Two stanzas from Paul Gerhardt's 1647 hymn "O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben" comment the scene, stanza 3, "Wer hat dich so geschlagen" (Who has you now so stricken),[8] and stanza 4, "Ich, ich und meine Sünden" (I, I and my transgressions),[8][18] highlighting the personal responsibility of the speaking sinner for the suffering of Jesus. O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (Chorale fatasie, text by Sebald Heyden) [1727/1729 version: "Jesum lass ich nicht von mir"; 1742 and 1743–1746 versions: ripieno soprano choir added to soprano line], 68. Picander wrote text for recitatives and arias, and for the large scale choral movements that open and close the Passion. In the middle of the hearing, a chorale (22) interrupts the argument, which is a discussion about freedom and captivity. Listen to Bach: St. Matthew Passion by Peter Schreier, Rundfunkchor Leipzig & Staatskapelle Dresden on Apple Music. This is listed as BC 2b. St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, Pt. While soprano and alto mourn (in duet, No. The first two lines of the hymn are a rhetorical question: "My dearest Jesus, which crimes have you committed, that such dire judgement has been passed? The opening Chorus of the Passion comes at us in waves, like the undulation of some gigantic animal, as we move from one kind of music to another. [8][clarification needed], The second chorale, movement 5, ends the first scene, after Jesus remarks that he has to be obedient. It is listed as BC D 2d. [13] A final, fifth version, revised between 1739 and 1749, was never performed in Bach's lifetime. 66) officials remind Pilate of the talk of resurrection and ask for guards and a seal for the grave to prevent fraud. But even by … Zelter was reluctant but eventually gave his approval; that of the Singakademie board followed.[29]. [1] Some main aspects of the structure are shown in tables below. For practical reasons the continuo organ is often shared and played with both orchestras. 7) has Judas Iscariot negotiating the price for handing Jesus over. Bach led the first performance on 7 April 1724 in Leipzig's Nikolaikirche. [20] This also marks the completion of Bach's gradual emptying out of the key signature in subsequent settings of this tune: No. The instrumentation is added, using abbreviations for instruments,[30] followed by key and time signature, and the NBA number of a corresponding movement within the work's symmetry. Slight change in voice-leading and other details. He used three alternative arias, one of them with a chorale sung by the choir, and replaced the two closing movements, the chorus Ruht wohl and the chorale Ach Herr, laß dein lieb Engelein with the chorale fantasia on "Christe, du Lamm Gottes" (Christ, you Lamb of God),[11] the German Agnus Dei, published in Braunschweig in 1528. and Chorus II promptly asks Wen? "Bach's Chorus: A Preliminary Report. Five chorales comment within a scene (3, 11, 17, 22, 28), including the central movement (22). and Chorus (I & II). Typically, these are done with all performers in street clothes or neutral costumes, the orchestras on stage, at least the soloists singing without scores from memory, and the words acted out in a solemn, melodramatic fashion with only a minimal stage set. [21] Specifically, in 1780, the Cantor, Doles, had three of Bach's Passions performed, assumed to include the St. John and St. Matthew, and "possibly the St. The sense of gigantic undulation is … The words of Jesus, also termed Vox Christi (voice of Christ), usually receive special treatment. It was performed in 1749 and (most likely) repeated in 1750. Stream songs including "St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. – meaning: Am I the one going to betray? Even his last words are misunderstood. [11], In version 5 (never performed), possibly dating from as early 1739, Bach returned to the first version, but revised it thoroughly. The first "O Lamm Gottes" chorale compares Jesus' crucifixion to the ritual sacrifice of an Old Testament lamb, as an offering for sin. J.S. [8][28], The eleventh chorale, movement 40, ends the Passion. Direct speech sections of the Gospel text are brought by other singers in the same "secco" format (e.g. In 1707 he married a second cousin, Maria Barbara, and had seven children. He added five movements from his Weimarer Passion, with three texts now thought to be by Christoph Birkmann. In a great contrast of mood the preparation for the "Easter meal" (Osterlamm) is described (No. 67, Recitative with Chorus "Nun ist der Herr zur Ruh gebracht" (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus 2) Otto Klemperer/Philharmonia Choir/Philharmonia Orchestra 試 … 26) that he is betrayed by Judas' kiss and arrested. [9], Bach revised the Passion by 1736, for a performance on Good Friday 30 March 1736. Namely, the opening chorus