– J. S. Bach: Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244
James Gilchrist (tenor – Evangelist), Stephan Loges (bass – Jesus), Hannah Morrison (soprano), Eleanor Minney (alto), Reginald Mobley (altus), Andrew Tortise (tenor), Gareth Treseder (tenor), Alex Ashworth (bass), Ashley Riches (bass), Jonathan Sells (bass), Thomaner-Nachwuchs-Chöre, Maria Leistner (preparation), Grit Miamingui (preparation), Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, direction: Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Bach’s St. Matthew Passion provides specific evidence of the gradual transition in people’s perception of the Passion since 1670. The clearest manifestation of this can be seen in the way time-hallowed artistic means gave way to new forms of expression of personal piety, providing much greater scope than before for the religious sensibilities of the observer. We do not know how many connoisseurs of music in Leipzig were aware of the uniqueness of this gigantic work. However, the fair copy made by Bach in 1736 bears witness to the fact that his »great Passion« was intended to be a part of his musical legacy for the subsequent generation, that of his sons and pupils. Mendelssohn, who studied the Passion under his teacher Carl Friedrich Zelter from 1820 onward, performed it in public for the first time in 1829.