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May 2019

Published 20 May 2019

300 years after its premiere, Arcangelo is reviving Handel’s most dramatic and least-known sacred work: the ‘Brockes Passion’.


Described by leading Handel scholar Dr Ruth Smith as demonstrating “all of Handel’s power of dramatising immediacy and human sympathy”, the ‘Brockes Passion’ sets a remarkable libretto by the Hamburg poet, journalist and senator  Barthold Heinrich Brockes. Mixing soulful theological meditations with gruesome descriptions of Christ’s mutilated body, the text inspired settings by several composers of the period while Handel’s music directly inspired elements of J.S.Bach’s subsequent ‘St John Passion’ and, characteristically, sections of Handel’s own subsequent works. For all its quality and significance, however, to say nothing of its status as Handel’s most dramatic sacred work, the ‘Brockes Passion’ lingers in obscurity: a neglected masterpiece.

In 2019, three centuries after the work’s premiere in Hamburg, Arcangelo is proud to be restoring Handel’s ‘Brockes Passion’ for the appreciation of an international audience, with two live concert performances (October 2019) and a brand new studio recording on Alpha Classics. Our cast for the concerts and recording is led by the renowned French soprano Sandrine Piau, the young English tenor Stuart Jackson, and the decorated German baritone Konstantin Krimmel.

Help us restore a neglected Handelian masterpiece

In common with all of Arcangelo’s award-winning albums, our new studio recording of ‘Brockes Passion’ is being funded by a generous consortium of individual donors and philanthropists, who have already enabled us to raise over two thirds of our £50,000 fundraising target. If you would like to help us to reach our goal, we would be delighted to hear from you.

To find out more about our project to record Handel’s ‘Brockes Passion’ and how to pledge and receive acknowledgment for your support, please email development@arcangelo.org.uk 

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