Bach's choral music

The high point of Bach's choral music came with his largest work, the St Matthew Passion, written in 1727 and revised in 1736 and 1740. French, German and Italian musical styles are employed to explore the story's wide range of spiritual and emotive connotations, and Bach takes the art of chorale harmonisation to new heights with multiple arrangements of the 'Passion' chorale "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded".

The work is a microcosm of the composer's innovations during his Leipzig years and a startling contrast to his more intimate St John Passion. You can discover Karajan's 1973 version: