Mendelssohn's original Bach St. Matthew Passion full score. Throughout the score, Mendelssohn made dynamic and articulation marks in light pencil, preserving the original manuscript. Photo courtesy of the Bodleian Library, Oxford University.
Supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia celebrates their 140th season with the North American premiere of Felix Mendelssohn's 1841 revision of Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Mendelssohn's edits to the original score were designed to popularize Bach among mid-19th-century audiences, who were more likely to study than to perform the composer's work. When the 20-year-old Mendelssohn conducted a performance of the Passion in 1829, it helped to inspire a widespread revival of Bach's music, and fueled the growth of choral societies across Europe and the United States, including the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.