The St. Matthew Passion by J. S. Bach is one of the great masterworks of the repertoire, a musical monument that has stood the test of time and continues to be revealing for listeners. This is a piece that Craig comes to again and again, and his experience with it has been shaped by his work with the preeminent Bach scholar and conductor Helmuth Rilling.
“Rilling had created a wonderful institution called the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart where I had the privilege of studying with him. The culture they developed there was extraordinary. With some of the best musicians in Europe we engaged with a steady diet of all of the major Bach works – the Passions, the B Minor Mass, the Christmas Oratorio and so many cantatas. I studied, sang and played while there, and I learned the St Matthew from him. I still feel the deep-rooting yield from his wise and generous teaching. Every time I perform it, he is a part of it.”
You can also get a sense of Rilling’s intimate knowledge and the passion he inspires for the work of Bach – and learn more about the St. Matthew Passion – through listening to his St. Matthew Passion Discovery videos at http://oregonbachfestival.com/digital-bach-project/discovery/discovery-st-matthew-passion