Passion and Joy: The Masterpieces of J.S. Bach Week Five: The Passions of J.S. Bach, St. Matthew and St. John
Arguably the greatest musical compositions ever created, the two surviving Passions of J.S. Bach ( there were perhaps as many as four that he wrote), these are works I have listened to and studied with devotion for the past twenty-two years. I know I will never get to the end of understanding them, and I can seldom make it through an entire performance (live or recorded) without being shaken to my emotional core.
John Eliot Gardiner's version is my favorite videotaped performance of the St. John Passion. Below is also the stirring rendition of "Mache diche mein Herze rien" by the phenomenal bass Thomas Quasthoff, and an excerpt of the dramatic staging of the St Matthew Passion by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. How I wish I had been able to see this live!