Bach’s St. Matthew Passion passed through several stages in its progress towards its final form, stages that today cannot be completely reconstructed. It may be taken as certain that the work was performed on Good Friday 1729 in St. Thomas’s Church, Leipzig, in a version of which the copy made by Bach’s son-in-law Johann Christoph Altnickol gives us an approximate idea. There is no earlier extant autograph score than that of the later version, which may probably be dated 1736, and on which the present edition is based.
• BA 5038-90 replaces the previous vocal score but retains its longstanding article number.
• The pagination has been adopted from the previous edition. This means that you can rehearse and perform this work with some singers using this new edition and some the old Bärenreiter edition.
• The vocal score is fully compatible with all existing performance material (BA 5038).
• The vocal score now contains a revised piano reduction. The reliable Alfred Dürr piano reduction has been maintained but it has been revised and uncluttered; it is now easier to read and to play.
• The text appears in slightly larger type size and a more legible font.
• A more exact placing of underlaid words has been included in the vocal parts.
• Apart from corrections, the musical text remains unchanged.