St Matthew Passion trailer

Filmed live in the Basilica of Saint-Denis, Paris, France, during the 2011 Saint-Denis Festival, with 7 HDTV cameras. Directed by Louise Narboni.

SDG Announces Bach St. Matthew Passion DVD

St. Matthew Passion at Basilica of Saint-Denis, France  

The newest release in The Soli Deo Gloria Collection, SDG’s video series of sacred music masterworks, is a high-definition DVD of J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244.  For this project, SDG once again joined with leading production companies Idéale Audience and to film the performance in the majestic environs of the Basilica of Saint-Denis, the renowned abbey church on the outskirts of Paris dating back to the seventh century.

Extraordinary musicians bring the profound drama to life, capturing Bach’s brilliant intensity in the narrative sung by the Evangelist, the words of Jesus and his disciples, and the expressive reflections of the chorus. Schola Cantorum of Oxford, directed by James Burton, is the premiere choir of Oxford University, and the Maîtrise de Paris is an integral part of the music life of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Orchestre de chambre de Paris, which Maestro Nelson led for over ten years and is now Honorary Music Director, is noteworthy in the Parisian musical landscape.




St. Matthew Passion DVD   

Johann Sebastian Bach

John Nelson, conductor
Werner Güra, Evangelist
Stephen Morscheck, Jesus
Lucy Crowe, soprano
Christine Rice, mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
Matthew Brook, bass-baritone
Bertrand Grunenwald, bass

Schola Cantorum of Oxford
Maîtrise de Paris
Orchestre de chambre de Paris
Christophe Coin, viola da gamba
Deborah Nemtanu, concert master



"Bach's St. Matthew Passion tells the greatest story ever told with unequaled perception and power. It is the most moving of all sacred works, the crème de la crème, the very high point of Western classical music."—John Nelson, conductor

Filming of St. Matthew Passion at Basilica of Saint-Denis, France  

The filming includes the performance at the final concert of the 2011 St. Denis Festival, an annual classical music event that brings in the first-class musicians from around the world for a month of exceptional concerts. As with previous SDG-sponsored productions, the concert was video broadcast worldwide, free of charge, on Medici’s state-of-the-art website,

This St. Matthew Passion DVD marks the second SDG project involving the Basilica of Saint-Denis and the Festival. In 2001, the Festival hosted the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’ SDG-commissioned work, Daylight Divine. The Basilica of Saint-Denis, one of the central venues of the Festival, is a favorite destination of many tourists. Founded on the burial site of the patron saint of France, the Basilica became over the centuries a burial site for nearly every king of France from the 10th to 18th centuries. The Basilica is notable for its Gothic architecture and was the site of the first attempt at the architectural innovation of flying buttresses, which allowed for the huge stained-glass windows that became hallmarks of thegreat Gothic cathedrals.


"Nelson is a practiced hand at the 'St. Matthew, '[with] a deep and sensitive understanding of what gives this music its unique spiritual resonance and urgent dramatic power."—Chicago Tribune

Soli Deo Gloria/Idéale Audience. Filmed live in the Basilica of Saint-Denis, during the 2011 Saint-Denis Festival, with 7 HDTV cameras. Directed by Louise Narboni.

Two-disk set. Run time, 177 minutes, plus a 52-minute documentary video of rehearsal footage and interviews with Maestro Nelson. Subtitles in English, French, and German.

DOCUMENTARY: “John Nelson’s Saint Matthew Passion – The Journey”
1 Introduction
2 Musical Challenges: Rehearsal with Christine Rice and Matthew Brook
3 A Dream Cast: Rehearsal with Werner Güra and Stephen Morscheck
4 A Revolution of the Heart: Conversation with Stephen Morscheck
5 Faith and Perfection: A conductor’s perspective
6 Not One, but Two: The St. Matthew choral forces
7 An Inside Look: Soloist rehearsals
8 A Performance Takes Shape: Rehearsal with viola da gamba
9 Authenticity: The point of the musiic
10 Final Remarks

For information on special pre-release offer, visit the SDG shop.