During the 1990s, I created a version of the Gospel of St John which I performed at various venues in the UK, and this was recorded as a CD in 2000. As a reading of the entire Gospel would take over three hours, I adapted the text to make a comfortable performance time - 1 hour 47 minutes, with an interval break (after Track 10 in the digital recording) - while maintaining the continuity of the story. A selection of musical extracts act as a counterpoint to the words.

I chose to read St John because I think it is the most poetic of of all the Gospels, containing many familiar passages and stories, and with several fine dramatic moments. I chose the Jerusalem Bible text, partly because it was being widely used, but also because its contemporary tone and intelligibility make it especially suitable for a dramatic reading.

Text taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday & Co Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.

Music extracts from: Handel Coronation Anthems. Philips 412 733-2.
Academy and Chorus of St Martin-In-The-Fields. Extracts used by kind permission of Universal Music.
Monteverdi Vespro della beata Vergine. EMI CDS 7 47078 8.
Taverner Consort, Choir, and Players appear by courtesy of EMI Classics.
Allegri Renaissance Masterpieces. Pickwick PCD 806.
Pro Cantione Antiqua. Extracts used by courtesy of Pro Cantione Antiqua.
Fauré Requiem. Naxos 8.550765.
Schola Cantorum of Oxford, and Oxford Camerata. Extracts courtesy of Naxos Music UK Ltd.
Gorecki Ikos, EMI CDC 5 55096 2.
Choir of Kings College Cambridge appears by courtesy of EMI Classics.
Tavener Innocence. Sony SK 66613.
English Chamber Orchestra and Westminster Abbey Choir. Extracts reproduced by kind permission of Sony Classical.
Byrd Mass for Four Voices. EMI CD-EMX 9505.
Choir of St John’s College Cambridge appears by courtesy of EMI Classics.
Pergolesi Stabat Mater. Deutsche Grammophon 415 103-2.
London Symphony Orchestra. Extract used by kind permission of Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft mbH, Hamburg.

David Crystal is gratetul to all those involved with his performances of The St John Gospel, and with the production of this CD
Performance lighting and sound direction: Jan Thomas, Mike Gould
Cross: devised by Ben Crystal, built by Les Shepherd
Special thanks to Ben Crystal and Hilary Crystal for help with direction,
Tony McNicholl for technical assistance, and J C Davies for cover photography.

All rights of the producer and of the owner of the works reproduced reserved; unauthorised copying, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting of this record prohibited.

Disc 1

In the beginning was the Word Handel: Zadok the Priest
This is how John appeared Monteverdi: Responsorium
There was a wedding at Cana Monteverdi: Sonata sopra Sancta Maria
There was one of the Pharisees Monteverdi: Sonata sopra Sancta Maria
Jesus went with his disciples Monteverdi: Nis dominus
He came to a Samaritan town Handel: Exceeding glad
There was a Jewish festival Handel: Glory and worship
There was a man named Lazarus Fauré: In paradisum

Disc 2

The Jewish Passover drew near Handel: The King shall rejoice
Jesus found a young donkey Tavener: Hymn for the dormition
Do not let your hearts be troubled Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine
Jesus left with his disciples Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine
They then led Jesus Tavener: Dies irae
Pilate then had Jesus taken away Tavener: Song for Athene
In the evening of that same day Monteverdi: Sit laus
Jesus showed himself again Pergolesi: Stabat mater
This disciple is the one Handel: Alleluja