MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

The Bach Passions Project in Seattle

Passions Project

Over the weekend, Stephen Stubbs and his Pacific MusicWorks company concluded their ambitious Passions Project with performances of the St. John Passion. The project included partnering with the Seattle Symphony for the St. Matthew Passion the previous weekend. Here’s my review for Bachtrack:

Adducing Simon Schama’s comparison of Rubens’s Descent from the Cross with the same subject as painted by Rembrandt, the conductor and Bach authority John Eliot Gardiner has observed that the differences drawn by the art historian – chiefly, between an emphasis on “action and reaction” in the former and “contemplation and witness” in the latter – might broadly be applied to Bach’s two great Passions as well: St John and St Matthew, respectively. Audiences in Seattle have been provided an opportunity to compare and contrast these unfathomably rich works on the basis of live performances of both, presented over consecutive weekends.

continue reading at Bachtrack

Filed under: Bach, Pacific MusicWorks, review, Seattle Symphony

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  1. […] past two weeks, in concerts featuring the same vocal soloists, I’ve taken advantage of the rare opportunity to experience and compare the two great Passions by J.S. Bach that survive. (Pro Musica also […]


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