Classical Concerts

Boston Symphony Orchestra Announces 2011-2012 Season

Friday, May 6, 2011
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May 6

The next season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra has been announced, and while there's always excitement surrounding the unveiling of a new season, many have wondered how the orchestra would proceed after James Levine's resignation as Music Director.

The schedule announced today shows that the answer to that question has a few parts. As many expected, the BSO will draw on its excellent relationships with eminent conductors of our day for some programs.  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, and Christoph von Dohnányi have all had a hand in spectacular performances of the past several years, and they'll anchor several programs in the coming season. 

But the BSO has also invited some conductors who have proven to be master interpreters and performers elsewhere.  Among them are two highly anticipated BSO debuts, those of Riccardo Chailly, who recently conducted a superb program at Symphony Hall with his Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and Czech conductor Jirí Belohlávek, the chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor-designate of the Czech Philharmonic.

The orchestra is also reaching out to new and younger voices, forging what might turn into exciting partnerships of the future, with conductors like Andris Nelsons, who stepped in at the last minute to conduct the BSO in Mahler's Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall in March, Ludovic Morlot, the Seattle Symphony's Music Director-designate and a former BSO Assistant Conductor, and Stéphane Denève, and the French conductor who led an exciting account of Roussel's Symphony No. 3 last month.

Whether any of these appearances ultimately leads to the naming of a new Music Director will only become clear over the course of the next year (or more;  learn more about the search process at Backstage with Brian Bell), but in the meantime, Boston's classical music audiences have some exciting possibilities and performances to look foward to.

Here is the entire season:

Friday, September 30, 6 p.m.
Opening Night at Symphony
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin and conductor
ALL-MOZART PROGRAM
Violin Concerto No. 3 in G, K.216
Violin Concerto No. 5 in A, K.219

Saturday, October 1, 8 p.m.
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin and conductor
ALL-MOZART PROGRAM
Violin Concerto No. 2 in D, K.211
Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-flat, K.207
Violin Concerto No. 4 in D, K.218

Thursday, October 6, 8 p.m.
Friday, October 7, 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, October 11, 8 p.m.
Sean Newhouse, conductor
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano
BRITTEN Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2

Thursday, October 13, 10:30 a.m. (Open Rehearsal)
Thursday, October 13, 8 p.m.
Friday, October 14, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 15, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, October 18, 8 p.m.
Juanjo Mena, conductor**
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
DVORÁK Cello Concerto
BARTÓK The Wooden Prince

Thursday, October 20, 10:30 a.m. (Open Rehearsal)
Thursday, October 20, 8 p.m.
Friday, October 21, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 22, 8 p.m.
Kurt Masur, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano
ALL-BRAHMS PROGRAM
Symphony No. 3
Piano Concerto No. 2

Wednesday, October 26, 7:30 p.m. (Open Rehearsal)
Thursday, October 27, 8 p.m.
Friday, October 28, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 29, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, November 1, 8 p.m.
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, conductor
Gidon Kremer, violin
SCHUMANN Violin Concerto
STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben

Thursday, November 3, 10:30 a.m. (Open Rehearsal)
Thursday, November 3, 8 p.m.
Friday, November 4, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 5, 8 p.m.
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, conductor
James Morris, bass-baritone
Tanglewood Festival Chorus,
John Oliver, conductor
HAYDN Symphony No. 1
HAYDN Symphony No. 100, Military
WAGNER Excerpts from Die Meistersinger von
Nürnberg

Thursday, November 10, 8 p.m.
Friday, November 11, 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 12, 8 p.m.
Myung-Whun Chung, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
WEBER Overture to Der Freischütz
BARBER Piano Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6, Pathétique

Thursday, November 17, 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 19, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, November 22, 8 p.m.
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Richard Goode, piano
Elizabeth Rowe, flute
BERLIOZ Roman Carnival Overture
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 25 in C, K.503
CARTER Flute Concerto
BARTÓK Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin

Friday, November 25, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 26, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, November 29, 8 p.m.
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
HARBISON Symphony No. 4
RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2
MAHLER Symphony No. 1

