St. Matthew Passion

KPAC blog: Saturday Afternoon At The Opera
12:42 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

A Holiday Special, J.S. Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion'

Johann Sebastian Bach at 61 years old.
Elias Gottlob Haussmann Wikipedia Commons

Last week, we played Wagner's Parsifal, which is often referred to as an Opera-Oratorio. This week, for the beginning of the holiday season, it's Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion; in its turn, the work is often called a Concertante Opera. If ever there was an oratorio that called out to be dramatized, the St. Matthew Passion is it. While living in New York, I met many scenographers who dreamed of the day they'd have a shot at the cosmic drama. Also termed, "The most monumental musical drama before the Ring," Bach's passion has it all.

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