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THE ST. MATTHEW PASSION

Experience the Baltic Sea Festival´s St. Matthew Passion again , with world-class artists in one of the worlds most moving masterpieces.

August 31

Aired 4:45 pm

All clips from this day

  • TALK

    Johan Kuylenstierna (SWE) in conversation with Sofia Jannok (SWE)

  • THE ST. MATTHEW PASSION

    One of the worlds most profoundly moving masterpieces

Saturday August 31

Johann Sebastian Bach will forever be known as one of the true giants of music history, and the St. Matthew Passion is one of his most profoundly moving masterpieces. In this performance, we’ll hear barytone Peter Mattei among the other world-famous soloists. The closing conversation of the Baltic Sea Festival will take place live in the Berwaldhallen Hall, and will be streamed to our collaboration partners around the Baltic Sea. Meet one of the most powerful people in Swedish environmentalism, Johan Kuylenstierna, vice chair, The Climate Policy Council, Sweden, in a conversation with Grammy-nominated artist Sofia Jannok, who gives a voice to the Sami people, both through her music and through the Árvas Foundation. Led by Susanna Baltscheffsky, Swedish Radio P1 Klotet.

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  • 14:45

    FOYER CONCERT

    Upper Foyer, Berwaldhallen

    Chambermusic with students from Lilla Akademien.

  • 15:00

    FOYER TALK

    Upper Foyer, Berwaldhallen

    WWF has always had a great commitment to the Baltic Sea and has been the partner of the Baltic Sea Festival since its inception 2003. How has WWF’s work changed during these 17 years? And how is the organization affected by the environmental commitment of today’s young generation? The theme of the day’s foyer talks is linked to the theme of yesterday´s concert The Swedish Nightingale (Den Svenska Näktergalen) where two generations of singers interpret and celebrate the legacy of Jenny Lind. The link between yesterday, now and the future links the evening’s two programmes. The talk will be in Swedish.

  • 15:30

    PRE CONCERT TALK

    Lower Foyer, Berwaldhallen

    With Katarina Lindblad.

  • 16:00

    TALK - Johan Kuylenstierna (SE) and Sofia Jannok (SE)

    Berwaldhallen

    Meet one of the most powerful people in Swedish environmentalism, Johan Kuylenstierna, vice chair, The Climate Policy Council, Sweden, and adjunct professor and honorary doctor at Stockholm’s University. Johan Kuylenstierna’s specialist area is how environmental issues are connected to the fight against poverty, financial development and fair trading. Johan speaks to multi-Grammy-nominated artist Sofia Jannok, whose dynamic voice paints musical landscapes, and – regardless of whether the lyrics are in English, Swedish or Sami – conveys clear messages. Jannok is the founder of the Árvas Foundation, which supports projects for and by young people from indigenous peoples in times of climate change, structural oppression and an urbanised life style.

    Participants

    • Johan Kuylenstierna is an adjunct professor and honorary doctor at Stockholm University. Johan has a bachelor’s degree in geosciences and a licentiate degree in paleoclimatology with a focus on holocene climate variability in the polar regions. By the mid-1990s, Johan Kuylenstierna worked at the UN in New York with Agenda 21 and water resources issues. These early years at the UN became an important experience for his continued work on integrating environmental and development issues. They laid the foundation for a principle he have maintained since then: today’s major environmental challenges can only be solved by starting from a positive development vision in which human and society are at the center and where cooperation is the key to success. Johan Kuylenstierna has also worked with water issues at Stockholm’s international water institute and within the UN. Johan became President of SEI (Stockholm Environment Institute) 2012 and has worked on the Institute’s work, for example, through collaboration with economic sectors that are crucial for the successful conversion to the fossil-free society. Johan Kuylenstierna chose to finish at SEI 2018. He has still been an active lecturer and debater, participates in the media and is active in several organizations linked to the environment, energy and climate. The Swedish Climate Policy Council is an independent scientific council with the task to assess if the overall policy of the Government is compatible with the climate goals.

