– J. S. Bach: Johannes-Passion, BWV 245, (Fassung 1725)
Thomas Hobbs (tenor – Evangelist), Florian Boesch (bass – Jesus), Dorothee Mields (soprano), Damien Guillon (altus), Sebastian Kohlhepp (tenor), Peter Kooij (bass), Collegium Vocale Gent, direction: Philippe Herreweghe
On Good Friday 1724, Bach’s first Passion, that of St. John, was performed in the church of St. Nicholas. This two-hour long composition doubtless exceeded anything previously heard in Leipzig. The gigantic choruses especially were a complete novelty for the congregation. The following year (1725), a greatly revised version of this Passion was performed in St. Thomas’s Church. Among the changes was the inclusion of three chorale arrangements (two extended chorale choruses and a bass aria with a soprano cantus firmus). In Leipzig, the St. John Passion was first performed in the 19th century on Palm Sunday 1844 under the baton of the cantor of St. Thomas’s Church Moritz Hauptmann. Fascinated by the work, two years later he wrote: »but the choruses are harsh and barbaric in their grandeur and the choral writing ... condensed ... with scarcely a break«.