Its Holy Week…I went to hear the Halle (orchestra, choir and junior choir) do the Matthew Passion last night. I came away thinking that one probably ought to be a Christian for the simple reason that you are grateful that the story of Jesus can inspire music like this – in fact, even if you don’t believe in God, you should become a Christian as a way of saying thank you to Bach, it would be the polite thing to do.
If you don’t have a clue what I am on about, then listen to what, for me, is the most sublime aria in a work that is sublime throughout (sung last night by Carolyn Sampson who looked as if her heart was going to break)
Here are the words:
Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben, Out of love my Savior wants to die,
Von einer Sünde weiß er nichts He knows nothing of a single sin,
Daß das ewigen Verderben so that the eternal destruction
und die Strafe des Gerichts and the punishment of judgment
Nicht auf meiner Seele bliebe. would not remain upon my soul.