On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University will perform its triennial performance of one of the three major works of Johann Sebastian Bach. This year’s selection is the “St. Matthew Passion,” which was last performed on campus in 2010, featuring Valpo’s Chorale, Bach Choir and Bach Orchestra, along with special guests the Fort Wayne Children’s Concert Treble Choir and the Leipzig Baroque Orchestra.
“The Bach Institute is pleased to offer performances of Bach’s majestic and magisterial Matthäus-passion (St. Matthew Passion),” said Christopher M. Cock, DMA, director of the Bach Institute and Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Lutheran Music. “This work, of unparalleled dimension, scope and expression, is one of the greatest monuments of western culture, and the powerful theological and spiritual vision created by the incomparable J.S. Bach.”
The St. Matthew Passion, originally intended for use during Good Friday vespers services, debuted at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, in 1727. The work is widely recognized as one of greatest pieces of Western music, with an interlocking of voices and instruments that creates an emotional connection into this dramatic journey. Bach built his Passion from choruses both small and large, as well as arias for specific characters such as Jesus, Judas, Peter and Pontius Pilate.
The Bach Institute was established to ensure the legacy of the music and theological perspective of Bach for future generations. The Institute explores the life and music of J.S. Bach from its proper historic, musical and theological context through faithful and artistic performances, seminars and other academic activities.
The Bach Institute’s performance of “St. Matthew Passion” will take place at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, in the Chapel of the Resurrection on Valparaiso University’s campus, followed by a stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 1.
Tickets for the Valpo performance are available online at valpo.edu/bach or the Valpo box office at 219.464.5162. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission tickets cost $40 for preferred seating, $25 for adults, $20 for senior citizens and $10 for non-Valpo students. Admission is free to Valpo students, faculty and staff.