Sunday
19. March 2006

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

St John Passion

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678–1741)
SYMPHONY in B minor RV 169
AL SANTO SEPOLCRO
for strings and basso continuo
Adagio molto
Allegro ma poco

HUBERT GAISBAUER
SEHT, WELCH EIN MENSCH! (BEHOLD THE MAN!)
A literary meditation

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685–1759)
St John Passion (Hamburg, 1704)

Stefan-Alexander Rankl Evangelist (tenor)
Robert Holl Jesus (bass)
Florian Meixner Pilate (alto)
Ellen van Lier soprano I
Doris Bogner soprano II
Martina Parzer alto
Gernot Heinrich tenor
Gebhard Heegmann bass

CHORUS MUSICA SACRA KREMS
CAPPELLA MUSICA SACRA

Alfred Endelweber musical direction


The St John Passion, ascribed to the young George Frideric Handel, was first performed in Hamburg in Holy Week in 1704. No written accounts of this premiere of the dramatic passion oratorio exist. Contemporaries of Handel such as Friedrich Nicolaus Bruhns, Reinhard Keiser or Christian Ritter are also considered as possible composers. Thus, the discussion among musical experts about Handel’s authorship has continued up to the present day. In any case, the fact is that this St John Passion is a solemn and fitting Good Friday music for religious worship that is also of appropriate scope for that period. Rather unusual compared with other musical versions of the Passion, the work begins with the flagellation of Christ and describes in concise dramatic scenes the process until the death on the cross and the entombment, while arias and duets – quite in the spirit of piety of the early 18th century – take a compassionate look at the events of the Passion.

Among the guest artists are internationally renowned vocal soloists such as Robert Holl, who has adopted Krems as his home town (Jesus), Stefan-Alexander Rankl (Evangelist), as well as the Chorus Musica Sacra Krems and Cappella Musica Sacra (members of various Viennese orchestras) under the direction of Alfred Endelweber.

© Musica Sacra

© Musica Sacra