Johann Sebastian Bach

The St Matthew Passion, in which Bach gives full expression to his splendour and maturity

Philippe Herreweghe
Philippe Herreweghe © Wouter Maeckelberghe


Julian Prégardien tenor (The Evangelist)
Florian Boesch bass-baritone (The Christ)

Choir Soloists I
Dorothee Mields soprano
Damien Guillon countertenor
Reinoud Van Mechelen tenor
Peter Kooij bass

Choir Soloists II
Grace Davidson soprano
William Shelton countertenor
Hugo Hymas tenor
Tobias Berndt bass

Philippe Herreweghe direction
Collegium Vocale Gent Orchestra and Choir

Sung in German with French and English subtitles

In the early 18th century, a tradition of performing a major choral work on Good Friday based on the Passion of Christ became widespread in Germany. In the years between his St John Passion (1723-24) and St Matthew Passion (1727), Bach had continuously enriched his musical experience and brought a number of innovations to his second major Passion. He achieved the fullest possible sound by adding a third chorus and enhanced the variety of the recitative. Bach’s masterpiece rounded off in some respects the very long list of Passions in the history of music. Subsequent versions were, with few exceptions, not true Passions in the liturgical sense as Bach understood it, and paved the way for the oratorio.

Production Théâtre des Champs-Elysées