St. John Passion
Bach’s first Passion
J. S. Bach
Niall Chorell, tenori (evankelista)
Jyrki Korhonen, basso (Jeesus)
Tuuli Lindeberg, sopraano
Teppo Lampela, altto
Jere Martikainen, tenori
Sampo Haapaniemi, basso
Hannu Norjanen, johtaja
J. S. Bach’s St. John Passion is more dramatic and passionate than its sister, the St. Matthew Passion. The St. John Passion expressively tells the Easter story, from the arrest to the burial of Jesus, through artful arias, heartfelt chorales and pompous choral scenes. According to its title, the text is based on the Gospel of John, but Bach also made use of many other texts.
The passion is divided into two parts, because it was initially intended for the Good Friday prayer. The sermon was held between the two parts, and it is possible that the congregation sang along to the chorales. It is known that Bach edited and renewed the St. John Passion several times during his lifetime. The oratorio is familiar and skilful Bach through and through.
Tapiola Chamber Choir now interprets the piece for the first time as Tapiola Chamber Choir. Most of its members have performed it before, either in the Peter Schreier Choir in Savonlinna in 1995, or in other choir productions. Led by Hannu Norjanen, Tapiola Chamber Choir has not yet performed the passion.
For the choralists, Bach’s St. John Passion is interesting to sing, and Bach knows how to surprise. The St. John Passion is often more chromatic than, for example, the St. Matthew Passion, and the rhythmic figures can be unexpected. The bass’ Wohin-aria is a veritable undertaking for the choir, the orchestra, as well as for the bass soloist. The St. John Passion leaves neither performers nor listeners indifferent.