“Brockes’ lyrics and Keiser’s music speak directly to the heart.”
Barthold Heinrich Brockes, a poet from Hamburg, wrote a masterful libretto on the suffering and death of Christ in 1712. Many composers used it as the basis for their passion concerts.
The Apollo Ensemble, along with about eight vocalists ,will tour the Netherlands starting Friday, March 17, 2023, with the Brockes-Passion by the relatively unknown German composer and opera producer Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739).
Hamburg-based Reinhard Keiser was the first composer to provide music to the libretto of his fellow townsman Brockes. He brought it to the stage in collaboration with the German poet himself. Indeed, the first performances took place at Brockes’ home. The text with all its dramatic and expressive passages was grist for the mill of the composer who had a penchant for musical theater. He knew exactly how to captivate the audience and hold their attention.
Recent programs of the ensemble already included the Brockes Passions by Handel and Telemann and Bach’s St. John’s Passion (heavily influenced by Brockes). Over the past years, performances of the Brockes Passions by the Apollo Ensemble have been televised in over 30 countries in Europe, North America and Asia.
Apollo Ensemble under the direction of David Rabinovich,
Renate Arends and Janneke Stouten – soprano,
Eske Tibben and Lisa de Feyter – alto,
Camilo Delgado Diaz and Pablo Gregorian – tenor,
Michiel Meijer and Robbert Muuse – bass