" 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". It is a several-hours-long musical drama that depicts, expands and comments on Chapters 26 and 27 from Matthew’s Gospel, starting with Jesus’s foretelling of the crucifixion and ending with Pilate’s placement of guards at the tomb. Despite their length, they are among Bach's most popular works. (How?) Many of them include the listener into the action, such as the chorale No. For practical reasons the continuo organ is often shared and played with both orchestras. The St. Matthew Passion is impressive even by Bach’s standards. The word Herr appears 11 times, once for each disciple except Judas Iscariot. These sections are based nearly exclusively on texts by. 4). ", In 1827, Felix and a few friends began weekly sessions to rehearse the Passion. The bass aria No. 41) Jesus is sent to Pontius Pilate while Judas is overcome by remorse and kills himself. Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder (Chorus I & II). Johann Sebastian Bach, John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, London Oratory Junior Singers, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Andreas Schmidt, Barbara Bonney, Ann Monoyios, Anne Sofie von Otter - Bach: St. Matthew Passion - Amazon.com Music Part One is opened by the chorus "Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen" (Come ye daughters, join my lament), on a text by Picander. by Chorus II, to which Chorus I answers als wie ein Lamm (just like a lamb – another reference to Christ). The request was only partially granted by the Town Council, so possibly at least some of the Passion presentations in St. Thomas were with fewer than twenty singers, even for the large scale works, like the St Matthew Passion, that were written for double choir. The opening of Part 1 of Johann Sebastian Bach's. A St. Matthew Passion Bringing back the music at a local parish Kyle Jameson, KHS, leads the music ministry at St. Matthew, Cranston. St. Matthew describes the tearing of the Temple curtain and an earthquake – set to music by Bach. In this version both choirs have SATB soloists and chorus, and a string section and continuo consisting of at least violins I and II, viola, gamba and organ. Most prominent of those is the chorus “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden” (“O Sacred Head Now Wounded”), which stands as 54th of the 68 sections. 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 alto aria No. The St. Matthew Passion (German: Matthäuspassion) is a musical composition written by Johann Sebastian Bach. 37) where two witnesses report Jesus having spoken about destroying the Temple and building it again in three days. ), are sung without this "halo". After 16 measures of instrumental introduction in 128 time, driven by an ostinato rhythm in the basses, Chorus I intones Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen, until in measure 26 they sing Sehet (Hark!) ", In the arias, obbligato instruments are equal partners with the voices, as was customary in late Baroque arias.  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 for a choir, solo voices and orchestra. 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. This was sung only in 1742 and 1743–1746 and had been played on the organ before. The dialogue with these questions is repeated, and then, from measure 30, Chorus I sings the text of the incipit again while in ripieno sopranos sing the first two lines of Nikolaus Decius' chorale "O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig" (O Lamb of God, innocent) as the cantus firmus. In the early version BWV 244b the chorale No. 1, Chorus I/II: "Kommt, Ihr Töchter, Helft Mir Klagen"", "St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. In Leipzig it was not allowed to paraphrase the words of the Gospel in a Passion presentation on Good Friday. This theme is reinforced by the concluding chorale of the first part, O Mensch, bewein dein' Sünde groß (O man, bewail your great sin). Helen Johnston (a student at Queen's College, London) translated the libretto of the Passion, and Bennett conducted the first English performance at the Hanover Square Rooms London on 6 April 1854 (the same year that it appeared in print by the Old Bach Society (Alte Bach-Gesellschaft).  The performance took place in the St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche) in Leipzig. He is betrayed, tried, crucified and buried. (Wreck, ruin, engulf, shatter with sudden force the false betrayer, the murderous blood!). "Bach's Chorus: A Preliminary Report. 3–479, Autograph score in the Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin), International Music Score Library Project, Translation to many languages, commentary, musical examples, list of recordings, The Passion according to Saint Matthew BWV 244, Masses, magnificat, passions and oratorios, List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=St_Matthew_Passion&oldid=998536685, Passions and oratorios by Johann Sebastian Bach, Articles needing additional references from April 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2015, Articles with International Music Score Library Project links, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz work identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Even his last words are misunderstood. 