As the new house composer at the Theater an der Wien, Beethoven had an opportunity to perform an oratorio during Passiontide in 1803. In a very short space of time he drew up his one and only work for this genre. It deals with Christ’s suffering and prayer in the garden of Gethsemane until he is taken prisoner. Following the première, the publisher of the first edition, who disliked the “operatic” libretto by Franz Xaver Huber, had an unauthorized revision of the texts undertaken. Although Beethoven resisted and demanded that it should be changed back to the original, this new version spread throughout the world. Our edition presents the work with the original libretto that Beethoven set to music and following the text in the Beethoven Complete Edition.