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Pilate washing his hands by Hendrick ter Brugghen, circa 1617. Lublin Museum, Poland.

Bach Collegium Japan’s live stream from March 15, 2020 is still available online. You can find it here: http://www.philharmonie.tv/veranstaltung/71/

with Aki Matsui, soprano; Damien Guillon, alto; James Gilchrist, tenor (Evangelist); Zachary Wilder, tenor (arias); and Christian Immler, bass.

Aki Matsui replaced Hana Blazikova, who had to return that morning to her home in the Czech Republic, before that country would close its borders.

Already 1/3 into their European tour with Bach’s Passion according to St. John, Bach Collegium Japan was faced with cancellations due to European countries trying to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. With a live stream from Cologne, Germany, already on their schedule, they decided to go ahead with the live-stream, without audience, and stay in Cologne for a few more days, and record a CD of the St. John Passion there for BIS records.

Via the same link, http://www.philharmonie.tv/veranstaltung/71/ you can also download the PDF of the German-language program book for this performance.

Find the German texts with English translations here, and the score, in two parts: part 1 here, and part 2 here.

I urge you to support all musicians suffering enormous loss of income during this difficult time. Donate at least the money you would otherwise have spent on tickets to their performances, but if you can, give more. Take care of each other, please take social distancing seriously, keep going for walks if allowed, check in on your elderly neighbors, and wash. your. hands.

Also: please realize that these musicians were already on tour, but at this point, please don’t copy their idea, and keep your musicians and staff safe by letting them stay home and practice true social distancing.

Wieneke Gorter, March 15, 2020, updated March 21, 2020.