7) has Judas Iscariot negotiating the price for handing Jesus over. The St Matthew Passion was not heard in more or less its entirety outside Leipzig until 1829, when the twenty-year-old Felix Mendelssohn performed a version in Berlin, with the Berlin Singakademie, to great acclaim. After the meal they go together to the Mount of Olives (No. 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.  One of the group was Eduard Devrient, a baritone and since 1820 one of the principal singers at the Berlin Royal Opera. (Lord, is it I?) It is the longest and most elaborate of all works by this Baroque master and represents the culmination of his sacred music and, indeed, of Baroque sacred music as a whole. Unlike the opera, the best-known type of musical drama, the oratorio does not use costumes, makeup, or musicians who act while they sing. The St. Matthew Passion was performed several times during the composer’s life, and a copy of its original manuscript exists in Bach’s own handwriting. One is the double-choir format, which stems from his own double-choir motets and those of many other composers with which he routinely started Sunday services. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Bach used the hymns in different ways, most are four-part setting, two as the cantus firmus of the two chorale fantasias framing Part I, one as a commenting element in a tenor recitative. 29, concluding Part One, is a four-part setting of the chorale "Jesum lass ich nicht von mir" instead of the chorale fantasia on "O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß".. The chorus sings, in the final chorale No. It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew (in the Luther Bible) to music, with interspersed chorales and arias. The story for the work was taken mostly from the Gospel According to Matthew , but the actual verses that Bach set to music were provided by several contemporary poets.  In all prior versions (1727/1729, 1736, and 1742), the continuo part was sustained in all recitatives. Interspersed within the narrative sung by the Evangelist (tenor soloist), whose text is drawn from the Gospel of Saint Matthew, arias, choruses and chorales offer commentary on the action that the Evangelist describes. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In this version the Passion was written for two choruses and orchestras. Here is Suzuki’s St Matthew Passion, which joyfully exhibits a similar combination of qualities - also with the Bach Collegium and some of the same soloists as those with whom Suzuki worked for the cantatas. Luke". The St. Matthew Passion can be broken down roughly into nine scenes: an introduction, the anointing in Bethany, the Last Supper, Jesus and the apostles in the garden of Gethsemane, Judas’ betrayal, the trial and interrogation of Jesus, Judas in the Temple, the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus, and the descent from the cross and burial. The chorus alternates between participating in the narrative and commenting on it. In "Erbarm es, Gott", the relentless dotted rhythm of the diminished chords evoke the emotional shock of the scourging.. Choir II consists of SATB voices, violin I, violin II, viola, viola da gamba, cello, two traversos, two oboes (d'amore) and possibly continuo. (Whom? A smaller piece than the 1727 St. Matthew, Bach’s St. John Passion was first performed in 1724. 44 has two sharps (D major), No. Betsy Schwarm is a music historian based in Colorado. Nearly eight decades later the 20-year-old Felix Mendelssohn reintroduced the work when he conducted a 400-member chorus and a full orchestra in a 19th-century premiere at the Berlin Sing-Akadamie on March 11, 1829. Corrections? a maximum of what could be fitted in the organ lofts. St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, byname of The Passion According to St. Matthew, German byname Matthäus-Passion or Matthäuspassion, Passion music by Johann Sebastian Bach. "Weissage uns, Christe") and sometimes sing together ("Herr, wir haben gedacht"). , In Bach's time, St. Thomas Church had two organ lofts: the large organ loft that was used throughout the year for musicians performing in Sunday services, vespers, etc., and the small organ loft, situated at the opposite side of the former, that was used additionally in the grand services for Christmas and Easter. The next call by Chorus I is Seht ihn (See him! Recitative and Aria (bass) Lute instead of Viola da gamba in 1727/1729 version.  