Remote concert: Bach's Saint John Passion from Leipzig and around the world

In several The Tech Guy radio shows of the past weeks, one recurring topic was that musicians were looking for remote conferencing solutions that allowed them to practice and play together.

Today, Friday, at 3 PM CET, (US: Friday early morning at 6 AM Pacific, 9 AM Eastern), there will be a very interesting combination of an international / chamber / distributed concert of Bach’s Saint John Passion, hosted in Leipzig, Germany - in the very church where Bach lived, worked, and composed the passion. The twist is: the chamber concert is played in Leipzig, but it incorporates live-contributions from choirs and solist from around the world. The article mentions something about preponing an event that originally aimed to include 5000 singers but I am not fully certain they can include that many in the preponed set-up. It is intended to also encourage and include chiming in from home (not on stream, but maybe better).

I believe it’s a great way of combining technology with culture, history, and facing a crisis. At the very least, it might be interesting to see how well it works.

This is the trailer of the concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ngqTRbp08
Google translated page of the publisher (German public television): https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mdr.de%2Fkultur%2Fthemen%2Fbachpassion-leipzig-stream-100.html

Now I am not too big on church, but big on music, tech, and such a community-oriented, well-spirited, and innovative approach and I think this is lovely - I’ll be certain to watch, why not tag along? Let’s go to the concert together! :slight_smile:

That said - happy Easter, everyone! :egg: :rainbow: (coloured eggs and a) :rabbit2:

1 Like

Interesting. Not my scene music wise but I would have thought that anything like this would just turn into a mess due to the delay involved with technology and geography. We see problems with delay and people talking over each other on twit all of the time so I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for lots of musicians or singers trying to synchronise with each other.

Generally, I fully agree and there is absolutely no argument to be had on this, but I find it interesting how impressive it can be to observe a large group of people performing their craft live, in sync, harmony, and creating something bigger. That’s something that, in my mind, only a classical concert or a large theater production can provide. Plus the added Grandezza which again makes more or less sense based on personal preference.

True - that’s part of the excitement if they can pull it off and how well it works. I suppose this will keep about as many tech people busy as musicians performing. :wink: This would have been a wonderful technology showcase for a company like Microsoft if they did the tech in the background and brand it with the Teams platform.


That’s some next level home office!


St. Gallen, represent!

Not to be too pessimistic, but it might be till now that choir parts are pre-canned and not immediately live. Not sure, though.

Edit: Yeah, positive at least in part. Still interesting approach. :man_shrugging: :slight_smile:

Yeah the audio quality seems a little too good for people singing and playing their instruments into their earbuds :thinking:

I’m sure they had fun which was probably their objective.

…my wife pointed that out, too - good point. I just thought about the likely horribly different acoustics in their individual places where they sang. Maybe they had supplied shotgun mics off camera and enough time to post produce this to fit before airing. Would be interesting to find a making-of.

A good thing is that - while they were not super-explicit about it - they did not try to hide that parts were pre-produced as the conductor was wearing different attire in some shots choir parts and soloist parts.

Certainly! Maybe also the sense of being part of something useful, somewhat innovative, and maybe meaningful to some listeners. I liked the spirit of it.