what is bach's st matthew passion

Listen to John Eliot Gardiner’s benchmark recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion right now. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Thus, the score is laid out for Chorus 1 and Orchestra 1, Chorus 2 and Orchestra 2. The St. Matthew Passion was performed several times during the composer’s life, and a copy of its original manuscript exists in Bach’s own handwriting. We know Bach wrote an earlier setting when he was the ducal concertmeister in Weimar (1714-1717) though this has not survived. Warner Classics: 7777630585. Updates? John Eliot Gardiner’s benchmark recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion can be bought here. In 1725, two years after he took up his appointment of cantor at St. Thomas’s, he wrote the Passion According To St. John. Nearly eight decades later the 20-year-old Felix Mendelssohn reintroduced the work when he conducted a 400-member chorus and a full orchestra in a 19th-century premiere at the Berlin Sing-Akadamie on March 11, 1829. Corrections? It is the longest and most elaborate of all works by this Baroque master and represents the culmination of his sacred music and, indeed, of Baroque sacred music as a whole. https://www.britannica.com/topic/St-Matthew-Passion-BWV-244, The Kennedy Center - "St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244", AllMusic - "St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), for Soloists, Double Chorus and Double Orchestra, BWV 244 (BC D3b)". Johann Sebastian Bach’s family, closely involved in his work, referred to the St Matthew Passion as the “great Passion.” Perhaps the very grounded Bach household, despite being used to the constant stream of astonishing music that Johann Sebastian produced, recognized this composition as a particularly important one. John Eliot Gardiner’s benchmark Archiv recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, which will be reissued on vinyl on 10 April 2020, was recorded back in 1989, a masterstroke that remains a milestone in the catalogue. The results are just full of wonder, and bittersweet joy--perfectly suited to the seasons f Easter and Passover, not to mention the Time of the Coronavirus disease plague in 2020. These performances would mark the high point of the church’s year. In addition to the Bible story and Picander’s texts for the recitatives, arias and other sections, Bach interspersed the work with his own harmonisations of old chorale melodies and texts. The St. John Passion. The St. Matthew Passion ( German: Matthäuspassion) is a musical composition written by Johann Sebastian Bach. In his notes for the original LP set, Sir David justified his deliberate departures from ‘the so-called authentic type of performance’, despite advances in Bach scholarship and a plethora of top-notch period performances. Bach's St. Matthew Passion has since remained one of the monuments of the literature. These would have been well-known to the congregation of St Thomas’s, the oldest dating back to the early 16th century. Until 1975, it was held that the first performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion was on Good Friday 1729. Bach with some bite: How 'The St Matthew Passion' went from zero to hero. This monumental St Matthew Passion is hailed as the greatest setting of the Passion story in western music, but surprisingly it was not until almost 100 years after its premiere that Bach’s music got the recognition it deserved. Bach uses it no less than five times in the course of the St Matthew Passion, each time presenting it in a new way, with different words, keys and harmonisations (he also used it – twice – in the Christmas Oratorio and in several cantatas). Recorded before Sir Stephen Cleobury’s untimely passing in November 2019, King’s College presents a new accountof one of the greatest masterpieces in sacred music, Bach’sSt Matthew Passion. Bach wrote his Passion to use both these performance spaces. Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" | Markus Rathey and Martin Jean April 7, 2020 ISM Director Martin Jean and Professor Markus Rathey, author of Bach’s Major Vocal Works: Music, Drama Liturgy, discuss Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and more. (This is because most religious music was performed in churches. Bach: St. Matthew Passion by Philharmonia Orchestra & Otto Klemperer on Apple Music. Explore our guide to Bach’s ‘St Matthew Passion’ widely regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of classical sacred music. Listen to J.S. Bach’s Passion According to Saint Matthew, BWV 244, much as the great cantor would have performed it in liturgical setting. St Matthew