Johann Sebastiani's St. Matthew Passion
April 18, 2014
We close the season with a special Good Friday concert featuring the all-star instrumentalists and singers of the BEMF Chamber & Vocal Ensemble performing the St. Matthew Passion by German Baroque composer Johann Sebastiani led by Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs. Sebastiani’s St. Matthew Passion is one of the most sublime and deeply moving passion settings of the late 17th century. It is lushly scored for five voices, six strings, and a continuo group Sebastiani describes as “very colorful and strong” including organ, harpsichord, and multiple plucked instruments. The warmly lyrical vocal writing is accentuated by accompanying the Evangelist with a consort of viols, and Jesus with the violins. For our performance, James Taylor, one of the pre-eminent Bach Evangelists of our time, will use his communicative powers to enliven this important yet rarely heard predecessor of Bach’s Passions.