I have had the CD of this piece by Munchen Bach Orchestra by K. Richter, which has already established their fame for the past decades. Again, Bob has sent me a url linked to the performance by Bach Collegium Japan conducted by M. Suzuki shown below. It is a really modern ensemble with smaller orchestra and choir based on the authentic performance. I have known this group before, which has earned a good reputation among Bach lovers world wide. Clear cut as well as light touch phrasing. Transparency in sound is thanks to the size of ensemble as well as to the authentic playing technique. Through its performace ability, and possibly, the conductor's understanding of this piece, the message of this music urges us to be with Bach. It sure brings us to thinking what Jesus and his death at Golgotha means to us.
John's Evangel which this music was based on seems unique compared with the other Evangels. This was established solely in the end of the 1st century in order to advocate the evangelism of Christianity toward the outer world not localized to the Judah area. The theme concerns about what Jesus and his death means to us rather than the episodes of his life. The author of this Evangel seems to have described it through two aspects of our lives. One is the problem of belief related through ths story of the denial and betray to Jesus by Peter. The other is a political issue. It might be a problem regarding what the right and earnest party could behave against Jesus.
Through these two aspects of life, this music urges us to reflect ourselves and eventually to reach our helplessness.
I am not a Christian. I am on the gate of church. Maybe, I will remain there throughout my life. But this music makes me consider where I am and where I should head to. Honestly, this music has been too difficult and tough to be immersed in. The perpetuating motif by the strings in the 1st music surely expresses our anxiety and worry in lives. It could not be pleasant to confront such a reality of ourselves. I have learned, however, only through facing to the reality, we could understand what Jesus and his death meant to us. It was another great experience for me to have listened to this music seriously.