GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Opera and Vocal => Topic started by: Bogey on December 10, 2007, 06:56:01 PM

Title: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 10, 2007, 06:56:01 PM
As Dave poined out I believe we have threads on this one at the previous forum, but thought it would not hurt to rehash a bit, especially with many new members aboard.  I have the Richter recording which I used to enjoy, but after recent listen was a bit disappointed in.  So, waddya like folks?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 10, 2007, 06:56:17 PM
Brought this over Dave:

Bill - concerning Bach's St. Matthew Passion, I currently own Max on Capriccio - I've had a number of versions, and this likely will not be my last one - HIP performance from 1995 - I know we've had threads (or at least posts on this composition) - there are so many choices, and I'm sure you'll get an excessive number of variable suggestions - good luck in picking out a new one - Dave  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DDM7Q0NBL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Que on December 10, 2007, 08:13:37 PM
Harnoncourt has always been my favourite in Bach's sacred music, the Matthäus is no exception.

I've had his 1st recording - pioneering HIP in 1971, with boys sopranos.
But his recent recording - all female sopranos - is a marvel and has it all: it's dramatic, pious and elegant.
Not an epic drama, but a very human drama. Harnoncourt's Matthäus has matured: it has lost nothing of its vigour but has deepened and is more balanced. The participating singers are top-notch and seem to have been type-casted for their roles.



Q
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on December 10, 2007, 09:20:44 PM
Herreweghe (I have his first recording) first and foremost.

Dark horse: Schreier on Philips. A pared-down Staatskapelle Dresden w/ a touch of HIP scholarship. Not Big Tent...not Little Tent. Medium Tent!



Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: PSmith08 on December 10, 2007, 09:28:45 PM
Schreier's recording merits some attention, as does Otto Klemperer's massive, lapidary account on EMI. As a rule, though, I end up with McCreesh or Gardiner often as not.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on December 10, 2007, 10:15:45 PM
Leonhardt.
(Even though I like how McCreesh's OVPP account often sounds.)
 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: KevinP on December 11, 2007, 03:47:09 AM
First of Bogey, which Richter? Five different Richter SMPs have been made available, and the last one, from 1979 {(p) 1980}, is considered a dud even by many who generally admire him.

I just counted 15 on my shelves and I may have forgotten one or two included in box sets filed elsewhere, and I know I've a couple DVDs I didn't count. Richter's 1959 recording is the one I reach for if I haven't listened to the work in a while. Bernstein's is in English but cut, yet includes a 16+minute talk by the conductor--not a bad way to become familiar with the work so long as you're aware it's cut. Furtwangler's is also heavily cut.

Klemperer's is powerful and as HIP as an elbow. No cuts here: all three CDs are filled to the brim at 73 minutes or more, and there's no coupling of another work.

McCreesh takes tempos so fast that he is the only conductor to ever fit the uncut work on two CDs. It's one of those interpretations that breathes new life into an old warhorse, but you wouldn't want to start with it. (Think about that math-wise. McCreesh's version is an entire jam-packed CD shorter than Klemperer's!)

Herreweghe's is good and (the 1999 version) comes with a truly excellent CD-ROM that's a virtual encyclopaedia on the SMP. If you see it, snag it.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 11, 2007, 05:30:24 AM
First of Bogey, which Richter? Five different Richter SMPs have been made available, and the last one, from 1979 {(p) 1980}, is considered a dud even by many who generally admire him.

I just counted 15 on my shelves and I may have forgotten one or two included in box sets filed elsewhere, and I know I've a couple DVDs I didn't count. Richter's 1959 recording is the one I reach for if I haven't listened to the work in a while. Bernstein's is in English but cut, yet includes a 16+minute talk by the conductor--not a bad way to become familiar with the work so long as you're aware it's cut. Furtwangler's is also heavily cut.

Klemperer's is powerful and as HIP as an elbow. No cuts here: all three CDs are filled to the brim at 73 minutes or more, and there's no coupling of another work.

McCreesh takes tempos so fast that he is the only conductor to ever fit the uncut work on two CDs. It's one of those interpretations that breathes new life into an old warhorse, but you wouldn't want to start with it. (Think about that math-wise. McCreesh's version is an entire jam-packed CD shorter than Klemperer's!)

Herreweghe's is good and (the 1999 version) comes with a truly excellent CD-ROM that's a virtual encyclopaedia on the SMP. If you see it, snag it.


It is the 1980 Kevin. 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on December 11, 2007, 11:54:13 AM

McCreesh takes tempos so fast that he is the only conductor to ever fit the uncut work on two CDs.


Hermann Max (pictured above in Bogey's post) does that also, and there he doesn't have to sound particularly rushed or even fast. 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: 71 dB on December 11, 2007, 12:26:23 PM
McCreesh takes tempos so fast that he is the only conductor to ever fit the uncut work on two CDs.

I have Gardiner and his version could be divided to two discs (66:03 + 50:01 + 41:19 = 157:23 = 78:52 + 78:49).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Don on December 11, 2007, 03:18:55 PM
Herreweghe (I have his first recording) first and foremost.


I also favor the Herreweghe first recording; his second is excellent but a little too refined for my tastes.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on December 11, 2007, 03:34:42 PM
I have Gardiner and his version could be divided to two discs (66:03 + 50:01 + 41:19 = 157:23 = 78:52 + 78:49).

It might have an awkward break between discs?  ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: 71 dB on December 12, 2007, 02:04:52 AM
It might have an awkward break between discs?  ;)

Probably but only one!   ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on December 12, 2007, 02:10:55 AM
Probably but only one!   ;)

One is probably too many for Archiv - who chose to release the recording in three scantily filled discs even in later vesions.  (Unlike the Gardiner Messiah on Philips, which went from three discs to two.) 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: KevinP on December 12, 2007, 05:54:18 AM
It is the 1980 Kevin. 

Bummer, that. This page discusses several recordings, and compares Richter's main ones.

http://www.npj.com/homepage/teritowe/jsb244d.html
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Norbeone on December 12, 2007, 04:31:41 PM
Apart from 71 Db, there is a distinct lack of Gardiner recommendations. While this is the only recording of the piece I have, I find nothing wrong with it. In fact, I like it very much, as I do most of Gardiner's other Bach choral works.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: gmstudio on December 13, 2007, 06:39:52 AM
Apart from 71 Db, there is a distinct lack of Gardiner recommendations. While this is the only recording of the piece I have, I find nothing wrong with it. In fact, I like it very much, as I do most of Gardiner's other Bach choral works.

Gardiner is the only one I have, and the only one I've ever heard. While I'm certainly open to seeking out some others, I never have felt like I needed to.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Don on December 13, 2007, 06:47:27 AM
Apart from 71 Db, there is a distinct lack of Gardiner recommendations. While this is the only recording of the piece I have, I find nothing wrong with it. In fact, I like it very much, as I do most of Gardiner's other Bach choral works.

I find that Gardiner does an excellent job with all his Bach recordings, although Gardiner's St. Matthew is not one of my favorites.  More than any other conductor of Bach's sacred music, Gardiner celebrates God; for that, I consider his interpretations rather unique and quite satisfying.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Expresso on December 13, 2007, 06:54:05 AM

There are many good recordings of St. Matthew Passion... Leonhardt, Harnoncourt,Herreweghe.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: 71 dB on December 13, 2007, 07:29:10 AM
Apart from 71 Db, there is a distinct lack of Gardiner recommendations. While this is the only recording of the piece I have, I find nothing wrong with it. In fact, I like it very much, as I do most of Gardiner's other Bach choral works.

Well, Gardiner is all I have (I bought the big 9 CD-box) so I can't tell how it compares to others. I find the whole box very satisfactory but of course there might be better versions available.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Norbeone on December 13, 2007, 02:55:33 PM
More than any other conductor of Bach's sacred music, Gardiner celebrates God;

Oh man, now i'll have to stop listening to him!    :P


Nah, just joking.......
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2007, 04:36:35 PM
Harnoncourt has always been my favourite in Bach's sacred music, the Matthäus is no exception.

I've had his 1st recording - pioneering HIP in 1971, with boys sopranos.
But his recent recording - all female sporanos - is a marvel and has it all: it's dramatic, pious and elegant.
Not an epic drama, but a very human drama. Harnoncourt's Matthäus has matured: it has lost nothing of its vigour but has deepened and is more balanced. The participating singers are top-notch and seem to have been type-casted for their roles.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513B111WDQL._SS500_.jpg)

Q


After hearing Goerne on another Bach disc, and enjoying Harnoncourt (in every instance I have heard him), I believe this may be the one.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on December 26, 2007, 04:42:13 PM
I like this one:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5178QZZX4GL._AA240_.jpg)

Not exactly HIP but I don't care.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2007, 09:59:15 PM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513B111WDQL._SS500_.jpg)

Q


May be OOP...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2007, 10:21:40 PM
Anyone have a line on Herreweghe's first recording?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2007, 10:30:08 PM
Tried the Leonhardt....did not budge me much, which surprised the heck out of me.  Need to still dig for the Harnoncourt....does JPC have it with a different cover?

