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Johann Sebastian Bach

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Articles

Bach's St Matthew and St John Passions

Diego Velásquez: Cristo Crucificado © Wikipedia | Public Domain
Jane Shuttleworth reflects on the very different natures of Bach's St John and St Matthew Passions. 

The Bach Passions: An Introduction

There can be few more evocative words in music than ‘passion’. As well as its familiar English definition, in a musical context it also suggests the commemoration of that most emotive Christian story, the journey of Jesus to the cross. The word has also come to be all but synonymous in music with its two greatest exemplars: the St. John and St. Matthew Passions of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Ten alternative versions of Bach

Historically-informed performance fanatics, look away now.

The Goldbergs: Bach’s magical inventiveness

Autograph score of the Aria
As part of Baroque Month, an exploration by Fran Wilson of Bach's incredible Goldberg Variations... fertile terrain for those who dare to walk there.

10 major Bach works on Bachtrack At Home

August Weger's 19th century engraving of Bach © Public domain | Wikimedia Commons
There’s a range of works by Bach on Bachtrack At Home. Here, we explore 10 of the best. 

Baroque Portrait: Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos

Johann Sebastian Bach
If I’m feeling a bit down, and in need of a quick pick-me-up, my musical drug of choice is Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 2 in F major. After just a few bars of that cheerfully busy theme, I’ll be starting to smile, and by the time the trumpet starts its insane trilling my spirits are well and truly lifted. 
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LondonChristmas Oratorio sung by the boys of the London Oratory Schola

© The London Oratory Schola
Bach: Christmas Oratorio, BWV248
Charles Cole; Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School; St Cecilia Players; Nicholas Mulroy

ViennaWeihnachtsoratorium

Bach: Christmas Oratorio, BWV248
Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Philippe Jordan; Julia Kleiter; Wiebke Lehmkuhl; Werner Güra; Andrè Schuen

NottinghamThe Hallé Christmas Concert with Stephen Bell and Noah Stewart, tenor

The Hallé Christmas Concert with Stephen Bell and Noah Stewart, tenor
Coates, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Donizetti, Prokofiev, Puccini, Bach, Lara, Traditional, Elfman, Styne, Martin, Anderson
The Hallé; Stephen Bell; Noah Stewart

BarcelonaMozart String Quintets

Mozart String Quintets
Mozart, Bach
Apollon Musagète Quartet; Nils Mönkemeyer
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Seasonal joy from Ludus Baroque at Greyfriars Kirk

Ludus Baroque © Andy Staples
Edinburgh’s Ludus Baroque joined by the Marian Consort bring seasonal joy and Baroque warmth in a complete performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
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Strauss and Schubert songs contrasted with Matthias Goerne

Matthias Goerne, Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic © Chris Lee
Almost every June from 1989 to 1999, I visited the charming town of Feldkirch, in the Vorarlberg region of Western Austria, for the annual Schubertiade, originally founded in 1976 by the great German baritone Hermann Prey.
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Soulful Advent music from the Scottish Ensemble with Sean Shibe

Sean Shibe © Kaupo Kikkos
The Scottish Ensemble with guitarist Sean Shibe perform a thoughtful programme of ancient and modern Christmas-themed music in a candlelit St John’s Kirk.
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Belated Bach: Boston Symphony debuts the Christmas Oratorio

Andris Nelsons and soloists with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus © Winslow Townson
In Germany, the Christmas Oratorio is performed with the same frequency during the holiday season as Messiah in English-speaking countries. In Boston, the BSO gives its first performance!
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