Passion performed by the Netherlands Bach Society for All of Bach. Omissions? For instance, whereas the St John Passion had a mere continuo accompaniment (harpsichord or organ), its successor had an orchestra with Christ’s words accompanied by strings (an effect that has been compared to a halo round the Saviour’s head). There had already been a long history of Passion music – that is musical settings telling the story of the final, short period in the life of Jesus. Highlights to look out for are the alto aria ‘Buss Und Reu’ (‘Penance And Remorse’), one for soprano, ‘Blute Nur, Du Liebes Herz! Bach’s St. Matthew Passion was first performed at St. Thomas Church at the Good Friday vespers service on April 11, 1727. This Easter-time Berlin presentation was a stunning success and was followed by others. 1, Chorus I/II: "Kommt, Ihr Töchter, Helft Mir Klagen"", "St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. Scholars now agree that an early version was first heard two years earlier, a second version in 1729, a further revised version in 1736 and a final one – the one we hear today – in 1742. ‘Piledriver’: When Status Quo Hit Their Album Stride, ‘The Second Album’: The Spencer Davis Group Keep On Running, 10cc And So Much More: Eric Stewart, Master Of Song And Studio, ‘Meet The Beatles’: American Beatlemaniacs Couldn’t Get Enough, Best Horace Silver Pieces: Essential Jazz For Curious Ears, Billie Eilish And Rosalía Set To Release ‘Lo Vas A Olvidar’ On Thursday, Olivia Rodrigo‘s ‘Drivers License’ Tops Billboard Hot 100, Global Charts, Eric Church, Jazmine Sullivan Tapped For National Anthem Performance At Super Bowl LV, Michigan Declares January 20th ‘What’s Going On’ Day, Celeste Announces Trio Of Shows at London’s Islington Union Chapel. Its earliest verified performance was April 11, 1727—Good Friday—at Thomaskirche in Leipzig. There was no room for a stage, and no time for scene changes.) Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Find out more about the best versions, and listen and download your favourites. Bach: St Matthew Passion. Every year for Good Friday Vespers, a Passion would be performed in one of Leipzig’s two principal (Lutheran) churches, St. Thomas and St. Nicholas. The story for the work was taken mostly from the Gospel According to Matthew , but the actual verses that Bach set to music were provided by several contemporary poets. Thus, the whole work is structured as a repeated pattern of Biblical narrative, comment, and prayer. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. His principal contributor was Christian Friedrich Henrici, a poet who wrote under the name of Picander and also supplied the text for Bach’s secular Peasant Cantata (1742). The words tell the story of Jesus ’s death on the cross as told in chapters 26 and 27 of the Book of St Matthew in the Bible. Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 English Translation in Interlinear Format Saint Matthew Passion BWV 244: Event: Good Friday Text: Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander), based on Matthäus 26-27 Chorale Texts: Werde munter mein Gemüte | Meinen Jesum laß' ich nicht | Befiehl du deine Wege | O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden | Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit | O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben What followed two years later was an altogether grander, more magnificent setting. Masaaki Suzuki and his Bach Collegium Japan made their first recording of the St Matthew Passion in March 1999. A smaller piece than the 1727 St. Matthew, Bach’s St. John Passion was first performed in 1724. Bach did not act as his own librettist for the St Matthew Passion. Rather, the composer restricts himself to creating a drama whose full force comes to expression through the musical delivery. It is with heavy hearts that we announce, in accordance with the Governor’s ban, the cancellation of our performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Rocky River, Cleveland (Severance Hall), and Akron on April 1, 3, and 4 respectively. English language Bach revised the piece considerably several times, but the final performance during his lifetime, in 1749, was similar in form to the first version. King’s College presents a new account of one of s acred music ’s greatest masterpieces, the Bach St Matthew Passion, recorded before Sir Stephen Cleobury’s untimely death on 22 November 2019. A local Lutheran preacher, Salomon Deyling, supervised the writing of the text, using the 26th and 27th chapters of St Matthew’s Gospel (in his manuscript, Bach underlined the words of the Scripture with red ink). “The St Matthew Passion could, like