    • Sofia Jannok is a Swedish Sami artist, singer, songwriter, actor and reindeer-owner. Jannok lives partly in Umeå, partly in Rävudden, Luokta-Máva’s village. Sofia Jannoks pop music has a mix of different music influences, such as traditional song, jazz and jojk. She usually sings in Northern Sami and writes her songs in both Swedish and English. She broke through for a wider audience by singing Waterloo in Sami in the Interact during the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 and she now shares her time between the Sami village, Umeå and tours around the world. She has had her own summer talk on radio, made TED-talks and has been a strong voice during the COP21 climate conference in Paris. She is strongly committed to the Sami rights and expresses her views in her work. In Wide As Oceans she takes a clear stand against the massive exploitation of natural resources in Sápmi and, due to the verdict in the historical trial Girja’s Sami town against the Swedish state, Sofia Jannok and the artist Anders Sunna created a video for her single We Are Still Here. The video won the award as Best Music Video at ImagineNative Canada, the world’s largest indigenous film festival. Sofia Jannok has two Grammy nominations and this year she has been awarded the long-term scholarship of the Swedish Arts Committee.

  • 17:00

    THE ST. MATTHEW PASSION

    Berwaldhallen

    Johann Sebastian Bach will forever be known as one of the true giants of music history, and the St. Matthew Passion is one of his most profoundly moving masterpieces. In this performance, we’ll hear baritone Peter Mattei among the other world-famous soloists.

    Read more

    It is unclear how many times Johann Sebastian Bach composed the Passions, the gospel accounts of Jesus’s suffering and death. Unfortunately, only two have been preserved: The St. John’s Passion, premièred in 1724, and the St. Matthew Passion, probably premièred the same year it was written, in 1727. The place was of course the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where Bach had been the cantor since 1723.

    The St. Matthew Passion is one of music history’s most titanic masterpieces, strongly contributing to Bach’s nickname as “the fifth evangelist” or “God’s musician”. However, such romantic euphemisms do not seem to conform with the composer’s self-image. The Gospel of Matthew is much more comprehensive and detailed in its story of Jesus on the cross than that of John the Evangelist, which is also reflected in the latter’s work. The St. Matthew Passion is on a grander scale, composed for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra. Conveniently, the St. Thomas Church had double organ lofts of different sizes.

    The text consists of chapters 26 and 27 in the Gospel according to Matthew of the Lutheran Bible, but there are also glimpses of the Song of Songs. In addition, there are arias and hymns, the latter by various authors and selected by Bach himself. The librettist was Picander, the pseudonym of Christian Friedrich Henrici, with a reputation as a rather minor master. This text is considered his foremost achievement, probably written in close collaboration with the composer. The central figure is the Evangelist who drives the narrative forward, while other song soloists give voice to the various participants of the drama.

    Bach’s notes from 1729 about his experience of what had previously been assumed to be the première, indicate certain artistic shortcomings. On Good Friday that same year, there was another Passion, by Gottfried Frober, who was drawing the crowds. Even back then, it was difficult to choose between all the cultural events on offer. Leipzig is also said to have been a conservative city from a musical perspective. A description from 1732 of what is probably Bach’s St. Matthew Passion speaks of tremendous confusion, with comments like “God preserve us, my children! it’s like a comic opera”. Probably not a common reaction today.

    In 1829, the celebrated, twenty-year-old Felix Mendelssohn staged a successful revival of the, then rather forgotten, masterpiece in a performance in Berlin. It was the first time the work had been played outside Leipzig and the interest in Bach’s entire oeuvre was instantaneously reignited. A gift to the young Felix Mendelssohn a few years earlier from his grandmother, the score of the St. Matthew Passion, had truly borne fruit!

    Text: Gunnar Lanzky-Otto

    Participants

    • The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras, with a worldwide reputation and a repertoire that combines the major classical works as well as exciting new music. In collaboration with the most important conductors, soloists and composers, there is a constant striving to break new ground. The orchestra’s extensive and high-quality music-making has been rewarded with numerous prizes and accolades and they regularly perform at international festivals and concert halls. “The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, chief conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!” he continues. The first radio orchestra was formed in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts and since then the orchestra’s concerts have always been broadcast by the Swedish Radio. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967 and over the years has had such distinguished chief conductors as Sergiu Celibidache, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

    • The Swedish Radio Choir is like a leading mountaineer in the world of music. The choir’s former chief conductor Peter Dijkstra has described the ensemble as “the group that leaves base camp first and stakes out the course for others to follow.” Three hundred years of Swedish a cappella tradition, combined with an ambitious and culturally diverse repertoire with some of the world’s finest conductors, has established the Swedish Radio Choir as one of the foremost ensembles of its kind. The 32 professional singers are as equally at home in completely new music by today’s most exciting composers as they are in classic favourites from the rich international treasure trove. Through the Swedish Radio’s broadcasts and website the choir not only reaches concert audiences but also radio listeners everywhere.

    • Chief conductor of the Jeune Choeur de Paris, he started a collaboration with the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart in 2013 (including a recording of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé), and also works regularly with the Chœur de Radio-France and the Choeur Accentus since 2014, for tours, radio performances, recordings, preparations and A Cappella concerts. He collaborates with many personalities, such as Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniele Gatti, Louis Langrée, Stéphane Denève, Daniel Harding, Laurence Equilbey, L. G. Alarcon… He has also conducted the WDR Rundfunkchor in 2016. In July 2016, he has prepared both the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart and the NDR Chor for Berlioz’s Romeo et Juliette. In 2017, he has participate to the opening of the Seine Musical conducting the choir accentus and in 2018, he starts a collaboration with the Croatian Radio Choir. Korovitch works for many festivals: the Mozartwoche in Salzburg, Recontres Musicales d’Evian, the Festival de Radio-France in Montpellier or the festival Mozart in New York.

    • The children’s choir from Adolf Fredrik’s Music Classes consists of classes 6C and 6D. Music teacher is Karin Bjurvald.

    • For Swedish audiences, the conductor Alan Gilbert is perhaps best known for being the Royal Philharmonic’s Chief Conductor from 2000–2008. Following that, he was the musical director of the New York Philharmonic for a similar period of time, and in September 2019, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, North German Radio’s Symphony Orchestra. With the support of the United Nations, he started the organisation Musicians for Unity, with the aim of bringing together musicians across national and generational borders to encourage peace, development and human rights. He won a Grammy in 2008 for Best Opera Recording for his staging of John Adam’s opera Doctor Atomic, which was also his debut at the Metropolitan Opera. He has been nominated for an Emmy on numerous occasions and has won prestigious awards for his work all over the world.

    • The bass barytone Shenyang was born in Tianjin in China and studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He has played the title role in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and at the Metropolitan Opera he played Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Garibaldo in Handel’s Rodelinda and Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème. He has also performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, he premièred Xiaogang Ye’s Song of Farewell, which was written for him, with China’s National Symphony Orchestra. The same year, he won the Montblanc New Voices Award at the Stars of the White Nights Festival.

    • Christina Landshamer is a much sought-after concert and opera singer. She has performed with conductors such as Kent Nagano, Roger Norrington and Ricardo Chailly, as well as with some of Europe’s most renowned orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and the Orchestre de Paris, as well as North American ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal. Recently she performed in Britten’s Les Illuminations and Mozart’s Requiem as well as on tour with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

    • Mezzo-soprano Kristina Hammarström is a sought-after opera and concert singer with an extensive international career. She recently played Caino in Scarlatti’s Il Primo Omicido at both the Paris Opera, and at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, as well as a scenic production of Bach’s St John Passion in Paris. Before that, she played the role of Carilda in Handel’s Arianna in Creta at the Handel festival in Halle, as well as Medea in Francesco Cavalli’s Jason, both at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in Switzerland, and at the Opéra Royal de Versailles. Her repertoire also includes Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther, Octavian in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier, Rosina in Rossini’s Barber of Seville, as well as Marguerite in Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust. In terms of concert pieces, we can mention great Mahler works, such as Kindertotenlieder and Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, and Schumann’s Paradise and the Peri, as well as the great requiems and oratorios.

    • The tenor Andrew Staples is a diligent concert singer who has performed with conductors such as Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, Andrew Manze and Robin Ticciati. Most recently, he has played Froh in Wagner’s Das Rheingold at the Royal Opera House in London. He also toured Europe with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Simon Rattle, performing Bach’s St John’s Passion, as well as with the Orchestre de Paris and Daniel Harding, performing Britten’s War Requiem. In addition, he will soon debut at both Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and the Metropolitan Opera. Andrew Staples is also a frequent guest at Berwaldhallen where he will be performing several times during the season of 2019-2020.

    • The versatile tenor Nicholas Phan has appeared at the Los Angeles Opera, Glyndebourne, Deutsche Oper am Rhein and Maggio Musicale in Florence with leading roles in Bernstein’s Candide and Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, as well as Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff in his repertoire. Recently he debuted as Eumolpos in Stravinsky’s Perséphone and played the lead in Handel’s Jephtha. In addition, he has performed Antonie Plante’s orchestral arrangement of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin. As a dedicated concert singer, he co-founded the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago in 2010, the aim of which is to promote and raise awareness of romances, lieder and vocal chamber music. He is Artistic Director of the CAIC.

    • With appearances at prestigious venues such as the Metropolitan in New York, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Covent Garden in London and the Salzburg Festival, Peter Mattei has positioned himself at the very highest level among international singers. In the spring of 2019, he performed the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at both the Wiener Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera. Recently he toured with Schubert’s Winterreise and he appeared in the title role of Tchaikovsky’s Eugen Onegin at Opernhaus Zürich and as Amfortas in Wagner’s Parsifal at the Metropolitan and the Paris Opera. His great concert repertoire includes works such as Sibelius’s Kullervo, Bach’s Passions and Brahm’s Ein deutsches Requiem.

    Programme

Tickets

  • 21:00

    Pre Concert talk

    Lower Foyer, Berwaldhallen

    Pre Concert talk with Janna Vettergren

  • 21:30

    MUSICOMEXP

    Berwaldhallen

    What does the sea sound like below the surface? This years Baltic Sea Festival is brought to a close with a dive deep into the ocean and the senses. Exciting sound artist and composer Aurélie Ferriere invites us to a suggestive concert experience with a focus on the sounds of the sea. The lighting of the concert will give the concert audience a sense of being under water. Read more about the festival at balticseafestival.com

    Read more

    “You think you are making a trip, but soon it is making you – or unmaking you.”
    Nicolas Bouvier, from The Way of the World

    Winds abating, sails slackening. Wooden decks, ropes, microphones, saucepans, salt-tangled hair. Soon, every step on dry land feels foreign and unnatural. A dot on an infinite blue sea: a 33-metre sailing boat by the name of Fleur de Passion. From the rail, hydrophones are lowered into the water and we are suddenly in the unknown. What does the ocean sound like under the surface? A piece of faded plastic floats past, a pod of dolphins, plankton, the sound of a ferry’s engine. Day and night merge into one in the darkness of the sea.

    500 years after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sought a western sea route from Europe to the exotic Spice Islands in Indonesia, the experimental musician, music engineer and audio explorer Aurélie Ferrière boarded the Fleur de Passion. At this stage of the voyage, the boat had already been out on the ocean for two years following the same route as Magellan, and had made it to The Solomon Islands east of Papua New Guinea.

    It is very warm. The Ocean Mapping Expedition is mapping the oceans and humanity’s impact on them, not least through noise pollution. Aurélie examines the expedition’s recording equipment and is impressed; there are state-of-the-art underwater microphones of various designs. She creates music from the sounds she records during the journey. When she boards the boat, she has no idea what the end result will be.

