The purpose of this course is to study at least two large choral works of the late Baroque period - by Handel and Bach - in their contrasting historical and cultural contexts. The Bach will be his setting of the Passion according to St John; this will be related to the history of Passion settings in Germany and contrasted with those of Schutz. The Handel oratorios studied may include Jephtha (which can be compared with Carissimi's setting of the same story), the 'Brockes' Passion, Susanna, or Theodora. Students will also be able to explore other parts of the repertory that interest them. Oratorio and Passion are linked by their telling of biblical stories but distinguished by their methods and performance conditions. They thus form a fascinating subject for study.