Bach – St. John Passion, BWV 245 – Part One

The St John Passion (in German: Johannes-Passion), BWV 245, is a sacred oratorio of Johann Sebastian Bach. The original Latin title: Passio Secundum Johannem translates to “The Suffering According to John” and is rendered in English also as St. John Passion and in German as Johannespassion. During the first winter that Bach was responsible for church music at the St. Thomas Church, Leipzig and the St. Nicholas Church, he composed the St John Passion for the Good Friday Vespers service of 1724. The St John Passion is a dramatic representation of the Passion, as told in the Gospel of John, constructed of dramatically presented recitatives and choruses, commented by reflective chorales, ariosos, and arias, framed by an opening chorus and a final one, followed by a last chorale. Compared to 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.” Originally Bach intended that the St. John Passion would be first performed in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, but due to a last-minute change by the music council, it was first performed in 1724 in the St. Nicholas Church. Bach quickly agreed to their desire to move the service to St Nicholas Church, “but pointed out that the booklet was already printed, that there was no room available and that the harpsichord needed some repair, all of which, however, could be attended to at little cost; but he requested that a little additional

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