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Hearing Bach's Passions - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Hearing Bach's Passions

Daniel R. Melamed


Johann Sebastian Bach's two surviving passions—St. John and St. Matthew—are an essential part of the modern repertory, performed regularly both by professional ensembles and amateur groups. These large, complex pieces are well-loved; but because of our distance from the original context in which they were performed, questions and problems emerge. Bach wrote the passions for a particular liturgical event at a specific time and place; we hear them hundreds of years later, often a world away and usually in concert performances. They were performed with vocal and instrumental forces deployed accor ... More

Keywords: J. S. Bach, passions, St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, performance practice, vocal scoring, parody, singers, sources, transmission

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780195169331
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169331.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel R. Melamed, author
Yale University