Matthew Passion for a flute | Sind Blitze, sind Donner

Matthew Passion for a flute | Sind Blitze, sind Donner


A little work out based on Bach’s iconic Sind Blitze sind Donner from the Matthew Passion, all on your own recorder.


NB: upon purchase you receive 4 versions: normal version for soprano recorder, normal version for alto recorder, simpler version for soprano recorder and simpler version for alto recorder.

Arrangements of the Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach for a recorder. In the past there were no cds or apps. If you wanted to take your favourite music home, you had to play it yourself. A fascinating example of this is Händel’s operas, almost all of which have been published in an arrangement for solo recorder (!). Of course, a lot is lost, but recently I have started being interested in the idea of cutting away that much of the music and seeing what (if any) essence might be left? In my Passion for a Flute project, I’m curious to what extend this is transferable to the Matthew Passion. This epitome of baroque music is a masterwork of counterpoint. In comparison to Händel’s music there is much more counterpoint. I have therefore opted for a different style than that in the Händel arrangements, where mostly the first violin and vocal parts have been taken as the melody. Having studied Telemann’s flute fantasias and their application to improvisation for my thesis, I apply in these arrangements the ideas for sharing counterpoint rhythmically over the beat.


I could of course not leave out one of the most iconic pieces of the Matthew Passion. It is also a lot of fun to stretch the recorder’s range to its maximum (for Baroque music), including a high C (the third one) on the alto recorder, which also Telemann used in a recorder aria, but interestingly, Bach never went this far.

There are two levels, an easier version and a pretty difficult one, including several notes on the knee and 32nd notes. The easier version is also by no means easy, but only goes up to high d (soprano)/high g (alto), has no knee notes, no 32nd notes.


Sind Blitze, sind Donner
in Wolken verschwunden?
Eröffne den feurigen Abgrund, o Hölle,
Zertrümmre, verderbe, verschlinge, zerschelle
Mit plötzlicher Wut
Den falschen Verräter, das mördrische Blut!

Are lightning and thunder
extinguished in the clouds?
Open the fiery abyss, O Hell,
crush, destroy, devour, smash
with sudden rage
the false betrayer, the murderous blood!

(translation from Emmanuel Music)

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