Widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of classical sacred music, the St. Matthew Passion is an oratorio written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, with libretto by Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici). It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew (in the German translation of Martin Luther) to music, with interspersed chorales and arias.
You can hear it in its entirety on Good Friday, beginning a few minutes after 12 noon, on WRTI. The recording we’ll feature in this year’s St. Matthew Passion broadcast is by the Bach Collegium, Japan, with Music Director Masaaki Suzuki conducting. Soloists include Gerd Türk, tenor (Evangelist); Peter Kooij, bass (Jesus); Nancy Argenta, soprano; Robin Blaze, counter-tenor; Makoto Sakurada, tenor (Testis II); Chiyuki Urano, bass (Judas, Petrus, Pilatus, Pontifex).