St Matthew Passion with Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars
Sir Simon Rattle
Rundfunkchor Berlin, Magdalena Kožená, Simon Halsey, Topi Lehtipuu, Camilla Tilling, Christian Gerhaher, Boys of the Staats- und Domchor Berlin, Mark Padmore, Peter Sellars, Eric Owens
Johann Sebastian Bach
St Matthew Passion · Part I (01:14:07)
Rundfunkchor Berlin, Magdalena Kožená Mezzo-Soprano, Simon Halsey Chorus Master, Topi Lehtipuu Tenor (Arias), Camilla Tilling Soprano, Christian Gerhaher Baritone, Boys of the Staats- und Domchor Berlin, Mark Padmore Tenor (Evangelist), Peter Sellars Staging, Eric Owens Baritone, Eric Owens Baritone
Johann Sebastian Bach
St Matthew Passion · Part II (01:52:46)
Rundfunkchor Berlin, Magdalena Kožená Mezzo-Soprano, Simon Halsey Chorus Master, Topi Lehtipuu, Camilla Tilling Soprano, Christian Gerhaher Baritone, Boys of the Staats- und Domchor Berlin, Mark Padmore, Peter Sellars Staging, Eric Owens Baritone, Eric Owens Baritone
Introduction by Simon Halsey (00:16:49)
Peter Sellars in conversation with Mark Padmore (00:23:12)
“Not all musicians believe in God, but they all believe in Johann Sebastian Bach,” said Mauricio Kagel, who grappled intensely with the life of the cantor at St. Thomas’s Church, plagued by bureaucratic city fathers and unmotivated Latin pupils, when he composed his own Passion. The term “Passion” is inextricably linked with the name “Bach”, first and foremost due to his St. Matthew Passion, already a work of superlatives in terms of its external dimensions. That’s because the oratorio of the suffering and death of Christ, which in Bach’s lifetime eclipsed anything conceivable in the field of music, consists of no fewer than 68 individual movements (formerly counted as 78), which include, among others, the monumental opening chorus, the chorale setting “O Mensch, bewein dein Sünden groß” and the epic final chorus.
Already in the first version of the work from 1727 an extensive double choir setting of choir and orchestra is also required: the impressive stereophonic effects have lost none of their fascinating impact. (Bach himself demonstrably dared at a 1736 performance to separate the ensembles completely, enabling the real-spatial differentiation of the dialogue between the two vocal-instrumental ensembles.)
Jointly with the Rundfunkchor, boys from the Berlin Staats- und Domchor and a top-notch soloist ensemble, for the 50th anniversary of the dedication of Hans Scharoun’s Philharmonic Hall and opening the festival week, Sir Simon Rattle will be addressing Bach’s greatest passion music, a work one can become addicted to, a work in which you can always discover something new even if you’ve listened to it repeatedly. But seeing will not come up short on these three evenings either: as in April 2010, St. Matthew Passion will be performed in Peter Sellars’s unforgettable staging.
On CD & Blu-ray: Bach’s St Matthew Passion
with Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars