The final concerts of the year feature one of Bach’s most profound artistic contributions—considered by many to be one of the crowning achievements of sacred music —the legendary St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244. Bach calls for not one but two choirs and orchestras in his masterfully crafted musical depiction of chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew. It is the longest and most elaborate of Bach's works and represents the culmination of his sacred music and, indeed, of Baroque sacred music as a whole.
The story for the work was taken mostly from the Gospel According to Matthew, but the actual verses that Bach set to music were provided by several contemporary poets. His principal contributor was Christian Friedrich Henrici, a poet who wrote under the name of Picander. The St. Matthew Passion is divided into two parts. The first part concerns Jesus Christ’s betrayal, the Last Supper, and his prayers and arrest in Gethsemane. The second part presents the rest of the biblical story, including the Crucifixion, death, and burial of Christ.
Vocal Fellows join the BA|Charlotte Cantata Choir and NCBO under the direction of Scott Allen Jarrett.