A Closer Look – John Butt on Bach’s Matthew Passion


The Musical Offering – Lammermuir Festival

Dedicated to Frederick the Great following Bach’s visit to his palace of Sans-Souci in Potsdam, The Musical Offering contains music as fine as anything Bach ever composed. Dunedin Consort’s Director John Butt, one of the world’s leading Bach experts, explores how such a unique work came into being and the remarkable techniques Bach used to create this timeless masterpiece.


Bach’s glorious Magnificat, composed for his first Christmas in Leipzig, was designed to impress – its elaborate text painting and wide range of moods making it one of the most vivid works in Bach’s choral repertoire. So too, was his intricate motet for double choir, Singet dem Herrn, which Bach composed in Leipzig just a few years later. These choral masterpieces are matched here by the glittering orchestration and staggering virtuosity of his Suite in B minor and Brandenburg Concerto No. 4. 

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