Johann Sebastian Bach

In the St Matthew Passion, Bach’s artistry is fully expressed in all its splendour and maturity

Vaclav Luks © Petra Hajska


Emöke Baráth soprano
Krešimir Stražanac bass baritone (The Christ)
Maximilian Schmitt tenor (The Evangelist)
Sophie Harmsen mezzo-soprano
Krystian Adam  tenor
Johannes Weisser baritone (Pilate)

Václav Luks direction
Orchestre National de France
Chœur de Radio France direction Edward Caswell
Maîtrise de Radio France direction Marie-Noëlle Maerten

Sung in German with French and English subtitles 


The practice of performing a major choral work based on the passion of Christ on Good Friday became widespread in Germany in the early 18th century. During the handful of years separating the St John Passion (1723-24) from the St Matthew Passion (1727), Bach worked tirelessly to enrich his compositional experience and to add a number of innovations to his second great work. He pushes the fullness of sound in the work to its apogee (notably via the introduction of a third chorus) and extends the variety of the recitatives. Bach’s masterpiece brings to a virtual close the very long list of Passions which grace the history of music. Those written subsequently, with a few exceptions, will no longer be Passions in the liturgical sense used by Bach, but blazed the trail for the oratorio form.

Coproduction Théâtre des Champs-Elysées / Radio France
France Musique enregistre ce concert.

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