This work is one of Bach’s most unusual creations. It’s the story of Jesus’ last week of life, based on Books 18 and 19 of the Lutheran Bible, controversial because they’re based on a Gospel source that is widely regarded as anti-Semitic. We’ll explore this issue in a pre-concert talk led by Dr. Bruce Johnson and MusicaNova Music Director Warren Cohen.
The oratorio features vocal soloists and a small chorus, and uses period instruments like a lute, viola d’amore and viola da gamba, to replicate the sounds of Bach’s day. The challenging Choruses are sung by the professional MusicaNova Singers, while the audience is invited to sing along with the hymn-like Chorales.