Thursday, December 1, 10:30am (Open Rehearsal)
Thursday, December 1
Friday, December 2, 1:30pm
Saturday, December 3
Jirí Belohlávek, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Gerald Finley, baritone
BEETHOVEN Grosse Fuge, for strings
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4
HARBISON Symphony No. 5

Wednesday, January 4, 7:30 p.m. (Open Rehearsal)
Thursday, January 5, 8 p.m.
Friday, January 6, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 7, 8 p.m.
Andris Nelsons, conductor**
Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet*
HAYDN Symphony No. 90
TURNAGE From the Wreckage, for trumpet
and orchestra (American premiere)
STRAUSS Thus spake Zarathustra

Thursday, January 12, 8 p.m.
Friday, January 13, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 14, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, January 17, 8 p.m.
David Zinman, conductor
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
WEBER Overture to Euryanthe
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1
HARBISON Symphony No. 6 (world premiere;
BSO commission)
STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks

Thursday, January 19, 8 p.m.
Friday, January 20, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 21, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, January 24, 8 p.m.
Riccardo Chailly, conductor*
PROKOFIEV Suite from The Love of Three Oranges
DEBUSSY Khamma
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

Thursday, January 26, 8 p.m.
Friday, January 27, 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 28, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, January 31, 8 p.m.
Riccardo Chailly, conductor
Carolyn Sampson, soprano*
Camilla Tilling, soprano*
Mark Padmore, tenor*
Tanglewood Festival Chorus,
John Oliver, conductor
MENDELSSOHN Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise)

Thursday, February 2, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 3, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 4, 8 p.m.
Charles Dutoit, conductor
Gautier Capuçon, cello*
STRAUSS Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
DUTILLEUX Tout un monde lointain, for cello
and orchestra
DEBUSSY La Mer

Wednesday, February 8, 8 p.m. (Tuesday series)
Thursday, February 9, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 10, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 11, 8 p.m.
Jaap van Zweden, conductor**
Emanuel Ax, piano
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2
RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 2

Thursday, February 16, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 17, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 18, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, February 21, 8 p.m.
Stéphane Denève, conductor
Marcelo Lehninger, conductor (February 21)
Peter Serkin, piano
RAVEL Mother Goose Suite
STRAVINSKY Concerto for Piano and Winds
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5

Thursday, February 23, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 24, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 25, 8 p.m.
Kurt Masur, conductor
Christine Brewer, soprano
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano
Simon O’Neill, tenor*
Eric Owens, bass-baritone
Tanglewood Festival Chorus,
John Oliver, conductor
BEETHOVEN Missa Solemnis

Friday, March 2, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 3, 8 p.m.
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Cédric Tiberghien, piano*
BERLIOZ Overture to Benvenuto Cellini
RAVEL Piano Concerto in G
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique

Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m. (Open Rehearsal)
Thursday, March 22, 8 p.m.
Friday, March 23, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 24, 8 p.m.
Juraj Valcuha, conductor*
Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin
KODÁLY Dances of Galanta
DVORÁK Violin Concerto
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3, Scottish


Tuesday, March 27, 8 p.m.
Thursday, March 29, 8 p.m.
Friday, March 30, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 31, 8 p.m.
Leonidas Kavakos, violin and conductor
J.S. BACH Concerto in D minor for violin, strings, and continuo, BWV 1052
LUTOSLAWSKI Musique funèbre, for strings
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4

Thursday, April 5, 8 p.m.
Friday, April 6, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 7, 8 p.m.
Christoph von Dohnányi, conductor
Anna Prohaska, soprano*
Hanno Müller-Brachmann, bass-baritone
Tanglewood Festival Chorus,
John Oliver, conductor
BRAHMS A German Requiem

Thursday, April 12, 8 p.m.
Friday, April 13, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 14, 8 p.m.
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
Leila Josefowicz, violin
RAVEL Le Tombeau de Couperin
SALONEN Violin Concerto
STRAVINSKY The Firebird (complete)

Wednesday, April 18, 7:30 p.m. (Open Rehearsal)
Thursday, April 19, 8 p.m.
Friday, April 20, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 21, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 24, 8 p.m.
Bernard Haitink, conductor
Layla Claire, soprano
Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano
Claire Bloom, narrator**
Women of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus,
John Oliver, conductor
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1
MENDELSSOHN Incidental music to A Midsummer
Night’s Dream

