Concerts have become a rarity and little will change in the foreseeable future. Forced into months of rest, there are hardly any alternatives for artists and lovers of live music. On Good Friday, however, there is the possibility of bringing a concert home: The “Johannes Passion 2021 digital” will be performed by Ron-Dirk Entleutner, musical director of the State Youth Orchestra of Saxony and the Leipzig choir and ensemble amici musicae, as well as around 100 singers from Germany, the USA and Japan staged and shown in the stream.
The Leipzig ensemble amici musicae was in Japan in 2017, visiting Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto on concert tours. In 2019 it went to the east coast of the United States – in 2020 and 2021 the return visits of the ensembles to Germany were due, Corona finally made this impossible. It was impossible to make music together. Until the idea for the virtual realization of the St. John Passion by Bach came up, which would normally have failed due to Corona. This “absolutely mammoth project” came into being just a few weeks ago, explains conductor Ron-Dirk Entleutner. “That’s the lot of this time, you have to drive on sight,” he says.
Contributions come from Japan and the USA
The Leipzig ensemble amarcord is part of the soloists, and music is played in the Leipziger Kunstkraftwerk. There it is corona-compliant, says Entleutner. However, there are no spectators on site. The eleven chorales of the St. John Passion are played digitally in the background through multiscreen videos – they consist of several hundred individual audio and video contributions. The partner choirs of amici musicae in the USA and Japan as well as some members from Leipzig produced these in advance.
Entleutner also created audio and conducting playbacks for the pieces, which should ultimately ensure a harmonious choir sound from all over the world. Together with what is created in the Kunstkraftwerk, the St. John Passion can be seen and heard in full as a digital concert. That means a lot for the participants, says Entleutner. “We’re glad we can do something like this, even if only a handful of people can play live together. But the opportunity to create a relationship is great. “
Concert will be pre-recorded
Because you cannot always rely on a good internet connection, the concert will not be broadcast live, but recorded in advance, explains Entleutner. Despite Corona, the musicians should have the opportunity to exchange ideas and the entire industry, such as freelance sound engineers and stage employees, should be supported.
The video premiere will take place via a stream on Good Friday, April 2, 2021, at 3 p.m. The recording can then be viewed for 72 hours, tickets are available up to a maximum of one hour before the stream begins.
From Vanessa Gregor