Sa 2 Apr 2022

J. S. Bach
St. John Passion

8:30pm | St. Stephen's Cathedral

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Every suffering is followed by a resurrection - we are bringing this hope and promise to your living room. Fitting the time of Lent, you will hear J. S. Bach's St. John Passion from St. Stephen's Cathedral by a cast of the Vienna State Opera. The live stream performance of the St. John Passion from St. Stephen's Cathedral in 2021 will be followed by the live performance in 2022.

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!"

The Vienna State Opera presents the young talents of its opera school, who are given the opportunity to showcase their skills.

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