Tuesday, March 15, 2016

J.S. Bach's St. John Passion

In honor of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, one of the early exponents of historically informed performance who passed away on March 5, I am posting the following video of his performance of J.S. Bach's St. John Passion from 1985. Bach's St. John Passion is not as well known as his St. Matthew Passion. Nevertheless, the opening chorus is as powerful and moving as any other piece he wrote. The heavy emphasis on the lordship and glorification of Jesus Christ is a fitting meditation on his person and mission, especially since the Gospel readings at Mass for this time in the liturgical year (after Laetare Sunday and Passion Sunday) were traditionally drawn heavily from the Gospel of St. John. It may be a bit of a surprise, but some of the ideas to be found in the Lutheran Bach's work mesh very well with Catholic theology.
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