Thursday, April 26, 10:30 a.m. (Open Rehearsal)
Thursday, April 26, 8 p.m.
Friday, April 27, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 28, 8 p.m.
Bernard Haitink, conductor
Till Fellner, piano*
DEBUSSY Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K.482
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6, Pastoral

Thursday, May 3, 8 p.m.
Friday, May 4, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 5, 8 p.m.
Bernard Haitink, conductor
Jessica Rivera, soprano
Meredith Arwady, mezzo-soprano
Roberto Saccá, tenor*
Günther Groissböck, bass*
Tanglewood Festival Chorus,
John Oliver, conductor
STRAVINSKY Symphony of Psalms
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9

*connotes BSO debut
**connotes BSO subscription debut

 

Spring For Music, From Carnegie Hall

Thursday, May 5, 2011
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In the midst of conductor transitions, struggling orchestras, and dicey subscription renewal rates from audiences, orchestras all over the country are creating new concepts in programming to energize  and reinvigorate the concert experience.  A series of concerts at Carnegie Hall presented by Spring For Music puts that process on steroids.

Created through a proposal system open to orchestras around the country, each program casts is built around a specific artistic concept, bringing together familiar music in combination with lesser known pieces, many of them brand new commissions.

For Boston audiences, one particular concert stands out.  On May 10, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble known for exploring all corners of contemporary repertoire with their Music Director, David Alan Miller, will perform a program entitled Spirituals Re-Imagined.  Opening with George Tsontakis's Let the River Be Unbroken and closing with Aaron Copland's complete ballet Appalachian Spring, the heart of the program is The Spirituals Project.  This set of commissions based on American spirituals begins with works by two of Boston's great composers, John Harbison, with "Ain't goin' to study war no mo,'" and Donal Fox, with "Hear de' Lams A'cryin.'"

Join us at 99.5 All Classical for four of these concerts on the air, and all seven via live webcast.  Here's our broadcast schedule on 99.5, Boston's All Classical Station:

Saturday, May 7 at 10pm

ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
THE NEW BRANDENBURGS
[program notes]

AARON JAY KERNIS
Concerto with Echoes (inspired by Brandenburg No. 6)
MELINDA WAGNER
Little Moonhead (inspired by Brandenburg No. 4)
SIR PETER MAXWELL DAVIES
Sea Orpheus (inspired by Brandenburg No. 5)
CHRISTOPHER THEOFANIDIS
Muse (inspired by Brandenburg No. 3)
STEPHEN HARTKE
A Brandenburg Autumn (inspired by Brandenburg No. 1)
PAUL MORAVEC
Brandenburg Gate (inspired by Brandenburg No. 2)

Wednesday, May 11 at 8pm

ALBANY SYMPHONY
David Alan Miller, Music Director
SPIRITUALS RE-IMAGINED
[program notes]

GEORGE TSONTAKIS
Let the River Be Unbroken

The Spirituals Project

JOHN HARBISON
“Ain’t goin’ to study war no mo’"
DONAL FOX
“Hear de’ Lams A’cryin’”
BUN CHING LAM
“Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”
TANIA LEON
“Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel”
DANIEL BERNARD ROUMAIN
“Harvest”
KEVIN BEAVERS
“Deep River”
RICHARD ADAMS
“Stan’ Still, Jordan”
STEPHEN DANKER
“Wade in de’ Water”
Nathan De’Shon Myers, baritone

AARON COPLAND
Appalachian Spring (complete ballet,1945)

Saturday, May 14 at 10pm

THE SAINT PAUL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
[program notes]

IGOR STRAVINSKY
Concerto in D for String Orchestra
MARIA SCHNEIDER
Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra
Dawn Upshaw, Soprano
Maria Schneider, Conductor
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Commission (New York premiere)
BELA BARTOK
Five Hungarian Folk Songs for Soprano and String Orchestra, arranged by Richard Tognetti
Dawn Upshaw, Soprano
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN
Symphony No. 104 in D, London

Sunday, May 15 at 3pm

ORCHESTRE SYMPHONIQUE DE MONTREAL
Kent Nagano, Music Director

THE EVOLUTION OF THE SYMPHONY

GIOVANNI GABRIELI
Sacrae Symphoniae for brass excerpts
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Sinfonias, for solo keyboard, Nos. 1-5
Angela Hewitt, Piano
ANTON WEBERN
Symphony, Op.21
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Sinfonias, for solo keyboard, Nos. 8,9
Angela Hewitt, Piano
IGOR STRAVINSKY
Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920 version)
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Sinfonias, for solo keyboard, Nos 11, 12, 15
Angela Hewitt, Piano
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67



And here is the complete list of live webcast programs.




