Bach's St. Matthew Passion

Started by Bogey, December 10, 2007, 05:56:01 PM

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DavidW

There was a big write up on Richter in the NYTimes recently.  I mean since we're talking about Mike's post where he keeps going back to him... thought I'd share

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/21/arts/music/karl-richter-bach-music.html

knight66

Quote from: Brewski on February 05, 2021, 02:11:19 PM
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

More likely a photo book I think. Just reading what I had posted prompted a memory of singing a string of performances of Handel's Messiah. There were about a dozen of them across four weeks and our full symphony chorus was split into teams. There were no rehearsals, as everyone knew the piece from our traditional New Year's Day performances. One performance was in a very beautiful Gothic church attached to the ruins of Linlithgow Palace near Edinburgh. Mary Queen of Scots was christened there.

There were six bases and we were oddly lined up. I was the only bass in the front row. The accompaniment was by organ. All went normally until the Amen Chorus started up. I realised I was the only person singing. The conductor was looking at me beseechingly to keep going. Normally we staggered breathing so that the line was continuous. All I could think was that I would have to breath somewhere and I was trying to work out where to snatch a breath. I could feel myself go bright red. We got through it and the conductor asked the bases where they were when he gave the downbeat. He then added me to more than my share of performances. A mystery. Anyway....sorry, back to Bach.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

knight66

#402
Quote from: DavidW on February 05, 2021, 02:38:06 PM
There was a big write up on Richter in the NYTimes recently.  I mean since we're talking about Mike's post where he keeps going back to him... thought I'd share

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/21/arts/music/karl-richter-bach-music.html

Very interesting. I mostly listened to his second St Matthew when I was young. Now I have problems with it, but the soloists are mostly superb. He allows them space and time to get the text across. The instrumental lines in the Ah Golgotha number sound like 20 century music. A lot of the then Original Instrument performances used soloists with white voices, relatively expressionless. Colouring the voice and any vibrato was anathama. I really want the meaning of the words to come across and not be constricted almost to being another instrumental line. Richter is ponderous, but the set is powerful in many ways.

I don't think mixing the old and new instruments works. It was done in the Abbado performances where a viola de gamba was added. It was a startling sound in the wrong way.

I do sense that we have been moving more firmly to a place where technical scholarship and interpretative flexibility are being balanced and the singers can inject meaning and colour.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Handelian

Just acquired the second Herreweghe recording. It really is a fabulously beautiful performance of the great work. I have his first but I think this is even better. Another recording to my somewhat extensive library!

DavidW

Quote from: knight66 on February 09, 2021, 12:09:15 PM
Very interesting. I mostly listened to his second St Matthew when I was young. Now I have problems with it, but the soloists are mostly superb. He allows them space and time to get the text across. The instrumental lines in the Ah Golgotha number sound like 20 century music. A lot of the then Original Instrument performances used soloists with white voices, relatively expressionless. Colouring the voice and any vibrato was anathama. I really want the meaning of the words to come across and not be constricted almost to being another instrumental line. Richter is ponderous, but the set is powerful in many ways.

Richter was the first one to get me to connect with those works.  But yeah I usually listen to Herreweghe, Kuijken, Koopman, Gardiner, Suzuki and others these days.

QuoteI don't think mixing the old and new instruments works.

With my biggest pet peeve being harpsichord continuo in late Mozart and Haydn symphonies!

DavidW

Quote from: Handelian on February 09, 2021, 12:14:41 PM
Just acquired the second Herreweghe recording. It really is a fabulously beautiful performance of the great work. I have his first but I think this is even better. Another recording to my somewhat extensive library!

Is that performance OVPP?

Handelian

Quote from: DavidW on February 09, 2021, 01:56:33 PM
Is that performance OVPP?

No with choir and orchestra. HIP though of course

Papy Oli

bumpity bump.

For a maiden exploration of this lengthy work, what would be the key/"famous" Choruses / Arias / Recitatives worth focusing on when sampling the various recordings of the SMP please ?

Thank you.
Olivier

OrchestralNut

Quote from: Papy Oli on April 12, 2022, 01:44:50 AM
bumpity bump.

For a maiden exploration of this lengthy work, what would be the key/"famous" Choruses / Arias / Recitatives worth focusing on when sampling the various recordings of the SMP please ?

Thank you.

Mache dich, mein Herze, rein

The final aria for bass voice. Still one of the most beautiful movements in all of music, for me.


Biffo

Quote from: Papy Oli on April 12, 2022, 01:44:50 AM
bumpity bump.

For a maiden exploration of this lengthy work, what would be the key/"famous" Choruses / Arias / Recitatives worth focusing on when sampling the various recordings of the SMP please ?

Thank you.

You could try the beginning and the end - the opening chorus of Part I and the closing scene of Part II, No 64 onwards, beginning with the recitative 'Am Abend da es kuhle war'. They contain some of my favourite bits.

Papy Oli

Thank you both. I'll bear those in mind.

Here's hoping it is as revelatory as my current exploration of the SJP.
Olivier

aligreto

Bach: St. Matthew Passion [Butt]





My initial reaction to this presentation is that it has a great presence and it definitely delivers Bach's message very well. It also balances the sense of the devotional and the sense of the dramatic very well. The solo vocalists are quite expressive in the delivery of their message without being over dramatic. The orchestral accompaniment is always very sympathetic to the vocalists. Butt delivers on the grandeur of this magnificent work in terms of scale, architecture and emotion. This is an excellent presentation both musically and interpretatively. It is full sounding and very satisfying.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

LKB

My exposure to the work began in 1980 or maybe '81, via Karl Richter's final recording for DG Archive. Even when it was new the recording was seen as somewhat anachronistic, but with mostly top-drawer solo singers and committed non-HIP playing, l still consider it a " successful fossil ", if that makes any sense.

Over 30 years later, l was privileged to sing the solo parts for Caiaphas and Pilate in a successful local performance. We had an excellent baritone for Jesus, a solid young Evangelist and experienced singers in the remaining roles. A very memorable occasion, which l remain grateful to have played a small part in.

Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

LKB

Quote from: OrchestralNut on April 12, 2022, 02:44:17 AM
Mache dich, mein Herze, rein

The final aria for bass voice. Still one of the most beautiful movements in all of music, for me.

Agreed, it's wonderful to hear, and more wonderful to sing.
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

OrchestralNut

Quote from: LKB on April 15, 2022, 09:57:12 AM
Agreed, it's wonderful to hear, and more wonderful to sing.

I have no doubt that it must be a thrill to sign!  :)

The new erato

Quote from: OrchestralNut on April 15, 2022, 11:30:16 AM
I have no doubt that it must be a thrill to sign!  :)
Sign me up, though I am not much of a singer.