Author Topic: Bach's St. Matthew Passion  (Read 168635 times)

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Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #360 on: September 26, 2015, 08:23:34 AM »
To avoid all kinds of discussions about the cantatas in this particular SMP thread, I gave some 'new life' to the cantata thread:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,117.1000.html

Offline Fitzcarraldo

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #361 on: August 02, 2016, 10:29:38 AM »
It may be old-fashioned, but my favourite recordings are Richter I and Klemperer.
I also like Furtwangler and Karajan.
My apologies to HIP enthusiasts, I really cannot stand Harnoucourt's version and Leonhardt's. If it must be HIP, it shall be Herreweghe I.

Other versions I've heard include:
Schreier: while I adore his St John Passion, I wasn't impressed by his St Matthew -too rigid maybe?
Chailly: kind of a "compromise" version, I liked it but not my favourite. 


I am always eager to listen to different recordings of this work, which is by far one of my all time favourites. Any suggestions?

« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 10:31:53 AM by Fitzcarraldo »

Offline North Star

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #362 on: August 02, 2016, 12:02:58 PM »
I can enthusiastically recommend the HIP Dunedin Consort's recording. See review by Gio:



And hear the beginning of the recording here:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ECWPpJjGK7k" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ECWPpJjGK7k</a>
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Offline Fitzcarraldo

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #363 on: August 03, 2016, 01:13:24 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion, North Star. I read the review (why is Gio calling it an opera though?) and listened to the first chorus. I'm sorry... I didn't like it. Too fast and way too light for me...  :(
Please don't hate me.


Offline North Star

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #364 on: August 03, 2016, 01:47:13 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion, North Star. I read the review (why is Gio calling it an opera though?) and listened to the first chorus. I'm sorry... I didn't like it. Too fast and way too light for me...  :(
Please don't hate me.
No problem, we all have different tastes. As for calling it an opera, I suppose he was alluding to these oratorios being as close to opera as Bach got in his career - and, of course, oratorio and opera do have a lot in common.
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #365 on: August 03, 2016, 07:18:08 AM »
Neither of Harnoncourt's I'd describe as light. Both have a fairly large number of musicians and are quite weighty in other respects. Although this is mainly as compared to other more recent recordings not to Klemperer, Karajan or Richter.
Schreier's St. John is a great recording, in many respects a mix between more recent HIP and the peculiar East German performance tradition. (I have not heard his St. Matthew.)

A St. Matthew with great singers, HIP-influenced but with modern instruments and a fairly large choir is Rilling's from the 1990s (not the one from the 70s which I have not heard but which must be more old-fashioned if it is similar to other Rilling recordings from that time).

But my favorite Pre-HIP is Scherchen, despite mono sound, a mediocre choir, some non-ideal singers and a few very odd tempo choices by the conductor (while he takes "Kommt ihr Töchter" almost as fast as the HIP persons, his "O Mensch bewein" and final chorus are the slowest I have heard). Overall it ist very dramatic and gripping.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
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Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #366 on: August 03, 2016, 07:46:17 AM »
It may be old-fashioned, but my favourite recordings are Richter I and Klemperer.
I also like Furtwangler and Karajan.
My apologies to HIP enthusiasts, I really cannot stand Harnoucourt's version and Leonhardt's. If it must be HIP, it shall be Herreweghe I.
[...]

IMHO, Herreweghe 1 is very close to the Leonhardt/Harnoncourt approach.
(Hence I prefer it to Herreweghe 2.)

[...]
Please don't hate me.

Don't worry.
There is already far too much hatred in this world.

But it's not easy to recommand anything, because I hate am not that much into non-HIP.
;)
Jo498 adviced Rilling 2, and that might be a good idea!
And maybe you'll like Enoch zu Guttenberg's live recording from around 1990:



https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthauspassion-Enoch-Zu-Guttenberg/dp/B000026HCP?&tag=goodmusicguideco

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #367 on: August 03, 2016, 09:25:57 AM »
Herreweghe 1 is not quite competitive with the very best as far as solo singers go as far as I am concerned. Jacobs as Altus is even more of an acquired taste than Esswood/Bowman? in the old Harnoncourt. Don't remember the others so well but I think they are mostly bettered by e.g. Rilling II or the later Harnoncourt (although this also has one or two weak ones). Herreweghe is not bad but it eludes me that someone who does not like HIP in general would like it. He is not very dramatic and seems to instantiate the "lighter" approach many people dislike with HIP recordings (I find his cantata recordings more successful than the passions).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

jlaurson

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #368 on: August 03, 2016, 11:47:00 AM »

And maybe you'll like Enoch zu Guttenberg's live recording from around 1990:



https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthauspassion-Enoch-Zu-Guttenberg/dp/B000026HCP?&tag=goodmusicguideco


Why exactly Enoch's first recording? I don't know it, but I know that I (and he himself) vastly prefer the second recording. In fact, it's made my "Top Ten" Bach recordings http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2015/11/25/the-real-top-10-bach-recordings/2/#229dac238895
and is, whereas my tastes usually do line up in the HIP camp, my favorite M-Passion if I absolutely had to pick one.


JSB. MP. EzG.

Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #369 on: August 03, 2016, 07:29:32 PM »
Why exactly Enoch's first recording? I don't know it, but I know that I (and he himself) vastly prefer the second recording. In fact, it's made my "Top Ten" Bach recordings http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2015/11/25/the-real-top-10-bach-recordings/2/#229dac238895
and is, whereas my tastes usually do line up in the HIP camp, my favorite M-Passion if I absolutely had to pick one.


