Bottomless pits

Just occasionally one is in the presence of something truly remarkable.  And St John Passion tonight in Perth Concert Hall was one of them.  If you ever get the chance to hear Mark Padmore singing the Evangelist, don’t miss it.  I am not easily moved to tears but this did it for me.  Peter’s denial … and the scourging …  He had the ability to put Bach somewhere in the back of his throat and create a sound which tore your heartstrings.  Where had I heard anything like it before?   I fell to thinking of traumatic funerals which I have conducted and the unrestrained outpouring of grief .. and this sound was like it but far, far more devastating because it was channelled and focused.  It opened up a window into bottomless pits of fear and anger and desolation – a glimpse of what it means to crucify the Son of God then and now.  I couldn’t cope with that every day or every week – but it reminds me of the level on which worship should engage us … just sometimes.


  1. I got to your site via Australia (would you believe).
    Oratorio is my favourite form of music. It is a wonderful way to express one’s religious devotion.

  2. It was a quite extrordinary performance. I have sung in this twice, in English and German with sizeable choirs, and thought that I knew it reasonably well. But 11 singers (including the soloists) and a wonderful band with period instruments performed this work as if freshly minted. Peter’s denial haunts me still.

    One of the best things was that a really sizeable audience turned out on a Monday night to experience what was a world class evening.

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