Good Friday

Friday 10 April 2020

Good Friday or Passionis Domini

Today is Good Friday or Passionis Domini, the opener of Easter weekend, which the end of Lent. A very important liturgical holiday, marking the death of Jesus Christ. The performance of a passion oratorio was customary at that time, with notable works from composers like Händel, Telemann or Fasch.

Bach's Matthaeus Passion, BWV 244, is of course a monumental work, often performed and well-loved around the world. It was probably first performed for the Vespers of Good Friday on April 11th, 1727, in the Thomas Kirche in Leipzig.

I've chosen the very recent recording by John Eliot Gardiner, the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, but there are so many great recordings to choose from, like the minimalistic recording by La Petite Bande, where the soloists also perform the choir parts as was possibly the case in Bach's time.

Cantatas

  • Passio secundum Matthaeum, BWV 244
    (first performance 11 April 1727, Leipzig period)

Extra information

The Netherlands Bach Society website (in Dutch) has more information and a performance of BWV 244, the Matthaeus Passion:
https://bachvereniging.nl/nl/bwv/bwv-244/. You can also find this performance on their Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/ZwVW1ttVhuQ