JSB. MP. EzG.


If my personal taste is concerned: I agree! :)

My 'advice' for Guttenberg live wasn't a personal preference though (on the contrary), but based on Fitzcarraldo's own preferences so far.
To which I might add 2 other 'advices': the SMP recordings by Fritz Werner and Karl Münchinger.

In casu my personal preferences... that's not an easy question, but at least I would mention Leonhardt, Herreweghe 1, Max, Jacobs and my 'sentimental' pick: Harnoncourt live at the Concertgebouw 1985 (long OOP).
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 07:24:38 AM by Marc »

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #370 on: August 04, 2016, 12:53:24 AM »
Guttenberg and also Dijkstra and maybe Egarr are listed highest on my list of new SMP's acquisitons.

Other than that I concur as to pre-HIP recordings with Marc's recommendations Münchinger and Werner, wishing to add Richter I to the list
Equally with his recommendations of HIP recordings (except the live Harnoncourt which I do not know), wishing to add van Veldhoven and Thomas to the list.



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jlaurson

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #371 on: August 04, 2016, 01:04:40 AM »
Guttenberg and also Dijkstra and maybe Egarr are listed highest on my list of new SMP's acquisitons.

Other than that I concur as to pre-HIP recordings with Marc's recommendations Münchinger and Werner, wishing to add Richter I to the list
Equally with his recommendations of HIP recordings (except the live Harnoncourt which I do not know), wishing to add van Veldhoven and Thomas to the list.

I should add that, although vibrato-free-ish, I instinctively don't count Guttenberg among the HIPsters. He will do anything to achieve his means, HIP methods or Furtwaenglerian methods, if needed.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #372 on: August 04, 2016, 02:03:27 AM »
I should add that, although vibrato-free-ish, I instinctively don't count Guttenberg among the HIPsters. He will do anything to achieve his means, HIP methods or Furtwaenglerian methods, if needed.

Sounds intriguing.

Does he use modern instruments?
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

jlaurson

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #373 on: August 04, 2016, 02:18:57 AM »
Sounds intriguing.

Does he use modern instruments?

Yes, Klangverwaltung uses modern instruments. It's an interesting group in that they are low on ideological claims in that regard, but they have internalized most HIP lessons. In the Dvorak Requiem I recently saw them in (+ Mahler 7, Haydn 8 & Schubert 9 as it so happened), they used vibrato only as a stylistic element for underlining, not as the MO, for example.

Offline king ubu

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #374 on: August 04, 2016, 05:11:31 AM »
Neither of Harnoncourt's I'd describe as light. Both have a fairly large number of musicians and are quite weighty in other respects. Although this is mainly as compared to other more recent recordings not to Klemperer, Karajan or Richter.

Harnoncourt seems to have four (I thought it was three, which is why I checked in the first place):
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Harnoncourt.htm
I have a selection on one disc of the third one listed there (1985, with an amazing Kurt Equiluz), never managed to score the full one - I think picked up after reading through this thread in more or less its entirely, quite a while before I signed up here).
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #375 on: August 04, 2016, 05:51:31 AM »
I don't think the 1981 Concertgebouw recording was ever "official", I have never seen this before. The 1985 one was available for a while on CD (a long time ago) but I meant of course the first (1970) and the last (2000) with Concentus Musicus. In any case the Concertgebouw ones are on modern instruments and would be closer to traditional interpretations, at least as far as sound and weightiness/number of performers is concerned. But neither of the Concentus ones is lightweight.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #376 on: August 04, 2016, 07:24:09 AM »
I don't think the 1981 Concertgebouw recording was ever "official", [....]
[...]

Indeed.

Quote from: Jo498
[...]
The 1985 one was available for a while on CD (a long time ago) but I meant of course the first (1970) and the last (2000) with Concentus Musicus. In any case the Concertgebouw ones are on modern instruments and would be closer to traditional interpretations, at least as far as sound and weightiness/number of performers is concerned. But neither of the Concentus ones is lightweight.

The 1985 was eventually withdrawn by NH himself midway the 1990s, mostly because the issue was only produced to gather money for the restoration of the Concertgebouw.
But Teldec didn't want to withdraw it that soon. Harnoncourt wasn't happy with that.

The non-official 1981 and the OOP 1985 both sound already more like the 2000 studio recording. But with non-professional choirs, and some quite 'heavy' singers indeed. I like these Amsterdam rarities also because it brings me back to my younger years, when I was glued to the radio on Palm Sunday each and every year. My favourite singers were Arleen Augér (IIRC, not part of the 1981 performance) and ... yes, Kurt Equiluz, the Austrian evangelist. Still the best Bach recitativo singer I ever heard.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 07:25:42 AM by Marc »

Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #377 on: August 04, 2016, 07:35:52 AM »
Kurt Equiluz, Bach's evangelist.

(Only in German... with a juicy Austrian accent.)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/zNyZoYILcTU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/zNyZoYILcTU</a>

He's 87 now.
This interview dates from 2014, in honour of his 85th birthday.

jlaurson

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #378 on: August 04, 2016, 08:10:31 AM »
Kurt Equiluz, Bach's evangelist.

(Only in German... with a juicy Austrian accent.)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/zNyZoYILcTU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/zNyZoYILcTU</a>

He's 87 now.
This interview dates from 2014, in honour of his 85th birthday.

That's a surprisingly lovely interview!

Online Que

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #379 on: April 07, 2019, 08:32:10 PM »
After three years of inactivity,  anything new?  :)

Q