Eminent Evangelist Mark Padmore guides us on the journey of Christ to the cross in St John Passion with Soprano Mary Bevan, Tenor Laurence Kilsby, Mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy and Bass Raoul Steffani. The word ‘Passion’ is rooted in the Latin word for suffering and tonight’s concert is a meditation on suffering and an attempt to make some sense of it.
‘The Wilderness Pleases’ is inspired by one of the many influential pieces of work to come out of the Enlightenment era; Shaftesbury’s ‘The Moralists.’
In the book, the main character Theocles describes the terror of encountering a group of crocodiles in an Egyptian desert. After escaping the monsters, he is overcome with a desire to admire them as wondrous creatures of the natural world. He says,
‘let us fly to the vast deserts of these parts […] ghastly and hideous as they appear they want not their peculiar beauties. Wilderness pleases.’