These take two forms: there are eleven chorales which “step outside the action at significant spots and react to the story…They provide commentary and create a sense of a community response to the events just described by the soloists.” Then there are the four longer choruses that frame each half of the Passion, like bookends. Some of what they sing is reflective, as the piece that addresses the evil of Judas’ betrayal; other pieces consist of a soliloquy in which the singer pours out his or her heart, the best-known example being the aria, “Have mercy on me, O Lord.” In numbers like this one, Bach puts the spotlight on our own condition, and forces us to deal with the words on a personal level. Even the deepest aria – take, for instance, “Have mercy” – remains a solo, performed by one person; everyone else remains a listener. SWV 479 I-Catalogue Number I-Cat. ⇒ 11 more: Ich bin's, ich sollte büßen • Erkenne mich, mein Hüter • Ich will hier bei dir stehen • Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh' all Zeit • Mir hat die Welt trüglich gericht't mit Lügen • Wer hat dich so geschlagen • Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen • Befiehl du deine Wege • Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe! From there to the end [of the performance], many of us were in a trance, out of which the chorus jolted us with one last unexpected gesture: in the silence after the final chord, the singers turned…and stared outward, with cold, expectant glances. Even the larger “double” choruses, divided in today’s editions simply as “Choir I” and “Choir II”, were originally conceived as having specific historic roles to play. The St. Matthew Passion has been presented in staged performances. (‘Passion’ is derived from the Latin verb ‘patior’ meaning ‘to suffer’ or ‘endure’, from which we also get ‘patience’ and ‘patient’.) “What makes Gardiner’s St Matthew Passion stand out in the face of stiff competition is, more than anything, his vivid sense of theatre. In Hans’s reply (from Munich, where he is studying medicine), he says he didn’t go; he fears it wouldn’t have meant much to him. In the 1740s, he began to go blind. He notes that in a 1519 treatise on the Crucifixion, Martin Luther had. In the second, which follows the crowd’s shouts of “Let him be crucified!” the crucifixion has become a concrete reality. Ross, Alex. 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’. Hildel, Winifred. True, Bernstein's stylistic approach (the frequently languorous tempos, the italicized effect accorded certain significant moments in Bach's richly textured drama) and employment of large-scale choral and orchestral forces have long … Among other duties, his post required him to instruct the members of the Thomanerchor (the boys’ choir of St. Thomas) in singing and in Latin, and to provide weekly music at both of these churches. Extolling the “invasive beauty of the lamenting arias, which give the sense that Christ’s death is the acutest of personal losses,” he said they had the effect of “pulling all of modern life into the Passion scene. As with all great religious art, there is no need to explain or justify such an assertion: the piece has, in and of itself, sufficient power to touch the heart, awaken the imagination, and enliven faith. A familiar instance of this in recent years is Carlos Santana’s use, in his album Supernatural, of a melody from Brahms’s Symphony No. 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. Obviously, our anguish is vicarious, limited to the realm of Bach’s (and our) imagination. In the first instance, the text refers to Christ’s prediction of his sufferings. In the case of the St. Matthew Passion, this devotion seems to have extended even to the care with which the text was shaped. 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. This sort of turbulent, emotionally charged musical outcry is known as a “turba” (i.e. J.S. turbulence). Then there’s the so-called Lord Supper sequence, where, as mentioned earlier, the phrase “Lord, is it I?” is repeated eleven times – once for each faithful disciple. We used to go to similar (free) concerts at St. Peter’s, a church on the Upper East Side, where the audience was invited to sing along with each chorale. What followed two years later was an altogether grander, more magnificent setting. Buy download online. The crowd says, “Not upon this feast!” Then the evangelist sings of the anointing of Jesus in Bethany, and the crowd reacts, “To what purpose is this waste?” to which Jesus responds by singing of how the woman who anointed him will always be remembered. Seen from a distance, the two ensembles, each visually dominated by a large number of singers, do indeed look equal. In another number, the oboe seems to represent Mary running first one way in the garden, and then the other, looking for Jesus. The St. Matthew's Passion (Matthäus-Passion), BWV 244 is a sacred oratorio by J.S. On the other