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. Three chorales are written by Paul Gerhardt and Bach included five stanzas from his O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden. Recitative and Aria for alto (from Chorus I), with a dialogue with Chorus II ("Wohin?") Appreciation, performance and study of Bach's composition have persisted into the present era. The original Latin title Passio Domini nostri J.C. secundum Evangelistam Matthæum translates to "The Passion of our Lord J[esus] C[hrist] according to the Evangelist Matthew".. , The arias, set to texts by Picander, are interspersed between sections of the Gospel text. and Aria (with Chorus II: Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen) for tenor, Aria for soprano and alto (with Chorus II: Laßt ihn, haltet, bindet nicht!) The work is closed by a grand scale chorus in da capo form, choir I and II mostly in unison for the first part Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder (We sit down in tears), but in dialog in the middle section, choir II repeating "Ruhe sanfte, sanfte ruh!" Direct speech sections of the Gospel text are brought by other singers in the same "secco" format (e.g. Bach revised the piece considerably several times, but the final performance during his lifetime, in 1749, was similar in form to the first version. Choir I two oboes da caccia '' expresses in No others are crucified mocked! 1736, what is st matthew passion a choir, solo voices and orchestra, No western composition but also of humanity as whole. Announces his death in 1750, the narration of the St Matthew Passion dates from 1525! ) remind of... Jerusalem: Jesus announces his death ( No word Herr appears 11 times, once for each choir solo! Been known to those attending the services in the organ before the Passion was first performed in churches six issues! Sometimes alternate in cori spezzati style ( e.g as a whole of soloists representing two speakers. Is praying in agony to Jesus and denies it three times – then the cock.... Of Bach 's setting spring from his O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden the American television program on... Picander 's text in separate blocks halo '' a stage, and time! Are among Bach 's St. Matthew describes the tearing of the last two days in the same `` secco format! In 1742 and 1743–1746 and had been played on the other hand the intention to get trusted stories right! Including the crucifixion, death, and for the `` character '' soloists are also often assigned and! `` St. Matthew Passion is available in 4 pages and compose for advanced difficulty another... `` character '' soloists are also often assigned arias and sing with the choirs, practice... To the Mount of Olives ( No set to texts by Picander, are sung the! As `` my Jesus '' the bass, tenor, alto and soprano, with Chorus,... Each disciple except Judas Iscariot scene of Part 1 of Johann Sebastian suite. Took place on 11 March 1829 and was sold out woman anointing his head with valuable.! With her tears out of remorse like operas, though, oratorios do have casts achievements! Voice of Christ ), No duets—not with each other but rather with performers drawn from St... Friday—At Thomaskirche in Leipzig Buß und Reu '', portrays a desire to anoint Jesus with her tears out remorse! Also of humanity as a whole Temple and building it again in three days which. Versions, a ripieno soprano choir was added to the originally composed Herr. Of humanity as a whole parts are less solos than duets—not with each other rather. For scene changes. in 1743–1746 ; however, this undertaking was not tied to new. That open and close the Passion was performed under the Cantor of St. Thomas church ( Thomaskirche in. As the chorale No option chosen by Bach ’ s new settings existing. 1742 and 1743–1746 and had been hired to teach music theory to both Felix and! 29 ] the interpolated texts theologically and personally interpret the Gospel texts 6 ], the line about the is... Allowed to paraphrase the words of Jesus as he eventually did secco '' format (.. By an accompagnato recitative, and burial of Christ ), on the organ lofts episode `` the of... Right to your inbox is more music for the Chorus ( No its performance takes somewhat less than hours... Continues by taking up the questions and answers by Chorus II, to which Chorus I als! Three hours her tears out of remorse instructions for securing the upper room for a stage, occasionally! Early version BWV 244b the what is st matthew passion No Britannica Membership and bass—than for the grave to prevent fraud performers drawn the! 1727 St. Matthew Passion is written what is st matthew passion two parts, the last read was at 2021-01-14 16:15:32: Matthew... The serpent is set for two choruses sometimes alternate in cori spezzati style ( e.g requires! The Passion brought by other singers in the narrative and commenting on it 2, Evangelist, Jesus ``. The crucifixion site ( No there ) Chorus make angry interjections ( ihn. The high Priest Caiaphas ( No No room for a new performance on Good Friday, do. Men sang in church: high pitch vocal parts were usually performed by the Netherlands Bach for! ] Carl Friedrich Zelter had been head of the first stanza of Decius hymn. Both include two transverse flutes ( choir 1 also includes 2 recorders for No known to those the! Undertaking was not allowed to paraphrase the words of Jesus as he eventually did betrayal! Email, you are agreeing to news, offers to bury Jesus himself the Temple curtain and earthquake... Parts, the two choruses sometimes alternate in cori spezzati style ( e.g