Brockes-Passion

“Handel’s Brockes-Passion
  is quite simply a masterpiece”

Richard Egarr

Help us to explore, reveal and preserve Handel’s Brockes Passion by supporting our appeal to record the work.

“Handel’s Brockes-Passion is quite simply a masterpiece; it is a work I have adored and wanted to perform and record for very many years. No less a composer than JS Bach was enamoured of it and inspired by it enough to have made a copy of the score in his own hand, unquestionably the seed from which his own John Passion sprung. I am sure that for its 300th anniversary AAM can do justice to this amazing piece and make a tremendously exciting and great recording.”

Richard Egarr Music Director, Academy of Ancient Music

Overtaken by many of Handel’s more famous choral works, the Brockes-Passion is (undeservedly) a lesser-known piece: there are very few performances, and even fewer recordings. But we believe this work merits much greater recognition. Reflecting the story’s anguish in some of Handel’s poignant and beautiful solo vocal writing and a series of endlessly inventive choruses, the setting represents a significant contribution to the choral Passion repertory.

AAM aims to produce a definitive recording of this work taken from our concert at the Barbican on the 300th anniversary of its premiere. We want to advance knowledge of the work and increase the number of performances it enjoys by making an extraordinary performance more widely available. This recording will feature the scholarship, vivacity and perfection for which AAM is known, but we can only do it with your help.

“It‘s astonishing that there are so few performances and recordings of this profoundly stirring work, unique in Handel’s output. In often almost unbearably close-up focus, the events of the Passion are made vividly physical and emotionally gripping, compelling the listener’s involvement. The raw intensity of Brockes’ text unleashes all Handel’s power to evoke the whole range of human feelings – outrage, remorse, shock, awe, brutality, grief, tenderness, love, rapture and many more, in swift succession and with tremendous cumulative force. Anyone who responds to Handel’s extraordinary expressive potency and ravishing melodic gift must wonder why his Brockes-Passion isn’t better known. I suspect it’s a work that will speak more tellingly to the present century than to any since it was written, and it’s exciting to think that the Academy of Ancient Music’s recording plans will engage new audiences with this masterpiece.”

Dr Ruth Smith (Cambridge) Handel scholar, author of  Handel’s Oratorios and Eighteenth Century Thought (CUP)

We invite you to sponsor an aria, or more – and in return we will credit you in the beautifully presented hardback CD booklet, and send you a copy as soon as it is released. You can even choose which specific aria, chorus, duet or recitative you wish to sponsor (first come first served!); or sponsor as a gift for someone else.

Achieving support for every musical component of this work – recitatives, arias, choruses and characters – will make this project feasible, and we hope you will join us in our efforts. To find out more, please contact Ellen Parkes, Development Manager on ellen.parkes@aam.co.uk or 01223 341 097.

Support our recording of Handel’s Brockes-Passion by sponsoring an aria from this magnificent work:

“Tochter Zion” – £5,000
Evangelist – £4,000
Jesus – £2,500
New edition, research – £2,400
Petrus – £2,000
“Gläubige Seele” – £1,800
Judas – £1,400
New edition, printing – £1,200
Maria – £1,100
Pilatus – £1,000
Chorus – Bass – £600
Chorus – Tenor – £600
Chorus – Alto – £600
Chorus – Soprano – £600
Trio (x 1 available) – £450
Sinfonia (x 1 available) – £360
Duet (x 2 available) – £320
Chorus (x 5 4 available) – £260
Arioso (x 5 available) – £225
Aria (x 28 21 available) – £200
Chorale (x 5 4 available) – £115
Recitative (x 47 35 available) – £60