Johann Sebastian Bach

Johannes Passion

Johannes Passion BWV 245 (1724)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Passion first performed at the St. Thomas church in Leipzig
on Good Friday, 7 April 1724

musical direction: Philippe Pierlot
staging: Calixto Bieito
dramaturgy: Bettina Auer
scenography: Aída Leonor Guardia
costumes: Ingo Krügler
lights: Michael Bauer

Evangelist : Joshua Ellicott
Jesus : Benjamin Appl
Soprano : Lenneke Ruiten
Alto : Carlos Mena
Tenor : Robert Murray
Bass/Pilate : Andreas Wolf

Filming : François Roussillon

Chœur de Paris
Les Talens Lyriques

Filmed by FRA Prod on Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 May 2021

Broadcasted on Friday 4 June 2021 and available during 6 month on the Operavision plateforme

A key work by Johann Sebastian Bach, the Saint John Passion paints a monumental fresco that is a pure masterpiece of sacred art.

In April 1724, Bach had already been working as a director of music in Leipzig for some months when he proposed his Saint John Passion. It was composed for Holy Week and is rooted in German musical tradition, based on the biblical text as paraphrased by Luther himself. Its immense theatrical impact derives not only from the score’s impressive architecture but also from its powerful narrative elements, the expressive force of its choral parts, the beauty of its arias, and the spirit of communion generated by its choruses. Everything here converges round the timeless mystery with which believers are confronted: the putting to death of their Lord. The music is driven by a dramatic rhetoric that carries the listener with it from beginning to end.