Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Passion According to St John by Johann Sebastian Bach

The Scots' Church Choir & Orchestra

Every year I celebrate Easter and Christmas at church either with my family back when I was in Indonesia or now with my husband :) During Easter on Good Friday, I always hear about the story of Jesus died on the cross. Usually I will be playing the piano or organ at my local church, but for the last 2 years, I was part of Scots' Choir and Orchestra performing Bach's St John Passion and this year, I was assigned to play the continuo organ on the Klop organ for the first time!

I got through it with a lot of help from the musical family of Douglas Lawrence, Jacob Lawrence (who sang as Evangelist) and Elizabeth Anderson, who gave a lot of helpful hints and tremendous encouragement at every rehearsals. One of her tips was to be brave in the recitative! 

It is a game of endurance that requires full concentration in everything, from reading the notes to listening carefully to the Soloists and reading the text in German! In Geelong before our first performance started, Fiona, the lovely cellist who also played the continuo part said "See you on the other end", and I realised that the game is on!

Besides spending a lot of hours of practicing by myself and also with the recording, there are few other things that got me through the 2-hour Passion:
1. I ate a banana an hour before the concert starts as a source of energy.
2. My specs to help me read the notes. I don't wear them on regular basis, only for serious events!
3. A helpful and important reminder to WAKE UP from the Conductor during the last few items of the program :D
4. My little footstool to help me to sit in a better position.

a 4-stop continuo organ by Henk Klop

To sum up, it was an A M A Z I N G experience.
A very hard work but in the end everything was worth it!
Looking forward to another opportunity in many years to come :)

~ Please click here to view more pictures ~

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