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Bach's St. Matthew Passion

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knight66:

--- Quote from: OrchestralNut on January 09, 2021, 10:48:10 AM ---Oh my, I just adore this performance.

--- End quote ---

The McCreesh is my favourite version, though I would like to spend time with the new Suzuki. I also have moved gradually across the years from needing Bach and Handel to sound massive in order to sound glorious and epic. Both Richter versions and Klemperer. When I was about 18 I bought the all male Harnoncourt version, but the contrast was too great, too hair shirt and I mainly left it on the shelf.

Hearing the start of the opening chorus reminds me that I am starting a great journey, but as most Bach is based on dance rhythms the likes of Klemperer and his 12 minute chorus started to sound grotesque to me.

I was a member of a large symphony chorus and I suppose I had a vested interest iin everything possible being sung with a big chorus. We performed the St Matthew with Abbado. One week before the concert he decided he wanted the chorus cut down in size. It was a difficult process, but being included in the smaller, but hardly small, chorus taught me a number of things. Textures were clearer, we could hear the instruments more often, words became crisper and we listened to one another in a different way. And everyone had that bit more responsibility to be on the ball.

Soon after that I started to listen to smaller scale performances. I had the Parrott version of the B minor Mass and that was the turning point, one to a part and it provided all the drama, colour and expression I needed. So, the McCreesh St Matthew was a must buy and fairly swift yet very expressive, lifting and dancing the rhythms and terrific solo singing, it has become the one my fingers twitch over when I am going to give the piece a listen. I have not got rid of my old style Bach, there is lots to enjoy. My journey has been about widening my taste and understanding rather than evangelising the newish performance styles.

Mike

OrchestralNut:

--- Quote from: knight66 on January 09, 2021, 11:48:19 AM ---The McCreesh is my favourite version, though I would like to spend time with the new Suzuki. I also have moved gradually across the years from needing Bach and Handel to sound massive in order to sound glorious and epic. Both Richter versions and Klemperer. When I was about 18 I bought the all male Harnoncourt version, but the contrast was too great, too hair shirt and I mainly left it on the shelf.

Hearing the start of the opening chorus reminds me that I am starting a great journey, but as most Bach is based on dance rhythms the likes of Klemperer and his 12 minute chorus started to sound grotesque to me.

I was a member of a large symphony chorus and I suppose I had a vested interest iin everything possible being sung with a big chorus. We performed the St Matthew with Abbado. One week before the concert he decided he wanted the chorus cut down in size. It was a difficult process, but being included in the smaller, but hardly small, chorus taught me a number of things. Textures were clearer, we could hear the instruments more often, words became crisper and we listened to one another in a different way. And everyone had that bit more responsibility to be on the ball.

Soon after that I started to listen to smaller scale performances. I had the Parrott version of the B minor Mass and that was the turning point, one to a part and it provided all the drama, colour and expression I needed. So, the McCreesh St Matthew was a must buy and fairly swift yet very expressive, lifting and dancing the rhythms and terrific solo singing, it has become the one my fingers twitch over when I am going to give the piece a listen. I have not got rid of my old style Bach, there is lots to enjoy. My journey has been about widening my taste and understanding rather than evangelising the newish performance styles.

Mike

--- End quote ---

A most interesting and appreciated post, Mike. Thank you for sharing!  :)

knight66:

--- Quote from: OrchestralNut on January 10, 2021, 05:31:59 AM ---A most interesting and appreciated post, Mike. Thank you for sharing!  :)

--- End quote ---

Thanks very much for that.

Mike

Handelian:
I have just obtained Herreweghe II at almost give-away price. It is very fine indeed what I have listened to so far.

Brewski:

--- Quote from: OrchestralNut on January 10, 2021, 05:31:59 AM ---A most interesting and appreciated post, Mike. Thank you for sharing!  :)

--- End quote ---

I agree (and I don't know the piece well). But this is the kind of commentary that should be part of a book. (Hint, hint.  8) )

--Bruce

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