Friday, May 6, 2011 at 8pm

ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
THE NEW BRANDENBURGS
[program notes]

AARON JAY KERNIS
Concerto with Echoes (inspired by Brandenburg No. 6)
MELINDA WAGNER
Little Moonhead (inspired by Brandenburg No. 4)
SIR PETER MAXWELL DAVIES
Sea Orpheus (inspired by Brandenburg No. 5)
CHRISTOPHER THEOFANIDIS
Muse (inspired by Brandenburg No. 3)
STEPHEN HARTKE
A Brandenburg Autumn (inspired by Brandenburg No. 1)
PAUL MORAVEC
Brandenburg Gate (inspired by Brandenburg No. 2)



Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 8pm

TOLEDO SYMPHONY
Stefan Sanderling, Music Director
[program notes]
Director: Cornel Gabara
Cast: Pete Cross—Alexander
David de Christopher—Ivanov
Yazan “Zack” Alquadi—Sasha
Kevin Hayes—Colonel
Benjamin Pryor—Doctor
Pamela Tomassetti—Teacher

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 30
ANDRE PREVIN TOM STOPPARD
Every Good Boy Deserves Favor
(New York City premiere of full orchestra version)


Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 8pm

ALBANY SYMPHONY
David Alan Miller, Music Director
SPIRITUALS RE-IMAGINED
[program notes]

GEORGE TSONTAKIS
Let the River Be Unbroken

The Spirituals Project

JOHN HARBISON
“Ain’t goin’ to study war no mo’"
DONAL FOX
“Hear de’ Lams A’cryin’”
BUN CHING LAM
“Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”
TANIA LEON
“Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel”
DANIEL BERNARD ROUMAIN
“Harvest”
KEVIN BEAVERS
“Deep River”
RICHARD ADAMS
“Stan’ Still, Jordan”
STEPHEN DANKER
“Wade in de’ Water”
Nathan De’Shon Myers, baritone

AARON COPLAND
Appalachian Spring (complete ballet,1945)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 8pm

THE DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Jaap van Zweden, Music Director
[program notes]
Indira Mahajan, Soprano
Kristine Jepson, Mezzo-soprano
Vale Rideout, Tenor
Rod Gilfry, Baritone
Dallas Symphony Chorus (prepared by Don Krehbiel)

STEVEN STUCKY
August 4, 1964
(New York premiere)

Commisioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and first performed in September 2008 to commemorate the 100th birthday of President Lyndon B. Johnson.


Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 8pm

OREGON SYMPHONY
Carlos Kalmar, Music Director
[program notes]

CHARLES IVES
The Unanswered Question
JOHN ADAMS
The Wound-Dresser Sanford Sylvan, Baritone
BENJAMIN BRITTEN
Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Symphony No. 4 in F minor


Friday, May 13, 2011 at 8pm
THE SAINT PAUL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
[program notes]

IGOR STRAVINSKY
Concerto in D for String Orchestra
MARIA SCHNEIDER
Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra
Dawn Upshaw, Soprano
Maria Schneider, Conductor
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Commission (New York premiere)
BELA BARTOK
Five Hungarian Folk Songs for Soprano and String Orchestra, arranged by Richard Tognetti
Dawn Upshaw, Soprano
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN
Symphony No. 104 in D, London


Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 8pm

ORCHESTRE SYMPHONIQUE DE MONTREAL
Kent Nagano, Music Director

THE EVOLUTION OF THE SYMPHONY
[program notes]