so much of Bach’s music, have … Saint Peter’s Choir and Bach Collegium Period Orchestra is led from the harpsichord by Dr. Bálint Karosi. The new pressing from original sources is on 180gm vinyl and, to enhance audio quality, no side exceeds 30 minutes. Buy, stream or download this album. The alto air “Buss und Reu” (“Guilt and Pain”; section 6) opens with a gently flowing flute line, and, even after the alto joins in, the flute remains prominent. The soprano air “Ich will dir mein Herze schenken” (“I Will Thee My Heart Now Offer”; section 13) is distinct not only in that it matches the soprano with two oboes, rather than just one, but also in that it is the only genuinely cheerful section in the entire work. Info for Bach: St. Matthew Passion. West Australian Symphony Orchestra and St George’s Concert Series present a supremely dramatic masterpiece. Sir David Willcocks’ 1978 recording for Decca is the only version currently available in English. Two large ensembles play in dialogue, and the score presents a symmetrical structure. 77 Recitative. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The St. Matthew Passion is one of hundreds of sacred pieces Bach wrote during his long tenure as director of church music and cantor of the school at Thomaskirche. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). It calls for two separate orchestras and choirs, which all perform together and separately throughout. “What makes Gardiner’s St Matthew Passion stand out in the face of stiff competition is, more than anything, his vivid sense of theatre. Bach’s St Matthew Passion is almost always described as a double-choir composition for two choirs and two orchestras. It is a several-hours-long musical drama that depicts, expands and comments on Chapters 26 and 27 from Matthew’s Gospel, starting with Jesus’s foretelling of the crucifixion and ending with Pilate’s placement of guards at the tomb. In the openng and closing movements of Part One, the sound of the full orchestra and chorus is enhanced by a separate, haunting melody, often sung by children’s voices. BIS BIS-2500 163.14 mins (2 discs) When Masaaki Suzuki and his Bach Collegium first recorded the Matthew Passion in 1999 the idea of one or two voices to a part was still largely regarded with suspicion. Bach, then, is drawing on the account of Jesus’ suffering and death as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion, BWV 244, is structured on multiple levels: the … By great good fortune, two of his singers were Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn. (‘Bleed Now, Loving Heart!’); the sublime alto aria with violin obligato ‘Erbame, Dich’ (‘Have Mercy’), a second soprano aria ‘Aus Liebe Will Mein Heiland Sterben’ (‘Out Of Love My Saviour Is Willing To Die’); the blood-curdling moment when the mob calls for Barrabas to be freed and Christ to be crucified’; and the final number in the Passion, the double chorus ‘Wir Setzen Uns Mit Tränen Nieder’ (usually translated as ‘ In Tears Of Grief’). In St. M… The second part presents the rest of the biblical story, including the Crucifixion, death, and burial of Christ. And not just one orchestra – but two. Most prominent of those is the chorus “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden” (“O Sacred Head Now Wounded”), which stands as 54th of the 68 sections. Bach’s score is, after all, a sacred drama and Gardiner interprets this aspect of the work with lively and colourful conviction… Singing and playing of this calibre deserve to win many friends…’” – Gramophone. There had already been a long history of Passion music – that is musical settings telling the story of the final, short period in the life of Jesus. PRESENTED BY: Bach Musica NZ orchestra & chorus, soloists and guests from the Auckland Girls’ Choir. Buy download online. Almost three centuries later this musical masterpiece stands as one of the pillars of Western sacred music. The work is for a choir, solo voices and orchestra. Rita Paczian: Conductor King’s College presents a new account of one of sacred music’s greatest masterpieces, the Bach St Matthew Passion, performed with the Academy of Ancient Music. The St. Matthew Passion had its first performance three years later, on April 11, 1727 in Leipzig’s St. Thomas Church, where Bach was cantor. It’s a melody originally written by one Hans Leo Hassler (1562-1612). Your email address will not be published. It is also, as Mendelssohn himself noted wryly, somewhat ironic that “it took an actor and the son of Jew to revive the greatest Christian music for the world!”