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Que on December 26, 2007, 10:33:12 PM
May be OOP...

No worries.  :D It has later been issued like this - that should still be available.

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/CDUCoverArt/Music/Large/superd_7473285.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/St-Matthew-Passion-Harnoncourt-Concentus-Musicus/dp/B000NIVO90)
(Click for link)

Q
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2007, 10:38:22 PM
No worries.  :D It has later been issued like this - that should still be available.

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/CDUCoverArt/Music/Large/superd_7473285.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/St-Matthew-Passion-Harnoncourt-Concentus-Musicus/dp/B000NIVO90)
(Click for link)

Q


Heading to JPC for samples.  Thank you Que!  Right now giving this a run:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51C55PHT2SL._AA240_.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthew-Passion-Matthias-Goerne/dp/B0000365NE/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1198737190&sr=1-13
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: The new erato on December 27, 2007, 03:41:59 AM
I ave the 2nd Herreweghe (and noted that quite a few reviewers at the time thought it inferior to his 1st, though I find it really good), as well as the Harnoncourt, which I love. But what really threw me, was the McCreesh OVPP performance on Archiv which is the one I would keep if forced to have only one. But in the real world you need both Harnoncourt and McCreesh - they are SO different but both equally valid.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: KevinP on December 27, 2007, 06:00:48 AM
The Harnoncourt can also be had on DVD-A, which will play in a regular DVD player, just not the high-rez layer. It also has the benefit of being a single disc as opposed to three. Also a video clip and other extras though, if I remember correctly, no subtitles, which would have been nice.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on December 27, 2007, 06:36:48 PM
Anyone have a line on Herreweghe's first recording?

I give it a mention on page one, Bill. Don (the other Don) likes it, too.

What I like about Herreweghe 1 is his assertiveness...though not assertive as in "pedal to the metal". It's more an enthusiasm - indeed, a palpable single-mindedness! - for fleshing out all sorts of nuances and color, though with a certain electricity running through everything to hold it all together.

Overall I'd say it's this characteristic that puts Herreweghe at the top of the Bach heap for me.


Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 28, 2007, 06:41:29 AM
I give it a mention on page one, Bill. Don (the other Don) likes it, too.

What I like about Herreweghe 1 is his assertiveness...though not assertive as in "pedal to the metal". It's more an enthusiasm - indeed, a palpable single-mindedness! - for fleshing out all sorts of nuances and color, though with a certain electricity running through everything to hold it all together.

Overall I'd say it's this characteristic that puts Herreweghe at the top of the Bach heap for me.




Is there a link to this one or a cover so I might be able to sample Don?  Is this it?

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Marc-Meersman/dp/B00008MJ9Q/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1198852817&sr=1-9
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: longears on December 28, 2007, 06:59:19 AM
Is there a link to this one or a cover so I might be able to sample Don?  Is this it?

That's it, Bill, but reissued.  I have the original and--like Don and Don--think it's good enough that until now I've resisted buying the much praised Harnoncourt. This link (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Blockwitz-Chappelle-Herreweghe/dp/B000000767/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1198853686&sr=1-4) will take you to the original issue with one copy at a good price available from GoHastings, who've always done right by me.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 28, 2007, 07:17:43 AM
That's it, Bill, but reissued.  I have the original and--like Don and Don--think it's good enough that until now I've resisted buying the much praised Harnoncourt. This link (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Blockwitz-Chappelle-Herreweghe/dp/B000000767/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1198853686&sr=1-4) will take you to the original issue with one copy at a good price available from GoHastings, who've always done right by me.

Very helpful link David.  Thank you.  Just sampled the Harnoncourt again, but I failed to mention one other point on this thread when it comes to Bach vocal works that hook me in.  That is, I have found that I seem to enjoy the recordings that make me feel as if I just walked into the sanctuary and the performance was going on.  After MUCH sampling, the Herreweghe seems to trump the Harnoncourt for this reason.  What is ironic, is this is the same reasoning that I usually choose the Harnoncourt over others in Bach performances.  So, I believe it will be the Herreweghe in this case as I am enjoying the samples as I type.  Does not mean that I will not get the Harnoncourt later, but for now, I believe I will punch the Herreweghe ticket and make it a Don, Don, David deal...in an Expresso manner.

