Tom and Cheryl Elliott have created a beautiful and might I say – user-friendly Gospel According to Bach project. With deep, Gospel-centered music-making, this is a meaningful and wonderful endeavor. Highly recommended!”
David Kim, Concertmaster, The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Gospel according to Bach is a moving and devotional setting of one of the great, Christ-exalting musical masterpieces. Beautifully played by trombone and string ensemble, the arias sing and the Passion text comes alive. As a pastor, and one who cares very much that that the message comes across clearly to the audience, I heartily recommend The Gospel according to Bach as a wonderful opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and the reason for his death on the cross for sinners. It will be a blessing to believers and a clear declaration of our Christian hope to unbelievers.
Rev. Ben Falconer, Senior Pastor of Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, PA
The Gospel According to Bach masterfully presents the essence of the Saint Matthew Passion with a reduced, but superb, instrumentation and edited content. I can think of few more powerful ways to convey the message of Christ’s death and resurrection for audiences that may be challenging to reach.
Dr. William Edgar, Musicologist and Theologian, Westminster Theological Seminary Glenside , Pennsylvania
It was Christ that tells Peter, “ you will deny me three times before the rooster crows.” “And he went out and wept bitterly.” I was moved to tears. In Erbarme dich the duo between violin and trombone are beautiful and so expressive as were with viola and trombone in Aus Liebe. Because the trombone is playing the vocal solo parts, through his expression, I experienced the emotion of the text. The chorales sung by the audience accompanied by the ensemble were inspirational; it made me desire to sing all the more.
Anne Martindale Williams, Principal Cello, Pittsburgh Symphony
Bach’s St. Matthew Passion comes alive in new ways through Elliott’s adaptation for chamber ensemble. The intimate scoring is perfect for the very personal, devotional story that the Passion tells, and the creative presentation is inspiring to both musicians and audiences.
Dr. Ryan Kelly, director of music, Proclamation Presbyterian Church, Bryn Pa.
The most influential composer of music in all history is undoubtedly J. S. Bach, and one of his most moving and enduring treasures is the St. Matthew Passion. But this towering artistic juggernaut is so massive, so intimidating, that few people in our culture can appreciate it. Its length, its language (German), and its sheer musical complexity and gravity, all contribute to keeping people away. In their lovely presentation “The Gospel According to Bach,” Tom and Cheryl Elliott, consummate and thoughtful musicians both, have done a great service to all music lovers (especially those who share Bach’s Christian faith) in providing a more accessible introduction to and condensation of some of the most moving moments in the Passion. Listen and be moved!
Dan McCartney Prof. of New Testament, Redeemer Theological Seminary (ret’d). Horn and founding member, The Westminster Brass
The Gospel According to Bach is a beautiful, novel way to experience one of Bach’s greatest works. The Elliott duo’s lush tone and lyricism evoke the original vocal lines with great success. Supported by an impressive continuo section, The Gospel According to Bach will provide a delightful re-imagining of the St. Matthew Passion for anyone who has enjoyed it in the past.
Gideon Whitehead, Classical guitar soloist and recording artist
. . . a unique and powerful expression of the Gospel through the timeless music of J.S. Bach, the Father of Western Music. Professional trombonist Tom Elliott, violinist Cheryl Elliott and friends open to us the inimitable, living Gospel in a new and unique manner. Integrating musical artistry of the first order with narration and congregational participation, the beauty, splendor, and magnificence of the Word is reflected in the music of the master, J.S. Bach.
Dr. Kenneth Laudermilch, Prof of Instrumental Music, West Chester University (ret), Principal Trumpet of the Westminster Brass, and Substitute Trumpet with the Philadelphia Orchestra (ret).
As Director of Music at Deerfield Presbyterian Church in South Jersey, I was privileged to provide the venue for the first full performance of The Gospel According To Bach, an incredibly moving piece. The beauty of the music, combined with the power of the Gospel narration, created an overwhelming impact on the appreciative audience. The universal appeal of Bach’s music makes this a wonderful vehicle to attract people from the surrounding community into a church. It could also be included as part of a conference, convention or concert series.
Evelyn R. Larter, director of music, Deerfield Presbyterian Church
Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion came alive to me in a new way on Good Friday. Rather than just listening to the message sung in German, I entered into it via the universal language and emotion of the instruments, illuminated by the spoken English translation of the gospel and related arias, recitative, and chorales. More than a performance, magnificent as it was, this recital became an entry into worship, and a model for all who want to learn how to meditate on scripture.
Elsie Buyer Viehman, educator and member of Chreshiem Valley Church