Gottfried August Homilius, now considered the greatest cantor of Dresden's Kreuzchor, was, for a while a student of Johann Sebastian Bach. A composer of music for the church, and a great organist, he was described, in 1790, as 'one of the greatest and worthiest organists alive.'
While Homilius's name is found on only one score for this passion, stylistic criteria make it almost certain that he wrote this music. This St. Matthew Passion closely resembles Bach's passions - it contains choral movements, recitatives and arias with orchestral accompaniment, and tells the story of the Passion in the same way as was done in churches all over Germany in the 18th century. However, Homilius uses many more short sections with recitative (a total of 89 pieces altogether - most less than one minute long), but his arias are generally much longer than those in Bach's passions and cantatas.
The work of another relatively new antiquarian group, the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, is altogether more interesting. Performing with no set director and alternating concertmasters, the academy applies fuller instrumentation to the suites and takes a compleatist approach to repeats(Harmonia Mundi).
Johann Mattheson gained lasting renown as a music writer with his two main works Die musikalische Ehrenpforte and Der vollkommene Kapellmeister, with the latter representing a foundational writing on cultural politics, musical aesthetics, and compositional practice in the first half of the eighteenth century. Mattheson was also himself a composer and experienced his most productive phase in this capacity during his years as cathedral music director at the Hamburg Cathedral (1715-28). He wrote twenty-four oratorios and other works for the cathedral music until increasing deafness forced him to resign from his post. That Mattheson is not at all known as a composer certainly has to do with the fact that a considerable portion of his compositional oeuvre was regarded as lost until 1998, when some works were rediscovered in a war evacuation depot in Erivan (Yerevan), Armenia. These works include Der liebreiche und geduldige David (The Loving and Patient David) of 1723, one of Mattheson’s last oratorios. It reveals him to us as a dramatically well-versed, highly imaginative musician who more than deserves his personal renaissance. cpo vows to take up his cause!