Bach pulled out everything in his St. John Passion: the orchestra included almost every conceivable instrument in the original version of the piece. His lyricist used very pictorial language. Bach added a sea of musical affects to the powerful language, which in its diversity and complexity is overwhelming and, in the best sense of the word, “theatrical”.
BachThe following articles on the keyword "Bach" have previously appeared in the CARUS blog.
Tag Archive for: Bach
When asked about her favorite composers or indeed a favorite piece, Ute Kelemen could give a whole range of different answers. But if she really wanted one composer for her spell on that desert island, then it would be Bach. A single chorale by him holds so much comfort and hope that she would be able to survive for a while.
What do we actually know about the personality of Bach over beyond the idealization of the Cantor of St. Thomas and even deification? It is only possible to compile cautious assumptions about his personal manner with the aid of sparse surviving comments by himself or his contemporaries. Some of his secular cantatas depicting the social life of his time hint at humorous and light-hearted character traits.
carus music, the choir app, offers valuable support for choir singers. Mirjam James and Elizabeth Robinson love to prepare a performance of Bach’s B minor Mass with this practice aid.
The St. John Passion was performed under Bach’s direction in Leipzig at least four times, but each time in a different form. And not all versions survive complete, so decisions need to be made for each performance nowadays. Increasingly the 1725 version with the opening chorus “O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß” is performed. The omission of “Herr, unser Herrscher” in this performance version is coupled with new discoveries. We hear the part of the evangelist as it was sung back then in Leipzig. In addition, highly dramatic arias such as “Himmel reiße, Welt erbebe” are heard to their best advantage.