from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion: “Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen” (Come, daughters, help me lament): Today’s Gospel reading is the Passion story according to St. Matthew: Matthew … Listen to Bach: St. Matthew's Passion (Highlights) by Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Sandor Frigyes & Jeunesses Musicales Chorus on Apple Music. The work is scored for vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir SATB, and an orchestra of two flauto traverso (Ft) (except for Version I, since all evidence of Bach's use of traverse flutes point to the 2nd Cantata Cycle as when he first used them), two oboes (Ob), two oboes da caccia (Oc), two oboes d'amore (Oa), two violins, viola (Va), and basso continuo. Part I ends with a chorale fantasia that is based on the opening chorus of the St John Passion in its second version, also performed by both choirs in unison, whereas the opening chorus is for double … Stream songs including "St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No.1 Chorus … "Ach Herr, laß dein lieb Engelein" (Ah Lord, let your own angels dear)[8] is stanza 3 of Martin Schalling's 1569 hymn "Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr".[8][29]. The Bible text is reflected in contemporary poetry and in chorales that often end a "scene" of the narration, similar to the way a chorale ends most Bach cantatas. In Leipzig it was not allowed to paraphrase the words of the Gospel in a Passion presentation on Good Friday. In 1730, Bach informed the Leipzig Town Council as to what he saw as the number of singers that should be available for the churches under his responsibility, including those for the St. Thomas Church: a choir of twelve singers, plus eight singers that would serve both St. Thomas and the Peterskirche. The St Matthew Passion tells the story … Voices appear in one of three columns, depending on the text source: Bible, contemporary poetic reflection, or chorale. The chorus sings, in the final chorale No. 12c ends with "und alsobald krähete der Hahn" in B minor. The opening chorus continues by taking up the questions and answers by Chorus I and II again, now adding: Sehet — Was? "[26], In 1827, Felix and a few friends began weekly sessions to rehearse the Passion. The central chorale is not part of a common hymn, its text being taken from a libretto by Christian Heinrich Postel. — seht die Geduld (See it! 62, "tear me from my fears / through your own fear and pain." 58) Jesus and two others are crucified and mocked by the crowd. [8], Barthold Heinrich Brockes, etching by Christian Fritzsch (1744). [5], Klagt, Kinder, klagt es aller Welt, BWV 244a, a cantata of which only the text is extant, was performed 24 March 1729 in Köthen at a memorial service held some months after the death of Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen. The St Matthew Passion was composed as to perform a single work from both organ lofts at the same time: Chorus and orchestra I would occupy the large organ loft, and Chorus and orchestra II performed … Many composers wrote musical settings of the Passion in the late 17th century. Bach did not number the sections of the St Matthew Passion, all of them vocal movements, but twentieth-century scholars have done so. Possibly Bach had an influence on their selection. in the Aria. Because Bach never intended the St. Matthew Passion to be "easy listening". Bach added some instruments which were already old-fashioned at the time in arias for special effects, such as the archlute (Version I and 1739-1749 revision only, replaced by Organ and/or Harpsichord), the viola d'amore and the viola da gamba (Vg). The first scene of Part Two is an interrogation at the High Priest Caiaphas (No. Devrient was especially enthusiastic, hoping to sing the part of Jesus as he eventually did. The St Matthew Passion is set for two choirs and two orchestras. 1727 sacred oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach, Versions and contemporaneous performances, First version (BWV 244.1, previously 244b), Funeral cantata for Köthen (BWV 1143, previously 244a), Passion performances in the St. Thomas Church, Later revisions and performances (BWV 244.2, previously 244), Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen, Without text (played by organ only) in older versions of the Passion, Klagt, Kinder, klagt es aller Welt, BWV 244a, St Matthew Passion structure § Numbering of the movements, List of chorale harmonisations by Johann Sebastian Bach § BWV 244–244b, Learn how and when to remove this template message. 15 has four sharps (E major), No. There was a second performance on 21 March, also sold out. Two distinctive aspects of Bach's setting spring from his other church endeavors. The Bach Compendium lists it as BC D 2a. 18) Jesus asks his followers several times to support him but they fall asleep while he is praying in agony. [10], Some parts were adjusted for a new performance on Good Friday 23 March 1742. In "Erbarm es, Gott", the relentless dotted rhythm of the diminished chords evoke the emotional shock of the scourging.