    “My first instrument is the violin and I come from classical music”, says Aurélie Ferrière. “In this project I wanted to try to create something completely free from notes and tempo. If I write a score, there is a person playing it. If I write text, it is people who read it. In this instance I focus on nature, not man.

    The crew consists of 5-10 people during Aurélie’s time on board, half of whom are researchers. For many of them, her music is their first encounter with experimental, sometimes classical, music. The familiar sounds of everyday life on the boat are mixed with the sounds of the ocean, some of them not even the researchers recognize. And human touches: fragments of piano, violin, organ.

    Electro-acoustic instruments controlled by underwater sounds through modular synthesizers on stage, live. It will be a suite, a musical journey. “You will be sitting on the stage in Berwaldhallen surrounded by sounds. I have designed lighting for the concert to make it feel like you are diving into the ocean”, says Aurélie Ferrière.

    The Ocean Mapping Expedition is not only a research project that focuses on sustainability, it is also an existential journey. What is humanity’s understanding of its role here on earth? How have we taken care of the resources we have?

    Text: Janna Vettergren

    Participants

    • Musician, producer and audio artist Aurélie Ferrière is a violin graduate from the conservatory in Bordeaux, and a Tonmeister graduate from the conservatory in Paris. She runs record label Sax Records, works as a music producer and music engineer at Swedish Radio P2, and as a composer in residence at ELM Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm. She has been invited to work at Foundation OBRAS in Portugal and CAMP in the French Pyrenees. Her latest project, MUSICOMEXP, was recorded during a journey across the sea with research project Ocean Mapping Expedition, and is an abstract journey to unexpected geographical and psychoacoustic places that was originally performed in the Reaktorhallen R1 hall, steeped in tradition, in the summer of 2018.

    Programme

    • “You think you are making a trip, but soon it is making you – or unmaking you.”
      Nicolas Bouvier, from The Way of the World

      Winds abating, sails slackening. Wooden decks, ropes, microphones, saucepans, salt-tangled hair. Soon, every step on dry land feels foreign and unnatural. A dot on an infinite blue sea: a 33-metre sailing boat by the name of Fleur de Passion. From the rail, hydrophones are lowered into the water and we are suddenly in the unknown. What does the ocean sound like under the surface? A piece of faded plastic floats past, a pod of dolphins, plankton, the sound of a ferry’s engine. Day and night merge into one in the darkness of the sea.

      500 years after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sought a western sea route from Europe to the exotic Spice Islands in Indonesia, the experimental musician, music engineer and audio explorer Aurélie Ferrière boarded the Fleur de Passion. At this stage of the voyage, the boat had already been out on the ocean for two years following the same route as Magellan, and had made it to The Solomon Islands east of Papua New Guinea.

      It is very warm. The Ocean Mapping Expedition is mapping the oceans and humanity’s impact on them, not least through noise pollution. Aurélie examines the expedition’s recording equipment and is impressed; there are state-of-the-art underwater microphones of various designs. She creates music from the sounds she records during the journey. When she boards the boat, she has no idea what the end result will be.

      “My first instrument is the violin and I come from classical music”, says Aurélie Ferrière. “In this project I wanted to try to create something completely free from notes and tempo. If I write a score, there is a person playing it. If I write text, it is people who read it. In this instance I focus on nature, not man.

      The crew consists of 5-10 people during Aurélie’s time on board, half of whom are researchers. For many of them, her music is their first encounter with experimental, sometimes classical, music. The familiar sounds of everyday life on the boat are mixed with the sounds of the ocean, some of them not even the researchers recognize. And human touches: fragments of piano, violin, organ.

      Electro-acoustic instruments controlled by underwater sounds through modular synthesizers on stage, live. It will be a suite, a musical journey. “You will be sitting on the stage in Berwaldhallen surrounded by sounds. I have designed lighting for the concert to make it feel like you are diving into the ocean”, says Aurélie Ferrière.

      The Ocean Mapping Expedition is not only a research project that focuses on sustainability, it is also an existential journey. What is humanity’s understanding of its role here on earth? How have we taken care of the resources we have?

      Text: Janna Vettergren