GIOVANNI GABRIELI
Sacrae Symphoniae for brass excerpts
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Sinfonias, for solo keyboard, Nos. 1-5
Angela Hewitt, Piano
ANTON WEBERN
Symphony, Op.21
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Sinfonias, for solo keyboard, Nos. 8,9
Angela Hewitt, Piano
IGOR STRAVINSKY
Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920 version)
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Sinfonias, for solo keyboard, Nos 11, 12, 15
Angela Hewitt, Piano
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
 
(photo credit: Jeff Goldberg/Esto, courtesy Carnegie Hall)

Hear Music From The Royal Wedding

Friday, April 29, 2011
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(photo:  AP)

England's Royal Wedding of 2011 for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge included stunning musical performances.  Hear them on demand:

Processional Sequence:

For Queen Elizabeth:  March from The Birds, by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
For the clergy:  Prelude on Rhosymedre, by Ralph Vaughan Williams
For the bride:  "I was Glad," by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry




Hymns:

"Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer," words by William Williams, translated by Peter Williams and others, and music by John Hughes
"Love Divine All Love Excelling," words by Charles Wesley and music by William Penfro Rowlands
"Jerusalem," by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, words by William Blake


 

"This is the day which the Lord hath made," by John Rutter, commissioned by Westminster Abbey as a wedding present and performed by both the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal Choir





"Ubi caritas," by Paul Mealor, a Welsh composer




"Blest pair of Sirens," words by John Milton from At a Solemn Musick, music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry




The National Anthem




Recessional Sequence:

"Valiant and Brave," after the motto of No. 22 Squadron (Search and Rescue Force), composed for the occasion by Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs, Principal Director of Music in the Royal Air Force
Crown Imperial, by William Walton
Toccata, from Symphonie V, by Charles-Marie Widor
"Pomp and Circumstance March No. 5," by Edward Elgar


 

And if you missed any of Cathy Fuller's pre-wedding interview this week with conductor Christopher Warren-Green, you can hear it here.

Simon Trpceski Plays Liszt

Friday, April 29, 2011
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Soprano Dawn Upshaw

Friday, April 29, 2011
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Dawn Upshaw is one of the music world's most innovative and inspirational singers.  On Friday, April 29, she'll perform a recital with pianist Stephen Prutsman, presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston. She visited 99.5 All Classical to talk with host Cathy Fuller about the program and her new recording of music by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy.





In 2008 she visited WGBH, and hosts Cathy Fuller and Richard Knisely had the opportunity to talk with her work and the state of classical music in our culture.



Suzuki Conducts Bach

Thursday, April 21, 2011
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Masaaki Suzuki has, over the course of many years, established an approach to Bach's sacred music that combines scholarly thoughtfulness with a lyrical interpretive style that elucidates the relationship of the text and music. His dozens of recordings of Bach's cantatas with the ensemble he founded, Bach Collegium Japan, have engendered a wide following amongst audiences and critics.

Suzuki conducts his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut with Bach's St. John Passion in the final version by Bach, revised in 1749 in the year before his death.

The soloists include soprano Hana Blažíková, mezzo-soprano Ingeborg Danz, tenor Christoph Prégardien, and bass-baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann.

Here are excerpts from the Boston Symphony Orchestra's program notes, written by Helen M. Greenwald.  The complete notes and text translation are available from the BSO.
 

Traditional Holy Week observance includes the daily reading and/or musical performance of accounts in the four Canonic Gospels—Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John—of the events in the last week of Jesus’s life. The term “Passion” refers specifically to the suffering of Jesus, and John’s version of it, read each year on Good Friday, ends at the burial after the crucifixion ... Bach’s St. John Passion is thus a text-driven work with a well-defined functional history...

... It is important to understand its two intersecting planes—the first, a narrative (recitatives and choruses) and the second, commentary and reflection (chorales and arias). The story is told by the Evangelist, and selected events are reenacted through dialogue between characters—Jesus, Pilate, the Girl, Peter, and the Servant—and the crowd...

... In 1749, when he conducted the St. John Passion at St. Thomas [right], his eyesight had been failing for quite some time. By 1747, he had already delegated some of his cantor’s responsibilities to his pupil and copyist, Johann Nathanael Bammler, for whom he later wrote a reference—the last known document in Bach’s own hand, dated April 12, 1749, just a week after his final performance of the St. John Passion.

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