. Often the chorus is called upon to present Bach’s new settings of existing chorales. In the St Matthew Passion, the strings play a long high chord whenever Jesus sings, setting his singing apart from the other singing like a musical 'halo'. The scoring of the two groups of singers and players is … In the early 1820s, the director of the Berlin Singakademie, Carl Zelter, got hold of a copy of Bach’s St Matthew Passion and rehearsed some of the choral movements in private. This new version of the Bach Saint Matthew Passion has a fresh new interpretation of the Passion, as well as Bach's own structuring from the Gospel of Matthew. (‘Passion’ is derived from the Latin verb ‘patior’ meaning ‘to suffer’ or ‘endure’, from which we also get ‘patience’ and ‘patient’.) 2, Evangelist, Jesus: "Da Jesus Diese Rede Vollendet Hatte"" and more. Throughout the work, there is more music for the four soloists—soprano, alto, tenor, and bass—than for the chorus. The LP comes with a two-page leaflet and original liner notes by Sir John in English and German. King’s College presents a new account of one of sacred music’s greatest masterpieces, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, recorded before Sir Stephen Cleobury’s untimely death in November 2019. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is a monumental piece with parts for … The soloist’s parts are less solos than duets—not with each other but rather with performers drawn from the orchestra. Essentially a form of interactive theater, the St. Matthew Passion depicts the final sufferings and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The speeches of various characters – Commentator (soprano), Evangelist (tenor), Christ (bass), Peter (bass), Judas (bass) and so forth – are represented by various solo singers. German language The St. Matthew Passion is divided into two parts, and its performance takes somewhat less than three hours. Like operas, though, oratorios do have casts. They all seem barren compared to Karl Richter’s intensity with Ernst Haefliger singing eevagelist, Your email address will not be published. Willcocks’s comments still hold good and this superb recording justifies them on purely musical grounds, with noticeably brisk tempi, lending a welcome light and nimble touch to proceedings. Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion was first heard on Good Friday, 1727. It's a journey through the St. Matthew Passion guided by acclaimed scholars, conductors and singers (including Ian Bostridge, Joshua Rifkin, Ton Koopman and Christoph Wolff), all … Twenty years later, in April 2019, it was time once again, as the singers and players gathered in the Concert Hall of the Saitama Arts Theater in Japan. Though this news is disappointing, we look forward to bringing you this inspiring concert in a future season. In Bach’s time, St Thomas’s had two organ lofts – the larger of the two accommodating the musicians for Sunday services throughout the year, the smaller loft used for the additional numbers needed for the music at Christmas and Easter. J.S. Fania Records: How A New York Label Took Salsa To The World, Pride Of The Opry: Charley Pride Makes Musical And Cultural History, ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’: Bathing In Brian Eno’s Genius. Betsy Schwarm is a music historian based in Colorado. Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 / Part Two - No. The first part concerns Jesus Christ’s betrayal, the Last Supper, and his prayers and arrest in Gethsemane. It is even written in two Parts (or two ‘Acts’) with an interval (indeed, for the work’s first performance a sermon was preached between the two Parts) – and that is one reason why its first performance in Leipzig met with decidedly mixed reactions. Sir John’s approach to the work is as celebrated as his first-class soloists, his great Monteverdi Choir and the splendid English Baroque Soloists. It is a theatrical concept, a drama. Witness Bach’s spine-tingling masterpiece presented by Bach Musica NZ, star soloists and guests from the Auckland Girls’ Choir. (‘Passion’ is derived from the Latin verb ‘patior’ meaning ‘to suffer’ or ‘endure’, from which we also get ‘patience’ and ‘patient’.) The story for the work was taken mostly from the Gospel According to Matthew, but the actual verses that Bach set to music were provided by several contemporary poets. Stream songs including "St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. In April 1829, despite strong opposition from some quarters, the twenty-year-old Mendelssohn, with the help of Zelter and his friend the actor Eduard Devrient, mounted the work’s first modern performance, albeit in an abbreviated form, given to mark what was then thought to be the centenary of its first performance. However, at his death in 1750, the St. Matthew Passion, along with most Bach compositions, was forgotten. The story was arranged by Christian Friedrich Henrici, a postal official in the city who wrote verses using the pseudonym of Picander. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. “His latest recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion places his work up for comparison with everyone from Furtwängler and Klemperer to Harnoncourt and Gardiner.” Early Music Today “It’s a stunning interpretation of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Gabrieli Players under Paul McCreesh… These led directly to a complete reassessment and revival of interest in all of Bach’s music for, baffling as it seems nowadays, Johann Sebastian Bach had fallen into near obscurity since his death nearly 80 years earlier. These performances would … Now as he revisits the work, the approach and all … Unlike the opera, the best-known type of musical drama, the oratorio does not use costumes, makeup, or musicians who act while they sing. A 1732 account of a performance of one of Bach’s Passions captures a Vockerodt-style indictment of Bach’s brand of Passion music. The best known of these, often referred to as the Passion Chorale, is ‘O Haupt Voll Blut Und Wunden’, usually sung in English to the words ‘O Sacred Head Sore Wounded’. The St. Matthew Passion is impressive even by Bach’s standards. Johann Sebastian Bach St Matthew Passion . It is almost miraculous that the complete renaissance of Bach’s music which took place after 1829 was due to the performance of a work that had been quite forgotten yet is regarded today as one of his most complex and profound creations of Western music. Saint Peter’s Church presents J.S. Every year for Good Friday Vespers, a Passion would be performed in one of Leipzig’s two principal (Lutheran) churches, St. Thomas and St. Nicholas. Required fields are marked *. The opening of Part 1 of Johann Sebastian Bach's. This was an unorthodox way of presenting religious history and not the kind of thing that the more devout members of the congregation / audience felt was appropriate for a church, the feeling being that the work was too ‘operatic’. Soprano,Alto,Tenor,Bass,Chorus II: "Nun ist der Herr zur Ruh gebracht" with Chorus: "Mein Jesu, gute Nacht" by Edith Mathis & Dame Janet Baker & Peter Schreier & Münchener Bach-Orchester & Karl Richter & Münchener Bach-Chor & Die Regensburger Domspatzen & Georg Ratzinger 2:55 Stream songs including "St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. St Matthew Passion - Bach. St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, byname of The Passion According to St. Matthew, German byname Matthäus-Passion or Matthäuspassion, Passion music by Johann Sebastian Bach. When the congregation weren't singing, Bach made sure the overarching mood of the story was represented in the music - and he had a remarkable number of tricks up his sleeve, using different instruments and key signatures to highlight the different characters and emotions. That same effect happens in several other airs, sometimes with the singers receiving woodwind partners and sometimes viola da gamba and always further support from continuo parts. I keep trying to like “purist” performances including Gardner but I can’t mare up to them. It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew to music, sung in recitative by the various characters portrayed within the text. The St. Matthew Passion is Bach’s grandest musical composition. The St. Matthew Passion is one of hundreds of sacred pieces Bach wrote during his long tenure as director of church music and cantor of the school at Thomaskirche. Both the choir and the orchestra are divided into two sections: Chorus 1 and Chorus 2, Orchestra 1 and Orchestra 2. St. Matthew Passion is an oratorio, which is a musical drama. Listen to Bach: St. Matthew Passion by Gabrieli & Paul McCreesh on Apple Music. “As Sir David points out… Bach might well have approved of making the “fullest use of the resources available to him”…The crowd choruses are vividly characterised, the chorales sung with unaffected naturalness.” – Gramophone. 1, Chorus 2 and Orchestra & Otto Klemperer on Apple music Henrici, a postal official in the year... And choirs, which all perform together and separately throughout of Jesus Christ is led from Auckland. Passion depicts the final sufferings and crucifixion of Jesus Christ Hassler ( 1562-1612 ) was the concertmeister! Spine-Tingling masterpiece presented by: Bach Musica NZ Orchestra & Chorus, soloists guests! What followed two years later was an altogether grander, more magnificent.! 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