Monday 22 March 2021

Holy Week Festival at Saint John's Smith Square

The annual Holy Week Festival at St John's Smith Square, artistic director Nigel Short, will be taking place on-line this year from 28 March to 5 April 2021. The festival opens on Palm Sunday with a sequence of music and readings from Nigel Short and Tenebrae with music from Weelkes and Victoria to Casals and Poulenc. 

Violinist Lana Trotovšek will join four of Tenebrae's Associate Artists for a programme which interleaves Bach's music for solo violin with chorales, and the Revolutionary Drawing Room will be performing Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross with readings from The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle. 

There will be live-streamed services on Spy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday with Tenebrae providing music including Victoria, Allegri, Bruckner, and Tallis, and on Easter Saturday, Amici Voices perform Bach's St Matthew Passion.

For me, though the highlight must be violinist Bojan Čičić and organist Steven Devine's two concerts on Easter Sunday covering all of Biber's amazing Rosary Sonatas. On Easter Monday there is the London Handel Festival's Messiah Reimagined, which combines live performance from Lawrence Cummings, the London Handel Orchestra, Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies and Edward Grint, with on-line performances of the choruses.

All but the St Matthew Passion are free of charge (donations welcome) and available to watch for 30 days after broadcast.

Full details from the St John's Smith Square website.

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