Rens Bijma

Matthäus-Passion (St Matthew Passion)

Premiere of the single-choir version, performed in the R.C. Johannes de Doperkerk (St. John the Baptist Church) in Den Burg, Texel, Netherlands) on April 17, 2019, by soloists, choir Amici Cantus (leader Lida Wels) and Baroque Orchestra Eik en Linde conducted by Ellen Verburgt.

First performance (corona-proof) of the revised version on March 28, 2021 in the Stadsgehoorzaal in Leiden by Johannes and Friends (Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht) with eight singers conducted by Johannes Leertouwer

On Sunday, April 17, 2019, my reconstruction of a hypothetical primal version of Bach’s St Matthew Passion premiered in Den Burg (Texel).
This reconstruction was revised in 2020 in collaboration with Pieter Dirksen.
On Sunday, March 28, 2021, this revised version was performed by Johannes and Friends conducted by Johannes Leertouwer in Leiden. On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, this performance was broadcast without an audience via NPO Radio 4.

Matthäus-Passion (St Matthew Passion)

Several researchers have hypothesized that a primal version of Bach’s St Matthew Passion may have existed for one ‘choir’ and one orchestra. If true, it would have been performed in 1727 or 1729 in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig.

This single-choir original version must then have been the predecessor of the so-called Frühfassung (Early Version) BWV3 244.1 (BWV 244b), and not of the well-known definitive version BWV3 244.2 (BWV 244). In my reconstruction I have therefore based myself on the Frühfassung.

Although Bach presumably used only four concertists (solo singers) and four ripienists (choir singers), this reconstruction is also quite useful for a choir with soloists, as is common in contemporary concert practice.

If you are interested in this single-choir St Matthew Passion, please let me know via the Contact tab. I will then contact you.
Via the link below you can download a description and justification..

Justification reconstruction Primal version MP (00-00-00) (not yet available)

IIt is generally assumed that the known final version (the ‘Spätfassung’) of the St Matthew Passion was performed in 1736 in the Thomaskirche, but in an article I defend that it is more likely that Bach performed his Frühfassung in 1736, and that the Spätfassung first sounded in 1737 in the Nikolaikirche.
The article is available for download at the link below.

– 1736. St. Thomae with Both Organs (revised version 05-04-24)

Bach’s own performance practice of his St Matthew Passion is described in Chapter XXXIII of the all-chapters series (see Chapters tab).