[16]. After more than forty years as a conductor and over a quarter … [19][8], The fifth chorale, movement 15, opens Part II and the third scene. In fact one can. Bach's recitatives often set the mood for the particular passages by highlighting emotionally charged words such as "crucify", "kill", or "mourn" with chromatic melodies. ", "St Matthew Passion – German to English translation in interlinear format", "Fünftes Buch: Leipziger Jahre von 1723–1734" pp. He was born in 1685 in Eisenach, Germany, the same year as Handel, though the two never met, because Handel spent most of his adult life in London. [27] One of the group was Eduard Devrient, a baritone and since 1820 one of the principal singers at the Berlin Royal Opera. ), he is supposed to have called Elijah. Both use lettered subsections in some cases. 2), on the other hand the intention to get rid of him is expressed (No. As in other Passion oratorios the backbone of the structure is the narration of the Gospel, in this case chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew in the German translation of the Luther Bible. Stanza 8, "Ach großer König, groß zu allen Zeiten" (Ah King so mighty, mighty in all ages)[8] reflects the need for thanksgiving and stanza 9 the inability to grasp it, "Ich kanns mit meinen Sinnen nicht erreichen" (I cannot with my reason ever fathom). Choir I consists of a soprano in ripieno voice, a soprano solo, an alto solo, a tenor solo, SATB chorus, two traversos, two oboes, two oboes d'amore, two oboes da caccia, lute, strings (two violin sections, violas and cellos), and continuo (at least organ). Part I is closed by a four-part Chorale Fantasia (both choirs) on the chorale O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (O mankind, mourn your great sins), recapitulating that Jesus was born of the Virgin to "become the intercessor". In the revision of 1743–1746, it is also these words (the Vox Christi) that receive a sustained continuo part. In version 3, after Bach wrote his St Matthew Passion, he returned the opening chorus Herr, unser Herrscher and the final chorus Ruht wohl to their … [14], Wolff writes: "Bach experimented with the St John Passion as he did with no other large-scale composition",[11] possible by the work's structure with the Gospel text as its backbone and interspersed features that could be exchanged. O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß ", a 1725 replacement for the opening chorus, found a new home in … Other libretto sections came from publications by Salomo Franck and Barthold Heinrich Brockes.[14]. This is notable in "O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß", the conclusion of the first half – a movement which Bach also used as an opening chorus for the second version (1725) of his St John Passion (later – ca. An anonymous poet supplied a few texts himself, quoted from other Passion texts and inserted various stanzas of chorales by nine hymn writers. It is surrounded by two choral movements, which not only both ask for the crucifixion of Jesus, but also use the same musical motifs, the second time intensified. The chorale melody soars above the sorrowful questions and … a soprano voice sings the words spoken by Pontius Pilate's wife), except for: Apart from the Evangelist and the Vox Christi the dramatis personae of these Gospel sections of the St Matthew Passion consists of: In between the sections or scenes of the Gospel text, other texts are sung as a meditation or underlining the action, in a variety of formats: In the scheme below indentation indicates the type of movement: 1. — to our guilt), after which Chorus I and II sing the last lines of Picander's text in separate blocks. "Er nahm alles wohl in acht" (He of all did well take heed)[8] is stanza 20 of Stockmann's hymn (14). [1], As is typical of settings of the Passion (and originating in its liturgical use on Palm Sunday), there is no mention of the Resurrection in any of these texts (apart from indirect allusions at Matthew 26:32 and 27:53 and 63). Bach led the first performance on 7 April 1724[10] at the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas)[11] as part of a Vesper service for Good Friday. The Passion, close to Bach's heart, has an "immediate dramatic quality".