Share our Passion week 1: our new Bach recording, and how you can get involved

In April 2013 we will record JS Bach’s original 1724 version of the St John Passion — a work of intimate scale and moving lyricism which reaches immediately to the emotional heart of the passion story.

The total cost of this recording is £50,000, of which £45,000 has already been raised. Just £5,000 is now needed to make the project possible.

We’re looking for a group of people who share our love of Bach to give £10 each. Your generous support will be matched by Arts Council England, meaning that — with Gift Aid — a donation of £10 will be worth £22.50 to us.

Donate now
Find out about benefits

Over the past 40 years the AAM has made over 300 recordings of baroque and classical music, winning Brit and Grammy Awards along the way. This will be our first-ever recording of the St John Passion. With a superlative cast including James Gilchrist, Sarah Connolly, Andrew Kennedy, Elizabeth Watts, Christopher Purves and Matthew Rose, and directed by Richard Egarr, this will be a landmark project.

The St John Passion is an intensely personal experience, bringing to life the humanity of the passion story. Combining raw viscerality with moments of exquisite intimacy, it was written soon after Bach’s arrival as Kantor at Leipzig’s Thomasschule. Keen to impress a new congregation, Bach produced a setting of the age-old passion story which overshadowed almost every piece of liturgical music the world had previously known. Our recording aims to capture the authenticity and vivacity of the very first Good Friday performance at Leizpig’s Nikolaikirche.

And if you’re still not convinced, come and see for yourself! Our recording will follow a performance featuring this cast at the Barbican on Good Friday, 29 March 2013. Click here for more details.

“The AAM’s authenticity here went to the core of Bach’s responses to the Easter story, and to the beating heart of his musical language”
The Times on our performance of the St John Passion, Good Friday 2009

This is the AAM’s first ever crowdfunding campaign. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, ‘crowdfunding’ means that we rely on you — our audience, and our fellow Bach fans — to help us reach our goal. It means that the project cannot happen without likeminded people taking action and making a donation.

The total cost of the St John Passion recording will be £50,000. We have already raised £45,000 towards this total. Our goal is to raise £5,000 by Good Friday, 29 March 2013, to make the project possible.

‘Matched funding’ means that every donation made to the campaign, no matter how small or large, will be matched and therefore doubled by funding from Arts Council England. Gift Aid stretches your gift even further, meaning that a donation of £10 actually becomes a gift of £22.50!

We’re not only asking you to support this project today; we’re inviting you to come along for the entire journey. Our Passion blog will feature interesting facts about the version we’re recording and our cast, interviews from the artists themselves, a daily journal from inside the recording studio, and more. And we’ll keep you informed about our fundraising milestones achieved along the way.

Next week we’ll start looking into the St John Passion in greater depth, with an exclusive interview with AAM Music Director Richard Egarr. Subscribe to our blog at the bottom of this page to get the film straight to your inbox.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s