No 122 Passion 5

Fri 15th June 2018  »  8:00 pm

– J. D. Zelenka: Gesù al Calvario, ZWV 62

Gabriela Eibenová (soprano − Maria Vergine), Lenka Cafourková (soprano − Maria Maddalena), Markéta Cukrová (alto − Maria di Cleofa), Franz Vitzthum (contratenor − Gesù), Filippo Mineccia (contratenor − San Giovanni), Ensemble Inégal, direction: Adam Viktora

Concert introduction: 7.00 pm, Zeitgeschichtliches Forum, Dr. Manuel Bärwald · Pre-concert talk: 7.00 pm, Alte Börse, Prof. Dr. Andrew Talle (in English)
Ticket prices: € 77,00 | 62,00 | 37,00 | 19,00
reduced: € 67,00 | 52,00 | 32,00 | 16,00

A few years before Bach took up the post of Thomaskantor in Leipzig, his predecessor Johann Kuhnau had begun the tradition of singing a lengthy, two-part Passion music at vespers on Good Friday. This alternated every year between the churches of St. Thomas and St. Nicholas. Bach continued this practice and contributed at least three of his own compositions to the Passion repertoire in Leipzig, two of which – the »St. John Passion« and the »St. Matthew Passion« – have come down to us in several versions. Of the »St. Mark Passion«, however, we have only the libretto, although from this it has been possible to reconstruct some parts of the music. With his elaborate Passion settings lasting several hours, Bach placed great emphasis on the Good Friday vespers and ensured that during his incumbency, the service developed into the most important annual musical event of the year in Leipzig. But the musical offerings of Holy Week took top priority in other centres of Baroque music too. For example, Reinhard Keiser created a major sensation in Hamburg in 1704 with a performance of the Passion oratorio »Der blutige und sterbende Jesus« based on a libretto by Christian Friedrich Hunold, while three decades later, Jan Dismas Zelenka performed oratorios in Italian at the Catholic court of Dresden during the week before Easter. At the 2018 Bach Festival, Keiser’s Passion oratorio will be performed in the 1729 version, the only one that has come down to us.