hand, as the writer Johann Heinrich Arnold (a lifelong lover of the St. Matthew Passion) stresses in his book Discipleship (1995). In the biblical text, vocal soloists portray Jesus, Pilate, other individual characters, and Matthew the Evangelist, delivering their narration and … Listen to Bach: St. Matthew Passion by Peter Schreier, Rundfunkchor Leipzig & Staatskapelle Dresden on Apple Music. No. These events were so well attended that you had to come several hours early if you wanted a good seat. Driving some friends to the train the other day – they were headed to Leipzig for a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in the church where he composed it – it struck me that Bach is everywhere at this time of year, at least here in his home state of Thuringia. Some of these are obvious because of the interplay of music and text; others are open to interpretation and have been “discovered,” so to speak, by critics over the years. Geiringer, Karl. 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. The story was arranged by Christian Friedrich Henrici, a postal official in the city who wrote verses using the pseudonym of Picander. We might think of them as sober, earnest hymns, but some were originally street tunes. Required fields are marked *. “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. Yet this remastered recording of Bach's St. Matthew Passion--like that of his Bach concertos with Glenn Gould and others--is a moving document of musical and emotional empathy. Sign up for a weekly email from the Bruderhof, Follow us on Instagram for snapshots of Bruderhof life. Programme Notes - Musical Director (St Matthew Passion) Posted: 25th February 2019 For the concert on 9 March 2019: It is a privilege to welcome you to our performance of J.S. Stream songs including "St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No.1 Chorus I/II: "Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen"", "St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No.2 Evangelist, Jesus: "Da Jesus diese Rede vollendet hatte"" and more. Back to the composition of the music itself, Bach was also keenly aware that his talent was a gift. But he then tells his mother that he did go to hear Bach’s “St. “Bach’s St. Matthew Passion” (2001) Johann Sebastian Bach is widely regarded the greatest musical genius of all time. He died of a stroke (after an unsuccessful eye operation) in 1750, at the age of 65, and was buried in an unmarked grave. Bach: St. Matthew Passion The city, Leipzig in 1727: site of a fine university, a secondary commercial center, a satellite of Dresden. Listen to excerpts 12 and 13 - the last recitative, followed by the powerful closing chorus, “In tears of grief.”, Ambrose, Z. Philip. In the same sequence, a flurry of chords dissipating in different directions illustrates Christ’s words about the scattering of his flock. Bach completed his St. Matthew Passion in time for Good Friday, 1727 (he revised it later, at least once). 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. His second wife, Anna Magdalena, was a singer, and bore him thirteen more children. There was no room for a stage, and no time for scene changes.) J. S. Bach: Leben und Werk, Bd. 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. Announcements for past and future performances from the smallest rural church choirs to the largest halls of New York, Moscow, Johannesburg, Berlin, Tokyo, and Sydney. Bach's St. Matthew Passion: A Rudimentary Psychological Analysis, Part II by Vladimir J. Konecni University of California, San Diego Arousal-raising devices: Psychophysical and collative variables Paradoxical as it may seem, it is generally considered that Bach was able to achieve great variety through his ingenious counterpoint. For a specific example relating to Bach, there’s Paul Simon’s song “American Tune,” which is almost identical to “O Sacred Head.”. Gardiner, John Eliot. In the best recordings, these nuances are taken into account, avoiding the tedious delivery that so many people unfairly (but understandably) associate with chorales; in fact, their delivery will be appropriately varied, according to the context. Still another is solid and confident, representing strength and faith. Listen to excerpt 3: the Passover story; Jesus’ prediction that one of his disciples will betray him; the evangelist’s depiction of their growing sorrow; and finally, the question, “Lord, is it I?”, The following chorale (excerpt 4) answers their question from our perspective: “Lord, it is my sin that binds thee – I am the one who ought to be suffering such tortures.”. The Joy of Music (2nd Edition) And not just one orchestra – but two. Unlike the opera, the best-known type of musical drama, the oratorio does not use costumes, makeup, or musicians who act while they sing. No. It moves the spirit toward self-reflection and the exercise of the conscience.”. 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