(Thank you Que for all the links that you sent me as well for sampling.  Much appreciated, but then you knew that. :))
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: longears on December 28, 2007, 07:34:22 AM
I think you'll enjoy it, Bill.  To me it has gravity, life, clarity, and passion, but without being weighed down by sanctimoniousness.  And I'm grateful for Que's links, too--they just prompted me to pull the trigger on Harnoncourt's later set, largely bacause of Goerne and Fink.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Que on December 28, 2007, 09:38:12 AM
So Bill is contemplating to go for Herreweghe I, David already went for Harnoncourt II - will be eagerly awaiting your impressions. :)

The 1st Herreweghe is a strong contender indeed - an issue of personal taste that I have with it, is that I just can't stand René Jacobs as a singer... :-\

Q

PS Bill, if you're looking for the combination of intensity and intimacy, Harnoncourt I is also interesting. It's from 1971, but it has still has much to offer, provided you don't object to boy sopranos (and maybe, because of it's age, not as a first recording).

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514Q03P8XVL._SS500_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthäus-Passion-Karl-Ridderbusch/dp/B000000SBE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1198863895&sr=1-2)
click for link
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: longears on December 28, 2007, 10:32:49 AM
The 1st Herreweghe is a strong contender indeed - an issue of personal taste that I have with it, is that I just can't stand René Jacobs as a singer... :-\
Yet another taste we share...though to be fair it's not Jacobs's singing but his voice that rubs me wrong, which is too bad, because otherwise I really love this Buss und Reu.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Que on December 28, 2007, 10:59:15 AM
...it's not Jacobs's singing but his voice that rubs me wrong...

Absolutely. Luckily in conducting we can enjoy Jacob's superb musicianship. :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Shrunk on December 28, 2007, 11:04:57 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/319DHAK081L._AA240_.jpg)

Regarding McCreesh.  If you want only one St. Matthew, it shouldn't be this one; it's too atypical.  However, I still think everyone should own it.  One of my desert island recordings.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on December 28, 2007, 09:32:43 PM
Looks like you guys got the Herreweghe recording thing sorted out. ;D

I have found that I seem to enjoy the recordings that make me feel as if I just walked into the sanctuary and the performance was going on.

I feel the same, Bill.

What's great about Herreweghe is he has the ability to juggle the reverential and the artistic so that one can come away experiencing the (liturgical) power of the music without all the sap. 

Zero fuss...just good music.

BTW, agree with you all about Goerne...stunning singer!!


Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on December 29, 2007, 01:43:30 AM
I agree with Shrunk. I was brought up on the Klemperer style performances. I always felt the sound needed to be massive. Years ago I started to follow the HIP recordings as they were issued and I have a number of treasured performances from the first Richter to the 2nd Harnoncourt. But to be left with only one performance I would save the McCreesh, as far away from massive as it is possible to get. Nevertheless it packs an emotional, spiritual and dramatic punch like few others.

However, as an only and possibly first, I think something more mainstream would be best and then move onto McCreesh.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: val on December 29, 2007, 02:15:34 AM
Regarding the old versions, my favorite is Jochum with the sublime Häfliger.

The version conducted by Wöldicke with Ebrelius and Stich-Randal is also very good.

After them, there is the very dramatic Harnoncourt, with Equiluz, in his first version (the second version with Pregardien is one the worst things Harnoncourt made this last years), and Gardiner with his sublime Monteverdi Choir.

But I am still waiting for THE version of this Passion. The other, the St. John's Passion has already THE version: Schreier.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on December 30, 2007, 08:18:05 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514Q03P8XVL._SS500_.jpg)

Still have not purchased a performance yet to take the place of my later Richter recording.

Listened to samples of this for quite some time last night Q and found that I truly enjoyed the choir, even more so than the Herreweghe I recording.  However, the soloists in all three of the recordings, the Herreweghe and the two Hanoncourts, I have found positives and negatives.  I even gave the McCreesh a solid try and enjoyed that as well.....soooooooo, I have decided two things:

1. One recording will not suffice here in the long run. ;D
2. I am going to give it a bit more sampling/time before finally deciding.  Usually I would just go with one quickly, but except for this piece, I am going to try to stay away from making any purchases this year where I am repeating a piece that I already have on the shelf, and only repeat if the repetition is coupled or included with piece/set that I do not already own.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: dave b on March 22, 2008, 02:44:47 PM
St Matthew's Passion. Does anyone have a recommendation for a great recording of this?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidW on March 22, 2008, 02:47:06 PM
St Matthew's Passion. Does anyone have a recommendation for a great recording of this?

Karl Richter.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on March 22, 2008, 02:52:35 PM
Helmuth Rilling on Hanssler. A mainstream approach between the old-fashioned style of a Klemperer and a more HIP style. Excellent vocal work from the quite dramatic Evangelist, Michael Schade, and the other vocal soloists.

His St. John Passion is also quite good, and has the advantage of presenting all the variant versions on a 3rd CD.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: dave b on March 22, 2008, 02:53:02 PM
Thanks. That was quick. I had just typed in my question and your answer came back. I appreciate it.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: dave b on March 22, 2008, 02:54:29 PM
That thank you was first to David W and then to the second person. You folks know your stuff.  Maybe someday I will.....But I'm learning, and willing to learn.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Norbeone on March 22, 2008, 04:32:21 PM
Gardiner is the only recording I have and i'm perfectly happy with it. Though I suspect someone here will feel differently.   0:)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Don on March 22, 2008, 04:35:38 PM
Gardiner is the only recording I have and i'm perfectly happy with it. Though I suspect someone here will feel differently.   0:)

Try to give the 1st Herreweghe set a listen.  I prefer it to his more recent recording - a little .more intense and has Barbara Schlick and Peter Kooy.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: karlhenning on March 22, 2008, 04:48:58 PM
Not strictly the question . . . but it is now sounding at Symphony Hall even as we speak.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on March 22, 2008, 04:50:36 PM
The new John Butt recording on Linn, in high-resolution, surround sound!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: dave b on March 22, 2008, 05:17:20 PM
Hi again, karlhenning-----that is what made me ask the question. And I cannot get WCRB down here on the Cape, only WFCC, so I cannot hear it live on the radio as I could with WCRB.  So instead of listening to it, I am asking about it. A very very poor substitute indeed :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: hautbois on March 22, 2008, 09:22:18 PM
Even a slightly better than mediocre LIVE performance would be quite satisfying. Of course, it's ignorant to say that, but live performances tend to move far better than recordings if it is your first time listening to a piece. That said, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Bloomstedt, Rilling and Veldhoven, all of them, has something profound to say in their interpretations.

Howard
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: The new erato on March 23, 2008, 02:07:49 AM
In which case my recommendation for McCreesh will be already on board. For another OVPP recording I am very interested in the new Linn recording, however I will seek out their Messiah first.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on March 23, 2008, 04:14:57 AM
In which case my recommendation for McCreesh will be already on board. For another OVPP recording I am very interested in the new Linn recording, however I will seek out their Messiah forst.

I don't think you will be disappointed in either Butt's SMP or Messiah if you know what to expect -- definitely not some ultra stylised, polished singing/playing like in either Herreweghe, but something vital and refreshing.   It has been a joy for me to hear the orchestral/vocal details echo and flow into each other in this OVPP recording of SMP -- such is the balance and transparency of textures it's like reading the (sometimes fairly complex) score with one's own ears. The use of harpsichord continuo for one of the two "cori" (which in Schutz or Gabrieli are nearly always an OVPP formation) is really interesting and adds a welcomed variety to the overall sonority.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Guido on March 23, 2008, 04:25:08 AM
Hi all. I was just about to buy the Gardner version, but then noticed that it had countertenors in it, which I find difficult to stomach at the best of times (especially when they are singing Erbarme Dich). A shame because I like all the other singers on it (especially Barbara Bonney). So I was just wondering if there were any HIP recordings that use no countertenors?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Que on March 23, 2008, 04:32:09 AM
So I was just wondering if there were any HIP recordings that use no countertenors?

Harnoncourt II has no countertenors.

Q
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on March 23, 2008, 04:52:54 AM
Hi all. I was just about to buy the Gardner version, but then noticed that it had countertenors in it, which I find difficult to stomach at the best of times (especially when they are singing Erbarme Dich). A shame because I like all the other singers on it (especially Barbara Bonney). So I was just wondering if there were any HIP recordings that use no countertenors?

The John Butt recording doesn't have one.  But he uses up to 8 singers only most of the time, and the singing style is not in the least bel canto-ish (some would readily dismiss it as amateurish I can imagine, but I think it's the director's choice).  I don't think that's everyone's cup of tea on a Good Friday afternoon.  ;)  Perhaps for the adventurous and the curious only!  Those who have access to Early Music magazine can search for Butt's reasoned and balanced contributions on the Bach - OVPP debate.  This recording vividly reflects his Bach scholarship.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on February 06, 2009, 06:10:40 PM
This set just arrived from MDT today.  I think some of you consider this the best version of St Matthew ever ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GPG7MH0RL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Mandryka 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?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bulldog 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on February 07, 2009, 12:26:34 PM
People say the best St Matthew passion ever is the one by Scherchen.

