Saturday, January 31, 2009

St. Matthew Passion (music, Bach)

Now that we are reading the Passion part of the gospel of Mark (the part about the crucifixion), you may want to enrich your study and meditative experience with Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

I've been listening to the St. Matthew & St. John passions for probably about 25 years. They have been a very important part of my meditation on Christ's great gift to us.

This is an oratorio for Good Friday, about 2 hours long. It's sometimes been referred to as the high point of Western music. You can click on the "autoplay" link and it will play the whole thing for you without having to advance from video to video.

Link to the St. Matthew's Passion on Youtube

There are also St. Mark passions - there is one which is either attributed to Bach, or else was not completed by Bach. The two passion pieces which are really considered Bach masterpieces are the St. Matthew Passion (probably the best-known) and the St. John Passion.

This is a playlist series of the whole Passion (I think, haven't listened it through yet), 20 videos. Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra are very good. There's a recording of them doing this which I have heard many times. I've heard better ones, but this is nice since it's completely youtubed.

You can find the lyrics here along with some other information about the St. Matthew Passion and the musical genre of passion oratorios in general.

[ NOTE: * don't * get your theology from music pieces, even Bach! ;) ]