Author Topic: Bach's St. Matthew Passion  (Read 169233 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #60 on: February 06, 2009, 11:30:29 PM »
People say the best St Matthew passion ever is the one by Scherchen. But I've never heard it. It's OOP.

Can anyone help me find a recording?
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #61 on: February 07, 2009, 11:59:55 AM »
My favourite performance of this work hasn't been released yet.

In my dreams, though, it is:
Carolyn Sampson, soprano I
Elly Ameling, soprano II
Bernarda Fink, alto I
Carolyn Watkinson, alto II
Kurt Equiluz, tenor I (Evangelist)
Christoph Prégardien, tenor II
Max van Egmond, bass (Jesus)
Klaus Mertens, bass I
Peter Kooy, bass II
Choir: 2 x 12 members of the Collegium Vocale, Gent.
Orchestra: La Petite Bande.
Conductor: Gustav Leonhardt.

Maybe I'll dream of another cast tonight. And the night after tonight ....
Although I think that at least Equiluz, Prégardien and Van Egmond have 'earned' their place for ever.

Bulldog

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #62 on: February 07, 2009, 12:14:00 PM »
People say the best St Matthew passion ever is the one by Scherchen.

Who are these people?  I've never heard of them.

Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #63 on: February 07, 2009, 12:26:34 PM »

Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #64 on: February 07, 2009, 12:33:19 PM »
And I think this is the recording Mandryka's talking about:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-St-Matthew-Passion/dp/B0000249YV



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My advice would be rather old-fashioned: try a library! Who knows?

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2009, 02:55:29 PM »
My favourite performance of this work hasn't been released yet.

In my dreams, though, it is:
Carolyn Sampson, soprano I
Elly Ameling, soprano II
Bernarda Fink, alto I
Carolyn Watkinson, alto II
Kurt Equiluz, tenor I (Evangelist)
Christoph Prégardien, tenor II
Max van Egmond, bass (Jesus)
Klaus Mertens, bass I
Peter Kooy, bass II
Choir: 2 x 12 members of the Collegium Vocale, Gent.
Orchestra: La Petite Bande.
Conductor: Gustav Leonhardt.

Maybe I'll dream of another cast tonight. And the night after tonight ....
Although I think that at least Equiluz, Prégardien and Van Egmond have 'earned' their place for ever.

No Peter Schreier or Dietrich Henschel?  And I assume every member of this list is still alive as I do not recognize some of the names ...

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #66 on: February 07, 2009, 05:56:08 PM »
Who are these people?  I've never heard of them.

I only know the following names/choir and actually have a good number of recordings by these artists.  The great Dutch soprano Elly Ameling is now well into her 70's and retired a while back, though I believe she may still give master classes occasionally.  Leonhardt is in his 80's.  Indeed, Bernarda Fink has been the most popular alto for Bach passions and cantatas for the past dozen years or so ...

Perhaps only artists who are still alive can make this list.  Otherwise, names like Arleen Auger, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Kathleen Ferrier could have been included.  BTW, Julia Hamari was a great alto of her generation and I love her performance in the St Matthew Passion conducted by Karl Richter.  The performance is available on a DG DVD and I have it ...

Elly Ameling, soprano II
Bernarda Fink, alto I
Carolyn Watkinson, alto II
Choir: 2 x 12 members of the Collegium Vocale, Gent.
Orchestra: La Petite Bande.
Conductor: Gustav Leonhardt.

sporkadelic

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2009, 06:09:50 PM »
At least on occasion it's good to revisit Mengelberg, live from the Concertgebouw on Palm Sunday in 1939.  Now that's old-school!  (NB: the two-disc issue omits some numbers from the original recording; three-disc sets from Japan or Netherlands are complete as performed, i.e. the only numbers omitted are those Mengelberg cut.)

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2009, 06:27:55 PM »
At least on occasion it's good to revisit Mengelberg, live from the Concertgebouw on Palm Sunday in 1939.  Now that's old-school!  (NB: the two-disc issue omits some numbers from the original recording; three-disc sets from Japan or Netherlands are complete as performed, i.e. the only numbers omitted are those Mengelberg cut.)

I imagine Mengelberg's performance of the Bach St Matthew Passion may be comparable to Sir Malcolm Sargent's performance of Handel Messiah.  That is, neither was authentic from the historical standpoint.  Today, baroque enthusiasts owe a debt to the pioneering works done by Gustav Leonhardt and Nikolaus Harnoncourt in that starting from the late 50's, they have worked hard to re-discover how these sacred works should have been properly performed.  The English conductor trio Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock and John Eliot Gardiner continued with that effort starting in the mid 70's.  I do believe we are listening to the performances of these works today that are much more comparable to how they would have been originally performed when compared with the performance done in the first half of the 20th century.

Bulldog

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2009, 10:11:42 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_the_Evangelist
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Scherchen

I guess I didn't make myself clear.  I wasn't inquiring about the folks who made the recording, but the people who say the Scherchen is the best St. Matthew on record.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #70 on: February 08, 2009, 07:13:24 AM »
While many may not like Herbert von Karajan's interpretation of Bach St Matthew Passion, it is near the top of my list of the 9 versions I have.  I particularly like the first movement, which was given by Karajan a much heavier and full-bodied treatment via the BPO.  It projects tremendous purpose and sadness as befitting this work.  The opening movement of all other versions I have pale in comparison ...