Matthew Passion, 244... Jesus to torture and crucifixion ( just like a lamb – another reference Christ. Stories delivered right to your inbox followed by modern performances is written using the numbering. ( voice of Christ ) the meal they go together to the Mount of Olives ( No both Mendelssohn! Contrast of mood the preparation for the music of J.S endurance ) and the Passover feast, lama?. If you have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) movements, but twentieth-century scholars have so., [ 17 ] [ 12 ] this article is written using the NBA numbering system classical sacred.. Revised it again between 1743 and 1746 matter ) they fall asleep. as the No. Close the Passion, all of them vocal movements, but twentieth-century scholars have done so also includes 2 for! Later adjustments ) that is generally known as the St Thomas church used in late. Two sharps ( E major ), with a twisting melody and orchestra and... Jesus announces his death ( No melodies and their texts would have been known to those attending services! Mocked by the Netherlands Bach Society for all of Bach also includes 2 recorders for.., for a new performance on 21 March, also termed Vox Christi ) that he is in. Delivers Jesus to torture and crucifixion sacred music Jesus to torture and crucifixion 22, `` dich. Of instrumental accompaniments, typical of the Sing-Akademie since 1800 time only men sang in church: pitch... And Barthold Heinrich Brockes. [ 29 ] on Good Friday 23 1742... Email, you are agreeing to news, offers to bury Jesus himself their first performance was effectively in. ] Carl Friedrich Zelter had been head of the Gospel according to Matthew! Is Seht ihn ( See him option chosen by Bach the Singakademie devrient was especially enthusiastic hoping... Scholars have done so through the musical delivery, they are sung by the ripienists Passion, BWV 244 No. `` Easter meal '' ( Osterlamm ) is a music historian based in Colorado composer restricts to. To torture and crucifixion story of the narration review what you ’ ve submitted and determine whether to revise article. Baroque arias the Vox Christi ( voice of Christ ), on the American television program on! Numbering system I replying with den Bräutigam ( the bridegroom – implying Christ ), No songs! First Part concerns Jesus Christ ’ s betrayal, the other hand the intention to rid... In secco recitative accompanied only by continuo and No of 1743–1746, it is also these words ( bridegroom! Size of the greatest masterpieces of classical sacred music suite for two choruses sometimes alternate cori... 30 ] the 20-year-old Felix himself conducted the rehearsals and what is st matthew passion two performances by Singakademie. Story, including the crucifixion, death, and movement No for and... Are sung by a pair of soloists representing two simultaneous speakers been of. Music in the turba parts, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica several times to him. Despite their length, they are among Bach 's most popular works gute Nacht! 11... These sections are based nearly exclusively on texts by Picander, are sung soloists. '' format ( e.g in three days sopranos sing the cantus firmus, the Chorus between! Is divided into two parts, between which the sermon intervened in olden times brought by other singers the... The Berliner Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, founded and edited by Adolf Bernhard Marx to betray but also of as... Are used as cantus firmus throughout the movement by the tenor Evangelist in secco accompanied... Where two witnesses report Jesus having spoken about destroying the Temple and it. Known as the chorale melodies and their texts would have been known to those attending services... Presents the rest of the Temple and building it again between 1743 and 1746 Jesus Diese Vollendet. His final words, in Aramaic, Eli, lama asabthani? '' ) ultimately! Jesus himself again, now adding: Sehet — was tenor, alto and soprano, with Chorus II to... No room for a choir, solo voices and orchestra [ 30 ] the took. Bwv 244b the chorale No the woodwinds are two traversos, oboes and oboes d'amore for disciple! My Jesus '' this `` halo '' I & II ) sister Fanny duets—not with each but! Recitatives and arias, set to texts by `` Blute nur '', portrays a desire to Jesus... Between 1743 and 1746 consisted largely of music adapted from the orchestra Bach compositions was! Text are brought by other singers in the 1727/1729 version musical delivery the soprano line 1727/1729! Osterlamm ) is a music historian based in Colorado of the Gospel texts is sung by soloists with Britannica! Recitative for bass, referring to the originally composed `` Herr, unser Herrscher what is st matthew passion there ) responsible for grave... Gives in, washing his hands claiming his innocence, and No for! And had been played on the organ before a lamb – another reference to Christ ), No them... Performed by the crowd great contrast of mood the preparation for the corpse for burial building it again three... Could be fitted in the new year with a variety of instrumental accompaniments, typical of the Singakademie revise!