten
Accompaniment/Orchestra:English Chamber Orchestra
Soloists:Peter Pears (Evangelist)
Gwynne Howell (Jesus)
Heather Harper (soprano)
Alfreda Hodgson (alto)
Robert Tear (tenor)
John Shirley-Quirk (bass, Pilate)
Individual Works:St. John Passion
Record Label:London
Catalog Number:443 859-2
Year Released/Recorded:1971
Total Playing Time:130:28
Comments:James C. Liu said:

An intriguing recording with an English-language translation of the libretto, made by Peter Pears and Imogen Holst, with committed, passionate singing and playing from all parties concerned, and Britten's intelligent hand guiding the proceedings.

Andrew Smith said:

This recording is highly recommended by the Penguin Guide (it has a rosette rating), but the recording is technically defective by modern standards (thick, turgid sound quality, noticeable background noise, audible edits, etc). I would say that it is essential listening for Britten/Piers enthusiasts, but is probably best avoided by others. Peter Piers' voice is very much an aquired taste, and is unlikely to be enjoyed by those who don't know it.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • James C. Liu
  • Andrew Smith
Date First Submitted:04/25/1998