The Galaxy – Easter Music, Part I

Tonight we continue (or, rather, restart) a piece of music that was sadly interrupted by a power outage last week.  Johann Sebastian Bach‘s masterpiece St. John’s Passion is one of two surviving masterpieces that Bach wrote as part of a tradition of Easter Passion observances that date back to Martin Luther (a third, St. Mark’s Passion, is among the large number of Bach compositions that were lost in the years following his death).  One might think that the Lutheran tradition of Passion observances had a special significance for Bach, as he conducted 25 such performances, and also presented works other than his own.  The two surviving passion works also rank among his longer works (St. Matthew’s Passion is his longest work, at over 3 hours in length), and Bach revised St. John’s Passion 4 times, including a revision in 1749, less than a year before his death.

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