Johann Sebastian Bach’s Passion oratorios are pinnacles of achievement in a long history of musical portrayals of Jesus of Nazareth’s crucifixion. In these works the composer combines all the means at his disposal, drawing on cantata, oratorio and opera. Yet the active history of this Passion music did not really begin until a hundred years after the St. Matthew Passion’s first performance: Felix Medelssohn Bartholdy’s revival of this work in 1829 led to the rediscovery of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music. This composition has long since come to occupy an assured place, beyond all boundaries of religious belief, as a supreme work of western art. On the present DVD, Enoch zu Guttenberg directs the Neubeuern choral society founded by him an ensemble composed largely of amateurs, mostly inhabitants of the small town of Neubeuern. Under his direction the choir soon attained professional standards, winning an international reputation with press and public as is clear from their numerous prizes and awards. Guttenberg’s assertively individual style unites elements of historical performance techniques with a modern and energetic mode of expression.