Johann Sebastian Bach wrote most of his religious music for St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where he served as cantor from 1723 until his death in 1750. It was for St. Thomas that Bach wrote most of his cantatas and other choral works, including that Easter staple, the “St. Matthew Passion,” believed to have been introduced on Good Friday in 1727.
The most distinguished tradition of modern revivals of the work belongs to Amsterdam, where Easter-season performances date back to the 1870s. Annual presentations by the city’s Concertgebouw Orchestra were inaugurated in 1899 by its longtime conductor, Willem Mengelberg, and have continued ever since.
For this Easter weekend, here’s the 2012 Concertgebouw “St. Matthew Passion,” conducted by Iván Fischer: