Johann Sebastian Bach (16851750)

St. Matthew Passion BWV 244b

Early version
Bärenreiter Urtext

for: 4 soloists (SATB), mixed choir (SSAATTBB), orchestra

Piano reduction (Urtext edition)

Item no.444394
Author/ComposerJohann Sebastian Bach
EditorAndreas Glöckner
Piano scoreMartin Focke
Languagesgerman, english
Scope274 pages; 19 × 27 cm
Release year2006
Producer No.BA 5099-90


Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as we know it today evidently had a long history dating back before 1727. It is unclear whether the work performed at the Thomaskirche on Good Friday 1729 was based on a still earlier version. Whatever the case, the surviving version of 1729 presents the work in a form strikingly different from its later incarnation.

For example, the opening section ends with the chorale “ Jesum lass ich nicht von mir ” which was replaced by the large-scale cantus firmus chorus “O Mensch , bewein dein Sünde gross” for the 1736 performance. The well-known alto aria “Ach! nun ist mein Jesus hin ” is still assigned to a bass in the earlier version, and the aria “ Komm süsses Kreuz ” calls for a lute instead of the later viola da gamba.

Moreover, the pieces for double chorus only require a single continuo group. Other differences can be found in the instrumental scoring and voice-leading. The early version of the St. Matthew Passion is thus a most interesting addition to the great concert repertoire. The corresponding volume of the “New Bach Edition” (series II/volume 5b) serves as a conducting score.

  • Attractive alternative to the well-known St. Matthew Passion
  • Urtext from the “New Bach Edition”
  • Straightforward and easy-to-play piano reduction
  • Unique to the market