WORKS: Matthaüs Passion, SWV 479
PERFORMER: Julian Podger (Evangelist) Jacob Block Jespersen (Christ); Ars Nova Copenhagen/Paul Hillier
CATALOGUE NO: Dacapo 8.226094
Schütz’s St Matthew Passion (1666) is written wholly without accompaniment – instruments were banished from the Dresden court during Holy Week. The Passion account is sung in monody, solo lines subtly reflecting details within the text. The heaviest responsibility rests with the Evangelist, superbly done by Podger. Though he rises to moments of great dramatic oratory in places – as Judas and the armed horde approach, at the rending of the veil after Jesus’s death – most of his account is delivered in measured tone and pace. This highlights the choral contributions from the mocking and sneering crowd, four parts throwing single words and short motifs from one to the other, in the imitative style of late Renaissance motets.