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Hastings Philharmonic Choir with Ensemble OrQuesta and their conductor and musical director Marcio da Silva from a concert given in November 2022 (photo: Peter Mould).

Hastings Philharmonic Choir presents Bach’s St Matthew Passion

For its spring concert the Hastings Philharmonic Choir will perform the St Matthew Passion by JS Bach, accompanied by the baroque Ensemble OrQuesta. Press officer Gareth Simpson explains the background to the work.

The St Matthew Passion, BWV 244, is a sacred oratorio written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra. The work is a musical setting of the dramatic and moving events of the last weeks of Jesus’ earthly life, culminating in his crucifixion and burial. Fittingly the concert takes place in Easter Week.

The work is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of baroque sacred music. It is the second of two Passion settings by Bach that have survived in their entirety, the first being the St John Passion, first performed in 1724.

The St Matthew Passion was probably first performed on 11 April (Good Friday) 1727 in St Thomas Church, Leipzig. Bach revised the Passion for a performance on Good Friday 30 March 1736. This is the version (with some possible later adjustments) that is generally known as the St Matthew Passion, BWV 244.

Following Lutheran Protestant tradition, Bach set the Passion to a German text, so that his original listeners could readily follow the sung narrative. With the same concern for communicability and accessibility, HPC will be singing the work in English translation.

The concert will be conducted by HPC’s highly respected musical director, Marcio da Silva, with soloists Kieran White (Evangelist/tenor), Oshri Segev (Jesus/bass), Anna-Luise Wagner (soprano) and Maya Colwell (alto).


JS Bach St Matthew Passion 6 April 7pm, Christ Church, Silchester Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6GL. Tickets are on sale via the choir’s website, by phone on 01424 437554, or at The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards TN38 0JB, priced at £22/£17.50/£13. Students, under 18s, JSA and universal credit recipients £5/free.

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Posted 14:40 Friday, Mar 8, 2024 In: Music & Sound

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