Matthew passion

Passio nach dem Heiligen Evangelisten Matthäo

Johann Theile

Matthew passion - can it be anything else than Bach?


Passion music has its origin in Gregorian chant - from here we have the tradition of how to cast the different rolls: Jesus is always sung by a bass, Evangelist by a tenor. Also the so called turba (any passage in which more than one speaker speaks simultaneously, e.g. the disciples, the jews etc.) has it's commencement in this tradition.


Passion composition is concentrated after 1600 in German-speaking areas, particularly those dominated by Lutheranism. These passions got a more advanced style where the gospel text is alternated with hymns, polyphonic movements and instrumental ritornellos.

Theile is in his Matthew passion from 1673 following the traditional structure of a passion but is renewing the genre by adding arias with non-biblical texts. These arias gives comments to the story and contribute to a new emotional level. Theile was first with this idea that J.S. Bach later brought to perfection.


Johann Theile was born in Naumburg, Germany 1646. He was one of the most important north german composer during the baroque era, but is today unfortunately almost completely forgotten. It was Theile who inaugurated Germany's first opera house 1678 with his opera ”Adam und Eva, oder Der erschaffene, gefallene und auffgerichtete Mensch”.

Johann Theile was especially appreciated for his sacred compositions and was together with his colleagues Buxtehude and Weckmann a very important figure in the Hamburg school which has a significant part in the music history of Scandinavia.

Passio was dedicated to princesse Fredrika Amalia of Denmark/Norway and her spouse Christian Albrecht of Holstein-Gottorp and the original print is kept in Uppsala university library.


LinGon wants to, with Theile's passion, give attention to the german tradition that J.S. Bach arise from. This passion is well rooted in history but in the light of today it becomes new and original. .




Evangelist: Michael Axelsson

Jesus: Johannes Liedbergius


Calliophon :

Cathrine Bothner-By

Victoria Liedbergius

Daniel Sæther

Øystein Stensheim

Eirik Krokfjord



Madoka Nakamaru

Rafael Núñez Velázquez

Rebecca Lefèvre

Henrikke G. Rynning

Joakim Peterson

Ulrik Gaston Larsen

Kanoko Miyazaki