The popularity of Bach’s Matthew Passion and the various styles of performing the work

Riccardo Chailly, future director of the Concertgebouw Orchestra (© Rob Croes)

One of Holland’s oldest musical traditions is the annual performance at Easter of the Passion of St. Matthew by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Tickets for the performances of the Passion—an oratorio composed in 1727 for choir, orchestra and soloists—are often sold out in many places months in advance. Robert Chesal looks at the artistic and religious appeal of this music for the Dutch.

Broadcast:  April 4, 1999