Author Topic: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion  (Read 35348 times)

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Offline Marc

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2009, 11:32:28 AM »
Now I know why the St John is shorter than the St Matthew!  It doesn't really bother me that the St Matthew Passion is so long though because it's such a great, beautiful work. :)

Yes, if Bach had included the Last Supper section of the St. John Gospel in the JP, this composition might have taken two days, instead of two hours! ;D
It includes all the parables Jesus told that night, and also the washing of the disciples' feet.
That's why the reading and/or singing of St. John's Passion story has to take off immediately with the Gethsemane Garden and the captivation. Dramatic action guaranteed!
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Offline Bogey

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2009, 11:34:34 AM »
Yes, if Bach had included the Last Supper section of the St. John Gospel in the JP, this composition might have taken two days, instead of two hours! ;D
It includes all the parables Jesus told that night, and also the washing of the disciples' feet.
That's why the reading and/or singing of St. John's Passion story has to take off immediately with the Gethsemane Garden and the captivation. Dramatic action guaranteed!

Order MUST occur in 24 hours....I need to hear this piece!
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Marc

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2009, 12:02:33 PM »
Order MUST occur in 24 hours....I need to hear this piece!

OK.
Let's forget about my personal faves .... and try to be 'objective'.
You began this thread with a pic of Herreweghe 2: avoid it, not because it's bad, but because it's the 1725 version .... without the introduction chorus Herr, unser Herrscher!. The SJP is some kind of an orphan without it, IMHO (very objective, this!).
This chorus is indeed my favourite Bach piece.
(Again, as you seee, I promised not to mention faves ....)
Is Herreweghe 1 still available (with a.o. Howard Crook as Evangelist)? This offers the 'standard' version, isn't very fast and will probably answer to your personal taste, because you already liked H. in the SMP.
Still: Kuijken is also not that fast, and you can buy him in a box set, coupled with Leonhardt's recording of the SMP. (Yummy!)
I like Gardiner, but if you're not a great fan of his Bach: avoid.
I like both Harnoncourts, too. His first recording might be a bit challenging for non-HIPpers though. All boys, and sometimes not-entirely-secure tuning of instruments. His second recording, with Anthony Rolfe Johnson both as evangelist and aria singer, is more straightforward. The recording sound is a bit direct, though (almost no reverberation).
Harnoncourt is also visible on DVD somewhere: again all boys, no perfect tuning, but with the best evangelist of all time (of course this is a totally objective opinion): Kurt Equiluz. When you look at him singing, you realize he's not to be trifled with! When you listen to him singing, he'll certainly make your blood run cold!
Hermann Max (like Harnoncourt 1, also mentioned by Que) is very good IMHO, but also very fast. It doesn't bother me at all though, because (as in his SMP) he avoids to sound hasty.
Masaaki Suzuki is quite OK, too. But he doesn't make me 'scream and shout' in this composition, I must admit.
Not to forget: Ton Koopman! I think his studio SJP is far better than his studio SMP. It might be the one for you .... you see: it's really an easy choice! ;)

About non-HIP I really can't say anything, except: maybe Peter Schreier, or Helmuth Rilling's second recording will answer to your wishes! Schreier offers some alternative aria's from the 1725 version, Rilling offers a lot more of that.

But in the end, I would advice:
Buy the Kuijken/Leonhardt double passion CD box set.
And also buy the Harnoncourt DVD. Both watching Harnoncourt conduct, hearing some boys sing very well, and .... watching and listening to Kurt Equiluz .... well, it has proven to be quite an event for me!
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Offline Bogey

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2009, 12:21:14 PM »

You began this thread with a pic of Herreweghe 2: avoid it, not because it's bad, but because it's the 1725 version .... without the introduction chorus Herr, unser Herrscher!. The SJP is some kind of an orphan without it, IMHO (very objective, this!).


That is what nixed it in the end for me.  I would like to have that intro for my intro recording.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline knight66

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2009, 12:21:37 PM »
Bach also composed a St Marc and a St Luke passion. Semi-reconstructed recordings exist on Brilliant.

From Wikepedia...where the writer does not accept the possibility.

There survives a manuscript of the St Luke Passion from about 1730 that is partly in Bach's hand, though the academics believe that the music is certainly not his own. Presumably Bach performed it, or intended to perform it, in Leipzig. C. P. E. Bach and Agricola may have mistaken it for a work of Bach's and thus included it in their census. Of course, given his delight in exhaustive cycles, Bach should have composed a St Luke Passion. Apparently J. S. Bach took the anonymous St Luke Passion and arranged it for four voices, chorus, orchestra, and continuo to meet an urgent deadline for Good Friday in 1730.