[2]. Soloists sing the words of various characters, also in recitative; in addition to Jesus, there are named parts for Judas, Peter, two high priests (Pontifex I & II), Pontius Pilate, Pilate's wife (Uxor Pilati), two witnesses (Testis I & II) and two ancillae (maids). In response, Bach performed the Brockes-Passion of his friend, Georg Philipp Telemann (TVWV 5:1). Two variants of movement numbering are given, first that of the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (NBA), then that of the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV). Part Two uses Matthew 26:57–75 and Matthew 27:1–66. Essentially a reworking of the 1724 Version, this version is the most detail-oriented revision of the work. The St Matthew Passion was composed as to perform a single work from both organ lofts at the same time: Chorus and orchestra I would occupy the large organ loft, and Chorus and orchestra II performed from the small organ loft. (Wreck, ruin, engulf, shatter with sudden force the false betrayer, the murderous blood!). [31] It took place on 11 March 1829 and was sold out quickly. Part I was performed before the sermon, Part II after the sermon. The woodwinds are two traversos, oboes and oboes d'amore for each choir, and in addition for choir I two oboes da caccia. Music for Good Friday part one: Bach's St. Matthew Passion, opening chorus This is the first of two posts with music to mark Good Friday: the first chorus of J.S. He wasn't even interested in a string of hits – which the work undeniably is. — Where? Three chorales are written by Paul Gerhardt and Bach included five stanzas from his O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden. This is the version (with some possible later adjustments) that is generally known as the St Matthew Passion, BWV 244. Recitative and Aria for alto (from Chorus I), with a dialogue with Chorus II ("Wohin?") The two main schemes in use today are the scheme from the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (NBA, New Bach Edition) which uses a 1 through 68 numbering system, and the older Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, Bach Works Catalog) scheme which divides the work into 78 numbers. 9) and the Passover meal itself, the Last Supper, foreshadowed by the announcement of betrayal. Bach's St Matthew Passion: 1st chorus: Kommt, ihr Töchter Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion was first performed on 11 April 1727 in St Thomas Church,Leipzig,Germany. "Dein Will gescheh, Herr Gott, zugleich" (Your will be done, Lord God, alike)[8] is stanza 4 of Luther's 1539 hymn "Vater unser im Himmelreich,[8] a paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer.[17]. In the opening chorus Bach blends Picander’s text with the chorale ‘O Lamb of God most holy’, sung by the ripieno choir, to introduce the Passion. 2: No. And very successfully. In the 1727/1729 version, the soloist is a bass. In "Blute nur", the line about the serpent is set with a twisting melody. 49, "Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben", where the absence of strings and basso continuo mark a desperate loss of security. "In meines Herzens Grunde" (Within my heart's foundation)[8] is stanza 3 of Valerius Herberger's 1613 hymn "Valet will ich dir geben". The chorus alternates between participating in the narrative and commenting on it. A scene in Bethany (No. The St Matthew Passion was probably first performed on 11 April (Good Friday) 1727 in the St. Thomas Church, and again on 15 April 1729, 30 March 1736, and 23 March 1742. Bach was Thomaskantor (i.e., Cantor, and responsible for the music in the church) since 1723. This was sung only in 1742 and 1743–1746 and had been played on the organ before. ), followed by the question Wie? [28] Around December 1828 – January 1829 Devrient persuaded Felix that the two of them should approach Zelter to get the Sing-Akademie to support their project. The third chorale, movement 11, is inserted after Jesus asks those who are beating him for justification. [11][12] This article is written using the NBA numbering system. [citation needed], The arias, set to texts by Picander, are interspersed between sections of the Gospel text. 27a) Jesus's arrest, the chorus make angry interjections (Laßt ihn, haltet, bindet nicht!). [2] A setting of the then-popular Brockes Passion libretto, largely consisting of such paraphrasing, could not be done without replacing the paraphrases by actual Gospel text. The work is divided into two parts to be performed before and after the sermon of the Good Friday service. "[14] In 1749, Bach performed the St John Passion once more, in an expanded and altered form from the 1724 version, in what would be his last performance of a Passion. In a third, on 18 April, Zelter conducted, and soon there were performances in Frankfurt (where a previously projected performance of the Passion had been upstaged by those in Berlin) and in Breslau and Stettin.[32]. This page was last edited on 5 January 2021, at 20:55. Here at last was a St Matthew Passion that was compatible with the 140 voices of Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. The structure of the St John Passion (German: Johannes-Passion), BWV 245, a sacred oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach, is "carefully designed with a great deal of musico-theological intent". Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen – O Lamm Gottes unschuldig (Chorus I & II – Cantus firmus by ripieno soprano choir), 29. Five chorales conclude a scene (in movements 5, 14, 26, 37 and 40); while a chorale opens Part II (15). [13], The Bible text used for Part One is Matthew 26:1–56. Bach St Matthew Passion: Text, Translation and Musical Notes On the occasion of the centenary of the first performance of the St Matthew Passion in Aberdeen in 1912, Peter Parfitt, … The fourth chorale, movement 14, ends the second scene and Part I. The gospel account by John narrates the story in five "scenes". Jesus and all other male characters are sung by a bass (including Peter and Pilate) or tenor (servant); female characters (such as the Maid) are sung by a soprano, while the people who are often summarily called die Jüden (the Jews), the servants of the High Priest, and the soldiers are sung by a four-part chorus (SATB) in dramatic turba movements. 41) Jesus is sent to Pontius Pilate while Judas is overcome by remorse and kills himself. It also represents (outside of the St Matthew Passion) the largest instrumental ensemble used (calling for 3 1st Violins), and (for the first time in his work) calls for a Contrabassoon (used in all choral parts, as well as instrumental ritornellos). [8][20], The sixth chorale, movement 17, comments in two more stanzas from "Herzliebster Jesu" (3), after Jesus addresses the different people of his kingdom. "Weissage uns, Christe") and sometimes sing together ("Herr, wir haben gedacht"). [24] He had been hired to teach music theory to both Felix Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny. On the other hand, George Balanchine staged it in 1943 with Stokowski conducting, and the Hamburg Ballet presented a Saint Matthew Passion under John Neumeier with Peter Schreier in 1981. Notable staged performances include Jonathan Miller's 1997 production in English. The music of the cantata consisted largely of music adapted from the St Matthew Passion. 38) Peter is told three times that he belongs to Jesus and denies it three times – then the cock crows. Bach then revised it again between 1743 and 1746. Bach." In version 3, after Bach wrote his St Matthew Passion, he returned the opening chorus Herr, unser Herrscher and the final chorus Ruht wohl to their initial position, but removed the Gospel passages from Matthew and the closing chorale. It was compiled by an unknown author, who partly used existing text: from the Brockes Passion (Der für die Sünde der Welt Gemarterte und Sterbende Jesus, aus den IV Evangelisten, Hamburg, 1712 and 1715) by Barthold Heinrich Brockes, he copied the text for movements 7, 19, 20, 24, 32, 34, 35 (partly) and 39; he found movement 13 in Christian Weise's Der Grünen Jugend Nothwendige Gedanken (Leipzig, 1675) and took from Postel's Johannes-Passion (c. 1700) movements 19 (partly), 22 and 30. [2] That was the option chosen by Bach for his 1724 St John Passion. ), are sung without this "halo". [25], When Felix Mendelssohn was preparing his revival performance of the Passion in 1829 in Berlin (the first performance outside Leipzig), he cut out "ten arias (about a third of them), seven choruses (about half), [but] only a few of the chorales," which "emphasized the drama of the Passion story ... at the expense of the reflective and Italianate solo singing. The size of the organ lofts limited the number of performers for each Choir. In the evening (No. He dies. [8][25], The eighth chorale, movement 28, is related to Jesus telling his mother and John to take care of each other. Mendelssohn's revival brought the music of Bach, particularly the large-scale works, to public and scholarly attention (although the St John Passion had been rehearsed by the Singakademie in 1822). 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[ 29 ] of Matthew Judas overcome. Hired to teach music theory to both Felix Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny chorales reflect the narration of narration! Ritornellos now include a vocal movements, but let his disciples go common... Text used for Part one is Matthew 26:1–56 ] the 20-year-old Felix himself conducted the rehearsals and first performances... At fifteen as a … a Visitor 's Guide to Bach 's lifetime sang church. Not Part of his friend, Georg Philipp Telemann ( TVWV 5:1 ) ' kiss and arrested Symphony,! [ 19 ] [ 18 ] the Chorus sings, in most cases preceded by accompagnato... 65, `` Mache dich, mein Herze, rein '', the third scene performed under Cantor! 1730 – he reverted to the Mount of Olives ( No and arrested six!, No ( Chorus I ), No from Lutheran chorales reflect the narration follows Jesus instructions... Two ( No twisting melody five parts is the version ( with Chorus II singing mein Jesu, gute!... 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