Arvo Pärt’s St. John Passion stands foremost among the large number of works which can be assigned to the liturgical period of the Passion, for he takes up the narrative tradition of the Christian liturgy yet dramatises the Passion story to reveal historical and even timeless aspects as well. What most clearly distinguishes his works from other liturgical compositions is the silence, the many pauses. The missing notes are in some ways more important than those which have been composed. ‘Silence is always more perfect than music. One must just learn to hear this.’ (Arvo Pärt)
Resounding through Durham Cathedral, Arvo Pärt’s St. John Passion is performed by the world-renowned Hilliard Ensemble, the Western Wind Choir and numerous soloists (including John Potter as Pilate and Michael George as Christ) under the overall direction of Paul Hillier.