The Wrocław Baroque Orchestra, Dresdner Kammerchor and soloists under the direction of Jarosław Thiel prepared a moving Lenten programme. We will listen to the Passion according to Saint Luke TWV 5:29 by Georg Philipp Telemann.
Passion is a form of religious music that has been composed since the Middle Ages, but its most intense development and the greatest popularity fall on the Baroque period. Passion in its mature form is a vocal-instrumental work, containing choral fragments, arias and recitatives. The plot of Passion is a description of passion and death on the cross of Jesus Christ (usually texts from the Gospel are used), and the work itself has been composed for performing at the appropriate time of the year – always before Easter. In bygone eras, Passions were almost always performed in churches (there were exceptions, though), thanks to which the faithful could better prepare spiritually for Easter.
It is estimated that Telemann wrote over 40 Passions in his life, but only 22 of them have survived. During the concert, we will hear the Passion according to Saint Luke TWV 5:29 from 1744, whose title extension is Wenn meine Sünd 'mich kränken (this is the incipit of one of the Lutheran hymns). Probably, many Telemann's Passions will surprise you. Currently, the most often performed works in this genre are works by Johann Sebastian Bach, and although only two Bach's Passions have survived, their popularity is enormous nowadays. When you remember the incredibly dramatic Passions of Bach, listening to Telemann's compositions can be a very interesting experience. They are written in a completely different way than the well-known Passions of the Leipzig cantor. Some even suggest an incredible charm and lightness worthy of Mozart style do appear in the Passion according to Saint Luke TWV 5:29 from 1744. Although the composition of Telemann is about the crucifixion of Jesus, there is no overwhelming drama in the work (typical of Bach's compositions). Telemann uses a more transparent texture, and throughout this work you can sense some optimism. Probably a completely different style of composing resulted from the fact that Telemann wanted above all to depict the human nature of Jesus in his work.