Bach Hour playlist for 04/03/2015

St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244

For today’s program, we listened to part of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, in honor of it being Good Friday, the day that this piece was historically performed. Widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of classical sacred music, this Passion, a sacred oratorio, was written by Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, with the libretto by Picander. It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew (in Martin Luther’s German translation) to music, with chorales and arias interspersed. The St Matthew Passion was probably first performed on Good Friday in 1727 in Leipzig.