Philipschoir performs Matthäus Passion for 75th year: ‘The piece touches you every time’

Matthäus Passion/St. Matthew Passion
Photo credit: Studio040

75 Years ago, the Philipskoor (choir) of Eindhoven performed Bach’s Matthäus Passion (st. matthew passion) for the first time. Since then, the choir has sung the piece hundreds of times. The choir members can’t get enough of it. “As a little boy, I used to sing it”, the choir member said.

“When I hear the first sounds of the piece I immediately get back into it and want to start practicing again immediately”, Nanda van Desen, first soprano of the Philipskoor said. In 1948, the choir performed the Matthäus Passion for the first time. It has since grown into a tradition. Every year on Good Friday, the composition is performed again. “As a little boy, I already sang parts of the Matthäus Passion with the children’s choir”, Erik van Diepen, tenor of the choir, says.

Even though the choir has performed the composition hundreds of times, the members are excited to perform the piece every year. “The piece touches you every time. And when you sing it yourself, it touches you even more”, Nanda says.

Long sit
The Matthäus Passion tells the story of the last days of Jesus’ life. It is one of the best known, but also one of the longest pieces by the German composer Bach. The piece lasts three hours. For many people, therefore, it is a long sit.

“Halfway through there is a toilet break for the people who really can’t hold it any longer”, Erik says with a laugh. “As a choir, it’s also doable. You don’t sing the whole time. There are solos in the piece and sometimes only the orchestra plays. Those are moments where the choir has a break”.

The Philipskoor’s performance of the Matthäus Passion can be seen 31 March, 1 April and 2 April, in Den Bosch, Best and Veghel.

Source: Studio040
Translated by: Bob

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