Offline knight66

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #71 on: February 08, 2009, 07:24:13 AM »
Sorry, it is heavy and drags somewhat at 9.21. This is supposed to reflect a dance speed somewhat lighter than what Karajan projects. There are slower versions; but the articulation has no rhythmic lift. By the way, can you tell one word the chorus is singing? Whats more, that chorus is poorly blended with individual voices sticking out.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #72 on: February 08, 2009, 07:45:56 AM »
Sorry, it is heavy and drags somewhat at 9.21. This is supposed to reflect a dance speed somewhat lighter than what Karajan projects. There are slower versions; but the articulation has no rhythmic lift. By the way, can you tell one word the chorus is singing? Whats more, that chorus is poorly blended with individual voices sticking out.

Mike

I have the following sets which cover just about the full spectrum of intrepretations.  I find Gardiner's space a bit fast and have not yet played the set by Herreweghe, which only arrived from MDT 2 days ago ...


Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe
Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner
Berlin Phil/Karajan
Brandenburg Consort/Goodman/Cleobury
Consortium Musicum/Gonnenwein/Hamari
Concentus Musicus Vienna/Harnoncourt
Bach-Collegium Stuttgart/Rilling
Philharmonia Orch/Klemperer
Munich Bach Orch/Richter  (LP)
Munich Bach Orch/Richter  (DVD)
Berlin Phil/Karajan  (LP)

Offline knight66

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #73 on: February 08, 2009, 07:58:37 AM »
I have a fair few sets myself and would agree if someone suggested that it yields to a number of approaches; but where the rhythms are smoothed out and the bounce is knocked out; then the textures become dull and the approach moves it into a Romantic soundworld. Much as I like a lot of Karajan's work; I think that by the 70s his Bach is wrongheaded in its heaviness and homogeneous textures. It is po-faced and pious; being excessively solemn does not get us to the heart of this work.

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

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #74 on: February 08, 2009, 09:07:34 AM »
The best Evangelist I have ever seen and heard is Rufus Muller. His voice is strong and beautiful and he has a really profound understanding of the drama of the part.

I've seen him twice.

Once in an extraordinary concert performance directed by Adam Fischer in London. It was extraordinary because the audience sang the chorales -- Fischer believes that's a way of recreating the feeling of being part of a congregation in Bach's time.

The other was in a great stages production, made for the BBC, by Jonathan Miller.

You can hear the performance on this CD -- I don't have it but if anyone does, please let me know what you think.

And if you can ever see a video recording of the Miller production, do so -- it was beautiful.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 09:11:32 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Coopmv

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #75 on: February 08, 2009, 09:16:28 AM »
The best Evangelist I have ever seen and heard is Rufus Muller. His voice is strong and beautiful and he hes a really profound understanding of the drama of the part.


I like Peter Schreier in the role of the Evangelist in Karl Richter's DVD and have warmed up to Dietrich Henschel.  I have yet to listen to the set by Herreweghe where Ian Bostridge was the Evangelist ...

Bulldog

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #76 on: February 08, 2009, 09:17:13 AM »
I have the following sets which cover just about the full spectrum of intrepretations.  I find Gardiner's space a bit fast and have not yet played the set by Herreweghe, which only arrived from MDT 2 days ago ...

Don't forget Herreweghe's first recording, also on Harmonia Mundi.

Offline Bogey

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #77 on: February 08, 2009, 09:36:06 AM »
Don't forget Herreweghe's first recording, also on Harmonia Mundi.

That is the one I enjoy, Don hanks to a kind member who sent me their extra pro copy.  I have a Richter set, but I prefer Herrewegh's much more.
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Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #78 on: February 08, 2009, 11:15:58 AM »
I guess I didn't make myself clear.  I wasn't inquiring about the folks who made the recording, but the people who say the Scherchen is the best St. Matthew on record.

LOL!

(I'm afraid I can't help you with more wiki links, though. ;))

Marc

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Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
« Reply #79 on: February 08, 2009, 11:25:47 AM »
I only know the following names/choir and actually have a good number of recordings by these artists.  The great Dutch soprano Elly Ameling is now well into her 70's and retired a while back, though I believe she may still give master classes occasionally.  Leonhardt is in his 80's.  Indeed, Bernarda Fink has been the most popular alto for Bach passions and cantatas for the past dozen years or so ...

Perhaps only artists who are still alive can make this list.  Otherwise, names like Arleen Auger, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Kathleen Ferrier could have been included.  BTW, Julia Hamari was a great alto of her generation and I love her performance in the St Matthew Passion conducted by Karl Richter.  The performance is available on a DG DVD and I have it ...

Elly Ameling, soprano II
Bernarda Fink, alto I
Carolyn Watkinson, alto II
Choir: 2 x 12 members of the Collegium Vocale, Gent.
Orchestra: La Petite Bande.
Conductor: Gustav Leonhardt.


Hello, Coopmv! I did not intend at all to make a list of dead artists. I only made that list because other members discussed in this thread about their favourite recordings, and I could not decide for myself. That's why I made a fantasized list of performers who I particularily like in Bach, based on my own experiences in churches, concert halls and living rooms (CD/vinyl, etc.).
I must admit though that I would never include the more romantic voices, because that's just not my cup of Bach-tea. From my childhood up to now, I've not been that fond of the Richters and Karajans (etc.) in baroque music. Tastes differ, I guess. I'm definitely more a HIP-guy, although I'm not very fond of the word 'HIP'.

But I agree, Arleen Augér would be a fine choice for one of the soprano parts.