Sat 27 Mar
8:30pm | St. Stephen's Cathedral
Youth Choir of the Vienna State Opera
Stage Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera
Evangelist: Brent Damkier, tenor
Lea Dlouhos / Ellinor Heldt / Theresa Praxmarer / Aylin Yildirim, soprano
Lara Kaya Ege, alto
Jakob Weingartner, tenor
Tobias Wurm / Jakob Krammer / Constantin Müller, bass
Johannes Mertl, conductor
J. S. Bach, St. John Passion (Passio secundum Johannem, BWV 245)
Listen to Bach's St. John Passion with the Youth Choir and Stage Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera suitably before Easter in Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral!
Lent is always the time of performances of J. S. Bach's world-famous Passions. Although the St. John Passion was composed a few years before the St. Matthew Passion and is today considered Bach's earliest Passion work, it is in no way inferior to Bach's later works in terms of intimacy and intensity.
When the St. John Passion was heard for the first time in Leipzig on Good Friday 1724, the congregation heard a work that was unusual for its time in terms of range, quality, ambition and spiritual depth. Did anyone suspect that centuries later this work by the then newly officiating Thomaskantor would become one of the most important works of musical world literature and one of the most frequently performed works of sacred music?
The work, which consists of two parts and follows the usual structure of the Passion narrative, draws heavily on the text of the Passion narrative in John's Gospel. In both parts, the text includes not only the biblical story, but also chorales, as well as freely composed choruses and arias. Thus, Bach ends this oratorio with Jesus' final words, "It is finished!"