Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bach to normal

Tonight was the performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's St John Passion by my daughter's school choir. I sing in the parents' section of the choir, so this was a big moment in our household.
I used to sing in the choir when I was at school, but because of my working hours, I've never been able to commit to anything on a weekday evening, which is when most choirs rehearse. However, the parents' choir rehearses on Saturday mornings, which is the one day I am guaranteed to be off work every week.
I find singing in a choir incredibly therapeutic. It is impossible to think about anything else, especially if you're trying to get your head around a tricky bit of Bach counterpoint and your tongue around a mouthful of German consonants.
The St John Passion isn't as well-known as the St Matthew Passion, but it's still a very moving account of the death of Christ. It's quite dramatic in structure, with the Evangelist narrating the story, while the choir either acts the part of the angry crowd or gives voice to a prayer. Right at the end is my favourite chorus, Ruht wohl ("Sleep well"). I've linked to a version here in case anyone wants to have a listen. It's not us singing unfortunately, but it's a pretty similar rendition in terms of size of orchestra etc.
Now it's over, I won't know what to do with my Saturday mornings. Oh, yes - I know. The garden! I'd forgotten all about it...