The St. Matthew Passion is just one of Bach’s passion settings. His other well-known setting is that of the St. John Passion. Over the years Craig has worked with many artists on bringing both of these works to fruition. Many of them have performed the passion with Craig several times, offering a depth and special connection to the work. Thom Pavlechko played the organ in 2000 when Conspirare performed this work.
Thom shares a musician’s insight into working with Craig, and also shares a powerful story about how those performances inspired him to revisit the translations of both the St. Matthew and St. John Passions of J. S. Bach. (Attendees at April’s Big Sing sang Thom’s translation of one of the St. John Passion chorales.) The creation of these fresh translations was an extended process, and Thom’s videos, below, illustrate the way a community became engaged in bringing to life a new edition of texts. He offers a powerful statement about the impact of texts and the factors that go into preparing translations. In this way he also invites us to enter into the St. Matthew Passion with our unique ears.
Thom will play the portative organ at this weekend’s St. Matthew Passion performances.
In Part 1 Thom shares about his St. John Passion translations and the thought process that what went into them. He also gives a reading of the Chorale No. 6, “Eternal King Supreme Beyond All Measure” from the St. John Passion. Listen for a comPassion reference!
In Part 2 Thom is about half-finished with his St. Matthew Chorales. He jokes that maybe we will see them in another decade!