Mike

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Offline Bogey

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #45 on: August 01, 2009, 12:23:06 PM »
Bach also composed a St Marc and a St Luke passion. Semi-reconstructed recordings exist on Brilliant.

From Wikepedia...where the writer does not accept the possibility.

There survives a manuscript of the St Luke Passion from about 1730 that is partly in Bach's hand, though the academics believe that the music is certainly not his own. Presumably Bach performed it, or intended to perform it, in Leipzig. C. P. E. Bach and Agricola may have mistaken it for a work of Bach's and thus included it in their census. Of course, given his delight in exhaustive cycles, Bach should have composed a St Luke Passion. Apparently J. S. Bach took the anonymous St Luke Passion and arranged it for four voices, chorus, orchestra, and continuo to meet an urgent deadline for Good Friday in 1730.


Mike



I saw those as well, Mike.  May be interesting to hear.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #46 on: August 01, 2009, 12:24:54 PM »
I saw those as well, Mike.  May be interesting to hear.


But are St Mark Passion and St Luke Passion as authentic as Beethoven 10th?

 ;D
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 12:42:54 PM by Coopmv »

DavidW

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #47 on: August 01, 2009, 12:36:33 PM »
It's surprising that CPE Bach would not know his dad's work.  They wrote music together.  He has performed his papa's work in concert.  It's a little odd. :-\

Offline Marc

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #48 on: August 01, 2009, 12:43:37 PM »
Bach also composed a St Marc and a St Luke passion. Semi-reconstructed recordings exist on Brilliant.

From Wikepedia...where the writer does not accept the possibility.

There survives a manuscript of the St Luke Passion from about 1730 that is partly in Bach's hand, though the academics believe that the music is certainly not his own. Presumably Bach performed it, or intended to perform it, in Leipzig. C. P. E. Bach and Agricola may have mistaken it for a work of Bach's and thus included it in their census. Of course, given his delight in exhaustive cycles, Bach should have composed a St Luke Passion. Apparently J. S. Bach took the anonymous St Luke Passion and arranged it for four voices, chorus, orchestra, and continuo to meet an urgent deadline for Good Friday in 1730.

According to a necrology of CPE Bach, Bach wrote 5 passions.

We know the SJP and SMP.
The St Mark is known, because the lyrics have survived.
He composed a passion oratorio in his Weimar period, for the county of Gotha (this one got lost, but one thinks that maybe 'O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß' was part of it, and also some arias that returned in the 1725 SJP version).
He composed 2 versions of the SJP. (Even more: but in the end, two of them were 'really' different: the 1725 and the 1724/1749 version.)

That makes five.
Did Bach compose a St Luke Passion? There is no evidence of that. We do have this St. Luke manuscript though, with 2/3 in the handwriting of CPE, and 1/3 of JS. But believe me: one doesn't need to be an academic to hear that this SLP is NOT by JS Bach himself. He only arranged the final chorale of the first part of this Passion, which is believed to be composed by Johann Melchior Molter (1696-1765).
Best recording I've heard (I know only two, btw): Wolfgang Helbich conducts the Alsfelder Vokalensemble & Barockorchester Bremen. Rufus Müller is evangelist, and Stephan Schreckenberger sings the bass part of Jesus (not bad, both of them!). Label: CPO.

The music of the St Mark Passion is lost, but the lyrics of Picander have survived. It is to be believed that many of the arias are 'parodies' of arias of the Trauer-Ode BWV 198.
Good recordings: Roy Goodman conducts the Ring Ensemble of Finland and a European youth orchestra. It has a very good treble in the soprano parts, only problem is: he's not singing German at all! ;D Label: now Brilliant Classics!

I also have a recording where a reconstruction of Bach is mixed with modern music of the composer Volker Bräutigam: interesting indeed!
Christian Pfeifer conducts the Kantorei der Bergkirche Wiesbaden & the Capella Montana choir.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 12:46:03 PM by Marc »
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Offline Marc

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #49 on: August 01, 2009, 12:55:25 PM »
Did Bach compose a St Luke Passion? There is no evidence of that. We do have this St. Luke manuscript though, with 2/3 in the handwriting of CPE, and 1/3 of JS. But believe me: one doesn't need to be an academic to hear that this SLP is NOT by JS Bach himself.

I once read that Brahms said, after the discovery of the manuscript and all the excitement going along with it: "This St. Luke Passion composed by Bach? Sure, when he was still wetting his bed!"
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Offline knight66

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #50 on: August 01, 2009, 12:57:20 PM »
I have both Luke and Marc....but to my ears they just don't hang together at all. Also, they are so speculative and tentative, I have really no idea who I am listening to and I have basically neglected them.

Mike
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Offline Marc

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #51 on: August 01, 2009, 01:02:44 PM »
I have both Luke and Marc [....]

