Video: Tribute to an era of Bach and Rilling July 15
Jul 8, 2012
Helmuth Rilling, who, among his many accomplishments, supervised a recording of the composer's complete works on 172 CDs, knows the St. Matthew Passion as well as any conductor. With Helmuth's retirement following the 2013 OBF, Sunday's concert is the final time he will lead the St. Matthew in his role as artistic director.
Over our history's twelve performances audiences have heard such world-renowned soloists as Arleen Auger, Sylvia McNair, Rod Gilfry, Ingeborg Danz, Maria Jette, Eric Owens, and Thomas Quasthoff, in most cases before they become classical music stars.
[caption id="attachment_2711" align="alignright" width="175" caption="Helmuth Rilling conducts the St Matthew Passion July 15"][/caption]
Like Hamlet and the Sistine Chapel, Bach's St. Matthew Passion is considered one of the great monuments of Western culture.
Its origins were humble. Bach composed it for Good Friday services in 1727, and he revised several times over his career. And then it became silent—not performed again until a hundred years later, when the teenage Felix Mendelssohn and his student friends mounted an ambitious performance for guests including the King of Prussia.
Parts of the St. Matthew have been employed to intensify the drama in such movie soundtracks as George Lucas' cult sci-fi classic THX 1138, Sylvester Stallone's Demolition Man, and Martin Scorsese's Casino.
Why is it so great? Helmuth Rilling says that Bach, in the St. Matthew, dramatized such deep, universal ideas as love, hate, suffering, and redemption—profound questions in Bach's time, and still in ours.
Order tickets online or by phone 541.682.5000 through the Hult Center Bach's Office.