Bach’s Two Passions

A blessed and grace-filled Passion/Palm Sunday to all our readers. Johann Sebastian Bach, according to sources, wrote five ‘Passions’, orchestral chorales based the final days of the life of Christ, but only two have come down to us: Saint John’s and Saint Matthew’s, both profound, musically rich and complex, whose depths can never really be fully plumbed, but always appreciated. The hope embedded in this music may provide peace and serenity for your souls, with that beauty that transcends all time, all epochs, all crises and calamities.

So here are Bach’s Passions, this following the text of Saint John, first performed on April 7, 1724, at Good Friday Vespers:

The one following the text of Saint Matthew’s, was first performed three years hence, on April 11, 1727, a longer and more complex musical work. But both pieces savour the genius of Bach, and we may glory therein, as they, as Bach always intended, give glory to God.