“St. Matthew Passion” by Bach

“St. Matthew Passion” by Bach is our blog topic today on Good Friday 2016.

This intro sentence from a 2014 NPR Music Makers article caught my eye:

“Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his St. Matthew Passion for a single purpose — to present the Passion story in music at Good Friday vesper services.”
– from A Visitor’s Guide To Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’.

“Bach’s Passion continues to move audiences nearly three centuries after it was first heard in St. Thomas’s Church in Leipzig, Germany. Standing as one of the pillars of Western sacred music, it is at once monumental and intimate, deeply sorrowful and powerful… With gripping drama, Bach’s Passion retells the compelling story of the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus.  To read the entire article click here.

It  includes this less than hour audio guided tour from the NPR series Milestones of the Millennium – it beautifully highlights the ‘St. Matthew Passion’  program.

“St. Matthew Passion” by Bach

There was this additional NPR article I came across – “‘St. Matthew Passion’: A Monumental Bach Feast” from 2012.  It praises “A new DVD recorded in 2010 at Berlin’s great concert hall, the Philharmonie…” Click here to read the entire article.  And to listen to it, this 8 minute audio from NPR Fresh Air let’s you hear the Author read the article to you and is beautifully done.

Book: Bach’s Major Vocal Works

Instead of including a book on Bach showing his life in Letters and Documents, I wanted to briefly mention this newly announced book I saw listed by YaleNews.      From the Library Journal Editorial Review shown at Barnes & Noble, “In this accessible survey of Johann Sebastian Bach’s major choral works, Rathey (music history, Yale Univ.) takes these famous compositions out of the concert hall and examines them in terms of the theology and liturgy for which they were originally designed. Rathey explores Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio, St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, oratorios for Easter and Ascension, and the B-Minor Mass in “Life of Jesus” order, with the B-Minor Mass as the capstone to the whole…”

Tomorrow’s post we continue in keeping with the Easter theme.  Wishing you a continued Easter weekend of spending time with family and friends and including time for reflection.



Attribution & Thank you to the following who are referenced today — 

NPR Music Article excerpt & audio   A Visitor’s Guide To Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’  April 17, 2014 by Tom Huizenga

NPR Music Article excerpt & audio  “St. Matthew Passion’: A Monumental Bach Feast”  July 10, 2012 by Lloyd Schwartz

Cover Yale News Book: Bach’s Major Vocal Works February 22, 2016  by Markus Rathey, associate professor of music history

Quote from Editorial Review Bach’s Major Vocal Works: Music, Drama, Liturgy 2016 Barnes & Noble by Markus Rathey



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