St John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach

Summary

''Pa├čio secundum Joannem'']]

The '''''Passio secundum Johannem''''' or '''''St John Passion'''''Bach's Latin title is more literally "Passion according to John" (), BWV 245, is a Passion or oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach, the older of two surviving Passions by Bach.Steinberg, Michael. ''Choral Masterworks: A Listener's Guide'', 19. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005. It was written during Bach's first year as director of church music in Leipzig and was first performed on April 7, 1724, at Good Friday Vespers at the St. Nicholas Church.Williams, Peter. ''The Life of Bach'', 114. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2004.

The structure of the work falls in two halves, intended to flank a sermon. The anonymous libretto draws on existing works (notably Brockes') and is compiled from recitatives and choruses narrating the Passion of Christ as told in the Gospel of John, ariosos and arias reflecting on the action, and chorales using hymn tunes and texts familiar to a congregation of Bach's contemporaries.Daw, Stephen. ''The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach: The Choral Works'', 107. Canada: Associated University Presses, Inc. 1981. Compared with the ''St Matthew Passion'', the ''St John Passion'' has been described as more extravagant, with an expressive immediacy, at times more unbridled and less "finished."Steinberg, 22.

The work is most often heard today in the 1724 version although Bach revised it in 1725, 1732, and 1749, adding several numbers. "", a 1725 replacement for the opening chorus, found a new home in the 1727 St Matthew Passion but several arias languish in appendices to modern editions.

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