"To think that it took an actor and a Judensohn (a Jewish boy) to revive the greatest Christian music for the world."
Thus said Felix Mendelssohn in 1829 after his successful revival of Bach's monumental "St. Matthew Passion," the first in nearly 100 years, and one that sparked a world-wide revival of music that had been labeled stuffy and too intellectual.
Bach wrote his Passion while living in Leipzig. It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel with interspersed arias and chorales and was most likely premiered on Good Friday in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where Bach was the Kapellmeister
Listen to Classical MPR at 1:00 on this Good Friday to a new recording with Riccardo Chailly, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Choir of the Thomaskirche.