Bach St. John Passion

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm

The Catherine B. Fair & Esther D. Hamilton Memorial Concer

The culmination of Bach’s work as a church musician was reached in his Passions according to St. John and St. Matthew. These two works represent the apogee of Passion settings in oratorio style; they are among the most revered of all choral compositions.

The St. John Passion is the more concise and dramatic of the two. Throughout the rich array of recitatives, arias, chorales and choruses, nearly every phrase affords examples of Bach’s genius for merging pictorial musical figures with expressive effects.

Program notes by Dennis Keene are online here.

This will be our first performance of this masterpiece in ten years. We are delighted to bring back from last season’s St. Matthew Passion the outstanding tenor Derek Chester as the Evangelist.

The libretto is online in pdf format for downloading.

(This performance is the second of three concerts of the Voices of Ascension's Bach Initiative Series, which includes the St. Matthew Passion last season, the St. John Passion this year, and the Mass in B Minor in 2014. We are very grateful to all those who have donated special gifts to make this series possible, and we look to everyone, this year and next, for continued support!)