Bach: Saint John Passion
Of Bach’s two surviving passions, the Saint John Passion was the first composed and the Cantor reworked it several times for performances between 1724 and 1747.
In Saint Thomas of Leipzig Bach’s choral and instrumental ensemble was experienced enough for the virtuosity of the arias and chorales of this powerful passion and he drove the rhetorical effects to their maximum to emphasise the dramatic and dolorous text. Hardly a year after his arrival in Leipzig, he gave this first great masterpiece on Good Friday 1724. It is the largest by far of all his compositions and one of the public’s favourite because of its extraordinary humanity.
Ton Koopman who has been conducting this work for almost 50 years will give a version nourished by the strong protestant traditions enduringly alive in the Netherlands and transcend Bach today.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Saint John Passion