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How to hear Bach’s St. John Passion

I find the weird sounds that opera singers make — singing — to be creepy, but even I find Bach’s St. John Passion moving. Of course, it helps not to be able to understand the words since it places the blame for the whole Messiah-killing nastiness on the shoulders of a Jewish mob and Jewish law.

There’s a wonderful episode of Christopher Lydon’s Radio Open Source that explores this question from scholarly and musical points of view, always sympathetically, and with transcendently beautiful passages from the work itself.

2 Responses to “How to hear Bach’s St. John Passion”

  1. […] post How to hear Bach’s St. John Passion appeared first on Joho the […]

  2. My hero Lewis Thomas said: “Music is the effort we make to explain to ourselves how our brains work. We listen to Bach transfixed because this is listening to a human mind.”

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