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_the_Evangelist
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Scherchen
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc 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

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41W6MG5CY4L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Quote: Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.


My advice would be rather old-fashioned: try a library! Who knows?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv 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 ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: sporkadelic 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.)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bulldog 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv 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 ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/418QR07YDYL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 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
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv 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)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 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
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Mandryka 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv 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 ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bulldog 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc 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. ;))
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Que on February 08, 2009, 12:08:59 PM
But I agree, Arleen Augér would be a fine choice for one of the soprano parts.

Regrettably, she is deceased - a great loss for the musical world... :-\

Q
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 12:58:24 PM
Regrettably, she is deceased - a great loss for the musical world... :-\

Q

She was one of the very few American-born sopranos that really hit it big internationally ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on February 08, 2009, 12:58:52 PM
Regrettably, she is deceased - a great loss for the musical world... :-\

Q

Alle Menschen müssen sterben, but Augér died far too young, indeed.

Love her truly in Bach's 'Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben', but also in Haydn/Mozart/Schubert songs and/or aria's. In the seventies and eighties, she was a well-known face and voice in the Netherlands, with a lot of broadcast performances in the Concertgebouw. No punishment at all to watch and hear her sing!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 01:07:02 PM
Alle Menschen müssen sterben, but Augér died far too young, indeed.


We also lost Lorraine Hunt two years ago ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on February 08, 2009, 01:34:50 PM
We also lost Lorraine Hunt two years ago ...

I know, these are sad stories, but let Bach's music (or any other's) be a comfort to us, then. Even when it is sung or played by our mourned favourites.

Composers and musicians die. Their music doesn't. To me, that's a comforting thought .... which I can enjoy while I'm still alive. And after that ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8Q6rxdPT7A
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Novi on February 08, 2009, 01:41:50 PM
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 ...

I've been eyeing the Herreweghe II for some time, but don't like Bostridge very much, so that's been putting me off. Mind you, I like Herreweghe I and that has Rene Jacobs (singing) :-\. But I suppose the Evangelist is altogether more omnipresent a role.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on February 08, 2009, 01:48:39 PM


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


And if you can ever see a video recording of the Miller production, do so -- it was beautiful.

This also was terrific. I saw it on TV, so perhaps at some point it will surface. It may even have had more impact as a film, than in the cavernous ENO theatre.

http://www.andante.com/article/article.cfm?id=16555&highlight=1&highlightterms=&lstKeywords=

I also admire Schreier as the Evangelist. I was in some performances with him, (choir), he was taking that part and the tenor singing the arias, Philip Langridge, fell ill. Schreier simply took over and sang all the tenor music. He was magnificent.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 02:19:29 PM
I've been eyeing the Herreweghe II for some time, but don't like Bostridge very much, so that's been putting me off. Mind you, I like Herreweghe I and that has Rene Jacobs (singing) :-\. But I suppose the Evangelist is altogether more omnipresent a role.

I actually like Ian Bostridge.  The guy has a PhD from Cambridge but decided he prefers a career in singing/performing sacred works and I respect that.  He was in the following Harnoncourt's DVD with Bernarda Fink I own and both impressed me.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5152X4ABS6L._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Novi on February 08, 2009, 02:53:14 PM
I actually like Ian Bostridge.  The guy has a PhD from Cambridge but decided he prefers a career in singing/performing sacred works and I respect that.  He was in the following Harnoncourt's DVD with Bernarda Fink I own and both impressed me.

Haha, he chose well. Singing (at his level) is a helluva lot less stressful and a thousand times more lucrative than an academic career ;D.

I guess it's just a matter of preferences. I've heard some of his Schubert, on disk with Uchida, and live with Pappano, and found his style a bit mannered and didn't like the way he kind of over-enunciates. It didn't help that he mugs about a bit in performance, lolling over the piano. I'm very much on my L plates in vocal music though and strangely enough, Bostridge's voice is perhaps the only one that I can recognise blind.

(I've not heard any of his Bach though).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 03:07:17 PM
I enjoyed this Richter's St Matthew Passion DVD.  The singing was quite good and this may be the only game in town if you want something more than just the audio ...


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41sCYh-9a9L._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bulldog on February 08, 2009, 03:19:03 PM

I guess it's just a matter of preferences. I've heard some of his Schubert, on disk with Uchida, and live with Pappano, and found his style a bit mannered and didn't like the way he kind of over-enunciates. It didn't help that he mugs about a bit in performance, lolling over the piano. I'm very much on my L plates in vocal music though and strangely enough, Bostridge's voice is perhaps the only one that I can recognise blind.

