This summer the choir of Dartington International Summer School will mark the 300th anniversary of C. P. E. Bach’s birth by performing the composer’s 1784 St John Passion on instruments authentic to the period.
The St John Passion was long thought to be lost; ﬁrst performed in 1772, was rediscovered in 1999 in a Kiev library and is now held by the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin. As part of the celebrations for the composer’s tercentenary this year, conductor Kirill Karabits has performed his own new edition of the Passion with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Singers.
Dartington’s performance of the St John Passion will mark the first performance in several hundred years that has used historically authentic instruments for the piece. Andrew Griffiths will conduct and tenor Charles Daniels will sing the role of the Evangelist.
Nicholas Daniel, artistic director of this year’s summer school, said: ‘I am really pleased that a major work by the great composer C. P. E. Bach will have its first performance in a few hundred years on instruments appropriate to the period at Dartington this summer.
‘This is a typical example of how the school can give a unique educational and musical experience to our participants, breaking new ground and bringing important works back to the light of day, whether they be 25 or 250 years old.’
The performance will take place as part of the Dartington Concert on 1 August at the Great Hall. The concert’s programme will also include J. S. Bach’s motet ‘Lobet den Herrn’, as well as works by Agostino Steffani and Jan Dismas Zelenka.