Raphaël Pichon and his ensemble Pygmalion presented Bach in Seven Parts, an unprecedented 2017 cycle of cantatas by the beloved Cantor of Leipzig. In "Here is man," the sixth installment of the series, they present Bach’s St. John Passion featuring Tomáš Král as Jesus and Julian Prégardien as the Evangelist. They are joined by a talented group of soloists: Kateryna Kasper, Lucile Richardot, Reinoud Van Mechelen, and Christian Immler.
While Bach's cantatas may be grounded in particular religious practices of 18th century Lutheran Germany, today the works are considered a vital part of our global musical heritage, treasured beyond the bounds of any particular culture or religion. The cycle Bach in Seven Parts presents selected cantatas in seven concerts, with each concert featuring one universal theme that sheds new light on Bach's music. The programs also highlight artists from outside of the musical world, with each concert featuring an extra-musical exploration of one of the composer's works. Here, lighting designer Bertrand Couderc joins them to examine the theme of “Passions”.
Based in a humanist perspective, our approach does not erase the religious subject of these cantatas, but emphasizes above all Johann Sebastian Bach's message of humanity, hope, and light. – Raphaël Pichon
Bach Collegium Japan