(I've not heard any of his Bach though).

I've only heard Bostridge in Bach and find him exceptional.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 04:44:36 PM
I've only heard Bostridge in Bach and find him exceptional.

The same here.  Perhaps Bostridge is really over-extending himself beyond his expertise?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Novi on February 08, 2009, 05:16:37 PM
The same here.  Perhaps Bostridge is really over-extending himself beyond his expertise?

I doubt very much. The problem is probably in my ears :).

Having said that, Mark Padmore is also someone who I find impressive in Bach but less so in Schubert. And to go back on topic, I like Padmore's Evangelist for McCreesh very much, although I think the McCreesh recording was panned by many critics.

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Jay F on February 08, 2009, 05:37:32 PM
Don't forget Herreweghe's first recording, also on Harmonia Mundi.

It is my favorite, too. One of my favorite recordings of any kind.

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/72/98/787492c008a0473677499010._AA240_.L.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Blockwitz-Chappelle-Herreweghe/dp/B000000767 (How do I make < this into a link that just says "St. Matthew Passion"?)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bulldog on February 08, 2009, 05:43:05 PM
It is my favorite, too. One of my favorite recordings of any kind.

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/72/98/787492c008a0473677499010._AA240_.L.jpg)

Sir, you have superb musical taste. 8)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Novi on February 08, 2009, 05:53:34 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Blockwitz-Chappelle-Herreweghe/dp/B000000767 (How do I make < this into a link that just says "St. Matthew Passion"?)

Do you mean like this?

St. Matthew Passion (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Blockwitz-Chappelle-Herreweghe/dp/B000000767)

If you quote this post, you'll see the url commands :).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Jay F on February 08, 2009, 07:13:34 PM
Do you mean like this?

St. Matthew Passion (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Blockwitz-Chappelle-Herreweghe/dp/B000000767)

If you quote this post, you'll see the url commands :).


St. Matthew Passion (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Blockwitz-Chappelle-Herreweghe/dp/B000000767)

Look. I did it.

Another fishing lesson. (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Blockwitz-Chappelle-Herreweghe/dp/B000000767)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 08:11:53 PM
It is my favorite, too. One of my favorite recordings of any kind.

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/72/98/787492c008a0473677499010._AA240_.L.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matth%C3%A4us-Passion-Blockwitz-Chappelle-Herreweghe/dp/B000000767 (How do I make < this into a link that just says "St. Matthew Passion"?)

When I was ripping the second St Matthew Passion recording by Herreweghe to my desktop, the Windows Media Player somehow matches the same CD artwork from the first recording, as shown in your link to the tracks I have ripped.  Whoever that maintains these album information certainly is not up to date ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on February 09, 2009, 01:21:29 AM
I enjoyed this Richter's St Matthew Passion DVD.  The singing was quite good and this may be the only game in town if you want something more than just the audio ...
[image link]

Here's another one:
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthew-Passion-Guttenberg-Neubeuern/dp/B00006LPED/ref=pd_cp_d_2?pf_rd_p=413864101&pf_rd_s=center-41&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000EBGF18&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1D5627VPFBS95CGM4CDV

And for the 'HIP' lovers, there's also a DVD available:
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthew-Passion-Jorg-Durmuller/dp/B000EBGF18
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on February 09, 2009, 07:37:29 PM
Here's another one:
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthew-Passion-Guttenberg-Neubeuern/dp/B00006LPED/ref=pd_cp_d_2?pf_rd_p=413864101&pf_rd_s=center-41&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000EBGF18&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1D5627VPFBS95CGM4CDV

And for the 'HIP' lovers, there's also a DVD available:
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthew-Passion-Jorg-Durmuller/dp/B000EBGF18

Pardon my ignorance, but I do not recognize any of the performers.  Is Neubeuern Choral Society located somewhere in Europe?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Jay F on February 09, 2009, 08:43:45 PM
Sir, you have superb musical taste. 8)
Thank you. And you, sir, appear to have superb taste in canines.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on February 09, 2009, 08:49:49 PM
I finished listening to the second St Matthew Passion by Herreweghe yesterday in a hurry.  I thought the performance was qutie refreshing.  Ian Bostridge, Dietrich Henschel and Bernarda Fink were all excellent.  It will probably take me a very thorough listen before I can decide where it ranks among all the versions I have ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on February 11, 2009, 05:22:31 AM
If anyone's interested: I've listened closely to the Butt & Guttenberg M-Passions and wrote about them here:

Two Saint Matthew Passions (John Butt) (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=464)

and here:

Two Saint Matthew Passions (Enoch zu Guttenberg) (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=457)

Quote
Guttenberg’s performance of the Matthew Passion around Easter are an institution, known to be consistently individual, ‘unique’ interpretations. When I sat in the Philharmonic Hall on Good Friday to listen to what was my fourth Matthew Passion in six days, I spectacularly failed to get it.

