Johann Sebastian Bach's St. John Passion began its long public life (with several revisions to its original form that we'll leave to the musicologists to elucidate further) with its maiden performance in Leipzig, Germany, on Good Friday in 1724. It was introduced to America, in partial manner, in the 1870s by the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, but leave it to a steel town to snag the honor of the first complete stateside performance: The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, debuted St. John in its entirety on June 5, 1888. This afternoon, 125 years later, we can experience Bach's mighty choral and orchestral work right here at home -- in the confines of the First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood (100 East Adams Avenue, Kirkwood), to be exact. The Bach Society of St. Louis (314-652-2224 or www.bachsociety.org) presents St. John Passion today at 3 p.m. with six guest vocalists. Tickets are $20 to $40.
Sun., March 30, 3 p.m., 2014