St. Matthew Passion

One of the things that I loved about studying at a music school in my VCE years, was the opportunity I had to learn about and study a range of different musical genres.

In our VCE Music History & Styles classes, we studied just about every genre of music in great detail. We studied Pop Music. Rock. Jazz. Funk. Baroque. Rap. Middle-Eastern. Country. Bluegrass. Folk. Classical. Blues. We studied the melodies and harmonies of each style as well as their unique rhythmic features. We learnt to be able to discern different chord progressions and musical motives just by listening to chord progressions our teacher played on the piano. We studied so many different styles of music and because we did, I now have a deep appreciation for so many different styles of music.

Recently when reading an email from The Gospel Coalition, I came across a great article by Jeremy Begbie called 6 Works of Classical Music Every Christian Should Know. In this article, Begbie features J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion at the top of his list and rightly describes it as:

"...arguably the greatest Christian musical achievement of the early modern era."

What makes Bach's work the greatest Christian musical achievement of the early modern era? The fact that the entire piece is a powerful and emotive tribute to Jesus' passion and death on Calvary's cross.

St Matthew Passion is all about the events recorded in Matthew's Gospel in chapter 26 and 27. And these already emotive and powerful events are enhanced by a truly breathtaking musical score, full of soaring harmonies and intricate musical interludes, which were originally written to allow church members to join in the chorus

I don't know if you are a fan of classical music *|FNAME|*, but I do know this: Bach's St. Matthew Passion is a powerful piece of music about our awesome Saviour Jesus Christ. Set aside some time this week to wait on God and listen to the work for yourself... I'm sure you will be really blessed and moved if you do!


Ps Joel Hawting

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