Hertford Choral Society

Hertford Choral Society / Events / Sat 25 Mar 2023

Bach St Matthew Passion

Bach St Matthew Passion

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his St. Matthew Passion for a single purpose — to present the Passion story in music at Good Friday vesper services.

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. Bach divided the music into two parts. Highlights of the first part include the last supper and the betrayal and arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
In the second part, the music turns softer and more sombre — signaling the inevitability of the story — as it depicts the trial, crucifixion and burial of Jesus. The Passion ends with the darkly textured chorus "In tears of grief." Bach could leave his parishioners in a sorrowful mood, knowing that they'd be celebrating Christ's resurrection in just a few days.

Bach built his Passion from choruses both small and large, and arias for specific characters such as Jesus, Judas, Peter and Pontius Pilate. The Evangelist, a role for tenor voice, is the principal storyteller, moving the drama along through through a kind of half sung, half spoken recitative. Supporting Bach's massive structure are three grand choruses — at the beginning, middle and end — standing as tall pillars, holding up the surrounding music.

Hertford Choral Society performs this dramatic work and pinnacle of the choral repertoire on 25th March 2023. Do join us. Tickets available via https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/booking/venueplan/RdiEJKhzXNnT

For more information visit https://www.hertfordchoral.org.uk/current-season/spring-concert

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