Sorry?

IN YOUR DREAMS! :P

Quote from: knight
.... but to my ears they just don't hang together at all. Also, they are so speculative and tentative, I have really no idea who I am listening to and I have basically neglected them.

Koopman tried to 'hang Mark together'. Avoided the Trauer-Ode and came up with entirely other choices, and he composed the recitatives himself, in Bach's style. In the end: it was a performance of the St Mark Passion of T. Koopman, with some add-ons by Bach. :D
Anyway: he did not hang it together, either. ;D

Back to topic then, the SJP. And let's wish Bogey well with his choice(s)!
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Offline Bogey

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #52 on: August 01, 2009, 01:16:20 PM »


Back to topic then, the SJP. And let's wish Bogey well with his choice(s)!

Will be a single choice, Marc.  Probably the Kuijken, with a much later purchase of the Herreweghe....unless I blink. ;D
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #53 on: August 01, 2009, 01:25:46 PM »
Will be a single choice, Marc.  Probably the Kuijken, with a much later purchase of the Herreweghe....unless I blink. ;D
 

I may add both of these recordings to my collection since I really do not have one version that is truly sastifying.  The Gardiner's version sounds too fast for me.  But isn't Herreweghe pretty fast too?  I have his St Matthew Passion but zipped through it on my first and only listen a bit fast to have any solid recollection ...

Offline knight66

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #54 on: August 01, 2009, 02:18:48 PM »
Sorry?

IN YOUR DREAMS! :P


No....in my disc collection.

No notes whatsoever, which is partly why they sit there looking at me and don't get out much for a play. All I have is the aritsts and track listings. Spelling corrected here they are.

Lukas Passion.....Conductor, Gerhard Rehm, Singers include Chalotte Lehmann, Georg Jelden

Markus Passion....Conductor Roy Goodman, Singers include Rogers Covey-Crump, Paul Agnew

Brilliant Classics.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Bogey

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #55 on: August 01, 2009, 02:27:46 PM »
No....in my disc collection.

No notes whatsoever, which is partly why they sit there looking at me and don't get out much for a play. All I have is the aritsts and track listings. Spelling corrected here they are.

Lukas Passion.....Conductor, Gerhard Rehm, Singers include Chalotte Lehmann, Georg Jelden

Markus Passion....Conductor Roy Goodman, Singers include Rogers Covey-Crump, Paul Agnew

Brilliant Classics.

Mike

No notes!  Yikes.  Does the Kuijken set have a decent set for the St. John?
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Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #56 on: August 01, 2009, 02:43:20 PM »
No notes!  Yikes.  Does the Kuijken set have a decent set for the St. John?
 

I can never deal with a set of CD's with no liner notes for a work that is one of a kind such as a St Luke Passion.  My Walcha's Historical Bach Organ Works set on Document has no liner notes whatsoever.  But I have no problems with that for obvious reasons ...

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #57 on: August 01, 2009, 03:01:18 PM »
 



If no one's going to second this one, I will! :) Gorgeous hybrid version with 'ripenists' augmenting the nearly OVPP approach giving the work added strength in the choruses (my preference).

Veldhoven is also a master colorist, perhaps more so than any other HIPster I've heard.

Bill, I urge you not to overlook this version while sampling. The fact it isn't getting many rec's isn't a reflection of its quality - it's just something of a "new kid on the block" compared to other veteran recordings.
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Antoine Marchand

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #58 on: August 01, 2009, 03:09:57 PM »
Thanks to this thread this afternoon was a better one for me, listening to this work.

God knows I'm not an envious person, but how I'd wish to have a beautiful voice to sing the aria “Mein Jesu, ach! Dein schmerzhaft bitter leiden…” or “just” to play the violin part (AMDG).

(02:27)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/dAhrbseCzss" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/dAhrbseCzss</a>

Aria (T) (Later version, IV)

My Jesus, ah, thy painful bitter sadness
Brings countless gladness,
It quells the pain of sin.

      I see in truth with greatest terror
      The holy body now blood-covered,
      But even this my joy must waken,
      It makes me free from hell and death.  


Probably this box set should be considered too (it includes detailed booklets and librettos in German and English):

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Die-gro%DFen-geistlichen-Werke-BIS-Edition-Masaaki-Suzuki/hnum/1029940

 :)

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Bach Johannes-Passion / St. John Passion
« Reply #59 on: August 01, 2009, 03:19:24 PM »
I haven't heard the Veldhoven & Co., but their Christmas Oratorio is very, very nice. After all, it's from the same musical culture that gave us Leonhardt, Herreweghe, Jacobs, Koopman ...

[Edited to add René Jacobs to the list...]
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 07:26:20 PM by Lilas Pastia »