Passion concert

Solace

April 10, 2020
6 p.m.
Kölner Philharmonie Tickets

Johann Sebastian Bach

»Matthäus-Passion« BWV 244 (1727)

  • Jeremy OvendenEvangelist
  • Thomas E. BauerChrist
  • Siobhan StaggSoprano
  • Hagen MatzeitAlto
  • Andrew TortiseTenor
  • Matthias WinckhlerBass
  • Chor des Bach-Vereins Köln
  • Thomas NeuhoffChoirmaster
  • Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
  • Nicholas CollonConductor
  • preconcert talk one hour before the concert with Bernd Heyder

Within the family of the St. Thomas church cantor, they called it “the great passion”: Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion, the largest-scale and most extravagantly orchestrated of his scorings of the Passion of Jesus. Bach’s friend, the man of letters Christian Friedrich Henrici alias Picander, wrote the libretto. He slips into the allegorical role of the “Daughter of Zion”, who takes listeners with her into the action, which she follows with increasing desperation and reflects in poetic images: “Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen!” (“Come, you daughters, help me lament!”) Bach wrote his timeless music to this. It grips us in the insistent language of the Evangelist’s Recitative, just as it does in the power of the double choirs, the subtlety of the arioso monologues and the melodic richness of the arias. Last but not least, however, it draws its effects from the power of the old chorales, whose devotional verses ring out in unsettlingly daring harmonisations, and then once again in comfortingly familiar ones: “Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden, so scheide nicht von mir!” (“When I must once and for all depart, then do not depart from me!”). Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne will taken on the magnificent work conducted by their First Guest Conductor Nicholas Collon with well-known soloists and the Chorus of the Bach-Verein Cologne.

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