Reviews

"A Fervent St. John Passion Soars!"—Chicago Tribune

"[T]he performance was worthy of a timeless masterpiece that remains at once a monumental expression of Protestant religious belief and a deeply moving human drama ... the 26-voice 'Chicago Bach Choir,' as it was called – prepared by former Lyric Opera chorus director Donald Nally – sang with discipline and expressivity.

"Nelson's long experience as an interpreter of Bach's sacred choral music was evident in the firm yet flexible control he exerted throughout. The drama of Christ's Passion and death moved swiftly when it needed to but always there was enough breathing room for the music to take on a comforting glow, particularly in the Lutheran chorales in which the congregation reflects on each turn of events."—John von Rhein

"The Chicago Bach Project chorus was a poignant foundation throughout the evening. Nelson aptly pulled out warmth and pathos from the ensemble and balanced it with brisk tempi and crisp articulation, reveling in Bach’s warmest and most somber harmonies. Together they created a wonderfully moving conscience for Bach’s audience.—Clef Notes: Chicagoland Journal or the Arts

"In this second installment of the Chicago Bach Project’s annual celebration, with these powerful elements at his disposal, Nelson did not stop at the mere creation of great music. He recognized that Bach’s goal was a larger, and far more important one. At its core, Bach’s Passion was meant to communicate the depth and weight of powerful sacred texts. And Wednesday evening, maestro Nelson honored a grateful St. Vincent’s audience with a performance that brilliantly served that vital purpose."—Fred Cummings

"A Fervent St. John Passion Soars!"

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Chicago Bach Project 2012 St John Passion  

Long after the last note faded, the last claps diminished, and the pews emptied, resonances of the glorious music made on April 4, 2012, continue. Soli Deo Gloria's second annual Chicago Bach Project presentation, Bach's dramatic St. John Passion, left an imprint on all who heard it. We've posted photos and audience comments so you can share in some of the impact of the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

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  Chicago Bach Project banner in front of St. Vincent de Paul Church

"I just came from the performance of the St John Passion, and it was so moving and beautifully done. I'd like to specifically recognize Mr. Phan, who sang the role of the Evangelist so passionately, and the excellent chorus. What a wonderful way to mark Holy Week!"

"Tonight's performance was the pinnacle of Holy Week for me. Tremendous in every respect. Thank you all!!" 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  Chicago Bach Choir and Orchestra

"The concert was wonderful. It was not just a musical experience to relive the familiar text with the personal responses of the arias and chorales undergirded of deeply moving music. I would have preferred being there but WFMT's streaming audio and SDG's program notes and text made listening at home a delight."

 

 

 

 

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  Front altar at St. Vincent de Paul Church

"I was in attendance at st. Vincent de Paul Church for the performance of Bach's St. John's Passion ... It was magnificent. When it was finished, I was wishing that you could start all over again. I have never experienced a piece of music like I did that one."

"The St. John Passion was a true treat - just the thing for Easter week ... There was a large crowd and Chicago should be thankful to John Nelson for bringing this gift for the most important of all Christian festivals."

 

 

 

 

 

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John Nelson conducting the St. John Passion  
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  St. John Passion performance at St. Vincent de Paul Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Last night's concert, Bach's St. John Passion, was truly exceptional event: the choral music was as close to sublime as it gets, this side of heaven, and the voice of the Evangelist rung out so clear, strong, and sonorous, with great depth of feeling, and majesty. It was deeply moving to follow it all ... Truly sublime, and thanks to the vision and hard work of all at Soli Deo Gloria, and the masterful musicians who work with them, on this occasion under the masterful leadership of conductor, John Nelson."

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Rose window and organ pipes at St. Vincent de Paul Church  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[PHOTOS COURTESY OF EDWARD INGOLD]

BACH'S MASS IN B MINOR, MARCH 27, 2013

The St. John Passion is the second installment in our series of performances of Johann Sebastian's "sacred trilogy" presented by the Chicago Bach Project during Holy Week in Chicago. The cycle began with the St. Matthew Passion in 2011 and will continue in 2013 with the Mass in B Minor. Mark your calendar now for Wednesday, March 27, 2013. To receive updates on the Chicago Bach Project and Soli Deo Gloria's quarterly newsletter, sign up for our enews.