The Knox Music Series presents
St. Matthew Passion ~ Johann Sebastian Bach
Sunday, April 10, 2022 ~ 3 p.m.
About the Event
J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion will be presented on Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. by the Knox Music Series of Knox Presbyterian Church. Earl Rivers, Knox Director of Music, conducts the 32-voice Knox Chamber Choir, Knox Soloists, Double Orchestra and Cincinnati Youth Choir (Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music), Robyn Lana, Artistic Director.
The work will be presented in the English translation of the great American conductor, Robert Shaw. Guest Soloists include CCM Faculty Artist: Daniel Weeks, tenor, as the Evangelist, Stephen Hanna, bass-baritone, as Jesus, and Thom Mariner, baritone, as Pilate. The Knox Soloists/Section Leaders featured as the Aria Soloists include sopranos Erin Keesy and Jackie Stevens, mezzo-sopranos Ellen Graham and Debra Templeman, tenor Andrew Jones, and baritones Michael Young and Thomas Dreeze.
A free-will offering will be collected.
About the Music
Bach’s St. Matthew Passion was first performed on Good Friday in 1729 for the congregations in Leipzig where Bach was responsible for the church music in four of the city’s principal churches. Recognized as the most accomplished setting of the Passion story from the account of the Gospel of St. Matthew, the drama is effectively unfolded by Bach’s incorporation of every available musical form and style of the late mature Baroque period.
Set in two parts for double choir and double orchestra of strings and winds, the narrative is told by a tenor Evangelist, and soloists portray the characters of Jesus, Judas, Peter, Pilate and others. The soloists also present individual arias, often featuring solo orchestral instruments, which communicate a personal reflective quality at significant points in the Passion story. The choirs participate actively in a variety of roles as disciples, chief priests, elders, soldiers, and as onlookers in crowd scenes. Chorale (hymn) settings, sung by the choirs representing the world community of believers, bring points of repose and closure to the scenes within the work. The combined choirs and orchestras frame the entire drama with large-scale movements that open and close each of the two parts.
The KMS program is free.
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Acclaimed for the presentation of sacred choral/orchestra masterworks before the greater Cincinnati community, the Knox Music Series last performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on Good Friday of 1987, 1994 and 2002. Knox Church was cited by Cincinnati Magazine as having the “Best Church Music” in Cincinnati.