BACH St. Matthew Passion

Classical Music / Baroque Music

The St Matthew Passion (German: Matthäus-Passion), BWV 244, is a Passion, an oratorio written by Johann Sebastian Bach (in 1727) for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, with libretto by Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici). The setting is based on the Holy Bible's Gospel of St. Matthew chapters 26 and 27 (in the German translation of Martin Luther) to music, with interspersed chorales and arias. It is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of classical sacred music and pinnacle of JS Bach's musical artistic achievement.

Below is a video performed by the King's College Chapel in Cambridge, conducted by Stephen Cleobury. Rogers Covey-Crump - tenor (Evangelist), Michael George - bass (Jesus),  Emma Kirkby - soprano,  Michael Chance - alto,  Martyn Hill - tenor,  David Thomas - bass,  The Choir of King's College, Cambridge; The Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge (Soprano in ripieno); The Brandenburg Consort (Roy Goodman - leader).

Another, for more listening ... 
Bach St. Matthew Passion (Complete). Youtube, uploaded by ClassicalMusicTVHD. Accessed Nov 11, 2014  (more listening)

The St Matthew Passion is the second of two Passion settings by JS Bach that have survived, the first being the St. John Passion, first performed in 1724. Very little is about the creation process of the St Matthew Passion. The available information derives from extant early manuscripts, contemporary publications of the libretto, and circumstantial data, for instance in documents archived by the Town Council of Leipzig.  It was  probably first performed on 11 April 1727 in the St. Thomas Church and again on 15 April 1729, 30 March 1736, and 23 March 1742. Bach then revised it again between 1743 and 1746.

Trivia:  Our Sydney Philharmonia Choirs (Symphony Chorus, Chamber Singers and VOX) performed Bach's St Matthew Passion, with Brett Weymark conducting. Soloists: Robert Macfarlane (Evangelist), Christopher Richardson (Christus), Celeste Lazarenko (Soprano), Sally-Anne Russell (Mezzo Soprano), Jonathan Abernethy (Tenor) and David Greco (Baritone). An amazing statement of faith! Saturday, 15 April 2017, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House. The last time Sydney Philharmonia Choirs performed this was 10 years ago (2007).  Here's a review from the Sydney Morning Herald: "Bach's St Matthew Passion an epic undertaking of power and energy."

Video Credit:

Bach St. Matthew Passion (King's College, Cambridge, 1994). Youtube, uploaded by EuroArtsChannel. Accessed Nov. 11, 2017. 

Bach St. Matthew Passion (Complete). Youtube, uploaded by ClassicalMusicTVHD. Accessed Nov 11, 2014  (more listening)


St. Matthew Passion (Bach).

(c) 2009-2014. Tel Asiado. Written for Inspired Pen Web. All rights reserved. 

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