Monday, February 11, 2008

Lenten Silence

When J.S. Bach lived and worked in Leipzig, the Lenten season was strictly observed, and instrumental music was not allowed in church or home. Bach composed only one cantata for the season (BWV 80), and that was done in Weimar many years earlier. The preeminent works during Lent were the Passions, performed on Holy Week. I will be listening to the St. Matthew Passion during the entire season of Lent and posting my comments.

I have chosen the recording by Paul McCreesh and the Gabrielli Players. This has been a somewhat controversial reading of Bach, using the theory of OVPP (one voice per part). Aside from disagreements over this theory, the McCreesh recording has received rave reviews, and I am looking forward to listening closely to it.

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