The Gesualdo Six and St Mary’s Singers: Arvo Pärt's Passio

Join The Gesualdo Six and St Mary’s Singers for a Special Evening Service for the Feast of Holy Cross.  For many years St Mary's Singers have performed one of JS Bach's Passions in a devotional service at Truro Cathedral on Palm Sunday.  As a new departure,  for Palm Sunday 2020 St Mary's Singers were pleased to plan a performance, with The Gesualdo Six, of Arvo Pärt's Passio, his depiction of St John's Passion account. 

This service will be live-streamed on this page at 18:00 and the replay will be available to watch on this page after the service has finished. If you have any problems viewing the live-stream or replay, please visit our YouTube channel

Download the Order of Service

The Gesualdo Six has a growing international reputation as a vocal group and members include former Truro Cathedral assistant director of music Joseph Wicks.  Sadly, the COVID pandemic prevented this planned Palm Sunday performance in both 2020 and 2021.  St Mary's Singers are very pleased finally to have the opportunity to present this 70-minute work in a special evensong at Truro Cathedral on Sunday 19 September, to mark the Feast Of Holy Cross.

Ian Brown Chairman of St Mary's Singers says  'In this work, composed by the Estonian Composer in 1982, Pärt deepens the drama of the narration of the evangelist by sharing it between 8 soloists, comprising 4 voices and 4 instruments, singly or in combinations. The tension builds as a single solo voice gradually increases to a combination of all 8 parts, then back to one part again, several times. Pilate and Christ have particular musical characters, whilst the Chorus, in crossing and interweaving parts, fills the cathedral space with the crowd's interjections and demands. The cathedral space itself becomes a vital part of Pärt's depiction of the story with the sounds melding and fading in the many pauses that Pärt uses as moments of reflection. The conversation between Christ and Pilate is particularly absorbing - a welcome calm away from the crowds initially but growing in restless intensity until a crash of an organ chord announces the baying of the crowd again. We hope that you will be able to join us to hear this striking work, in an ideal setting, in the context of a service of reflection, with soloists and musical direction by The Gesualdo Six'

Entry is free with a retiring collection.



Truro Cathedral is a self-funded organisation and relies on public donations to meet costs, especially after having been significantly financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is finding ways to continue to support its community through activities such as live-streaming. Truro Cathedral welcomes regular or single donations from its supporters. If you would like to set up a regular or single donation, please either contact us via info@trurocathedral.org.uk or 01872 276782. You can also make regular donations by visiting the cathedral JustGiving page