– G. F. Händel: Der für die Sünde der Welt gemarterte und sterbende Jesus, HWV 48, (Brockes-Passion)
Christoph Genz (tenor – Evangelist), Andreas Wolf (bass – Jesus), Christina Landshamer (soprano − Daughter of Zion), Yeree Suh (soprano − Faithful Soul), Elvira Bill (mezzo soprano), Yosemeh Adjei (contratenor − Judas), Julius Pfeifer (tenor − Peter), Henryk Böhm (baritone), Zürcher Sing-Akademie, Tim Brown (preparation), Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Ensemble in residence), direction: Paul Goodwin
The poetic Passion text written by Barthold Hinrich Brockes for Reinhard Keiser in Hamburg in 1712 ranks among the most famous and the most frequently set to music ever. The somewhat pietistic libretto, »Der für die Sünde der Welt gemarterte und sterbende Jesus«, by the later Hamburg city councillor never failed to fascinate by virtue of its strong imagery. Perhaps even more, though, it inspired librettists, in imitation of Brockes’ style, to put a modern slant on the formerly extremely traditional Passion narrative (one example is the unknown librettist of Bach’s St. John Passion). However, out of more than ten settings, only that by George Frideric Handel (around 1715) became really well known. Scores of the work were still in circulation in Vienna at the time of Beethoven, and even the Austrian imperial household had one – after all, this was the only German-language oratorio by the Londoner-by-choice, whose later oratorios have libretti only in Italian and English. Johann Sebastian Bach, too, made a copy of the Brockes Passion and probably also performed it. We know of Bach’s affinity to the music of Handel and the man himself, and the account by C. P. E. Bach of how his father tried to meet his famous compatriot on several occasions when the latter visited his family in Halle, but failed each time, is positively touching.