Part of the problem: I listened lazily. I didn’t participate; I simply wanted to let the music do the work of enthralling me. A miscalculation, as it turned out, because as I did not bother with the text, the musical choices of Guttenberg ended up annoying me to no end. Unable or unwilling to put them in context, I found the interpretation awkward, the performance disappointed me, and that disappointment angered me.

A few weeks after Easter I was sent the Guttenberg 2003 recording (apparently just now issued or re-issued outside Germany by Farao). Knowing several expert ears to be very fond of Guttenberg’s very particular interpretation, I had the chance to give it another try, to give it its due time, respect, and engagement. That made all the difference.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UeIwvpANL._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001355OUW/nectarandambr-20)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DZRH26M1L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00008G9D5/nectarandambrUK-21)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: rubio on April 11, 2009, 11:06:54 AM
More Leonhardt today. This could be my favoured St. Matthew Passion (with strong competition from Herreweghes 1st recording). Leonhardt brings forward a performance which is contemplative, solemn and with other-worldly, mystical qualities. He is quite slow and that suits my taste, and the use of a Boy's choir works excellently. What do you other people think about this recording?

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0828766740226.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on April 11, 2009, 12:02:58 PM
More Leonhardt today. This could be my favoured St. Matthew Passion (with strong competition from Herreweghes 1st recording). Leonhardt brings forward a performance which is contemplative, solemn and with other-worldly, mystical qualities. He is quite slow and that suits my taste, and the use of a Boy's choir works excellently. What do you other people think about this recording?

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0828766740226.jpg)

I may have to add this version to my collection before I can voice my opinion.  The version by Karajan and the BPO is also criticized for being slow, which I have.  IMO, John Eliot Gardiner's version is a tad too fast for my taste.  BTW, I have every passion and oratorio by Gardiner on individual sets, not the big box.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 11, 2009, 04:27:43 PM
More Leonhardt today. This could be my favoured St. Matthew Passion (with strong competition from Herreweghes 1st recording). Leonhardt brings forward a performance which is contemplative, solemn and with other-worldly, mystical qualities. He is quite slow and that suits my taste, and the use of a Boy's choir works excellently. What do you other people think about this recording?

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0828766740226.jpg)

I agree with you, Rubio. It is also my preferred version because of the almost priestly quality so usual in Leonhardt, both as a director and as a performer. This quality, I think, is shared by Sigiswald Kuijken, especially when he is a soloist. Their respect for the composer and his output -Bach particularly- is almost “tangible” in the atmosphere of their performances.

I have some other Passions (Herreweghe I, Gardiner, Veldhoven, Fasolis, Jeffrey Thomas, Koopman II, John Butt), but my second choice is Hermann Max on Capriccio, probably rather different to Leonhardt: more alert, more dramatic, very beautiful.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on April 11, 2009, 05:18:08 PM
Just finished listening to this 1950 St Matthew Passion by Karajan and the Vienna Symphony.  The remastering from the original Austrian Radio tape was quite good.  It was a live recording with Walther Ludwig in the role of the Evangelist and Kathleen Ferrier in the role of contralto.  Both were outstanding.  This was also the pre-excessive legato Karajan and the performance was lively.  I thoroughly enjoyed this live performance almost 60 years later ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419FFS3G0SL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on April 11, 2009, 05:30:07 PM
The Mengleberg's St Matthew Passion is on my shopping list.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gwmrBO6zL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: (: premont :) on April 12, 2009, 01:13:44 AM

I have some other Passions (Herreweghe I, Gardiner, Veldhoven, Fasolis, Jeffrey Thomas, Koopman II, John Butt), but my second choice is Hermann Max on Capriccio, probably rather different to Leonhardt: more alert, more dramatic, very beautiful.


I think I notice some signs of latent completism here. So you surely know the symptoms.  ;)

BTW I agree with Rubio you about Leonhardt´s St. Matthew, which has been my preferred version during many years. And Max who is so very different.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 12, 2009, 07:15:59 AM
I think I notice some signs of latent completism here. So you surely know the symptoms.  ;)


No, no… a friend of mine diagnosed this as discerning selectiveness. And he knows what's talking about, Premont.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on April 12, 2009, 10:35:09 AM
More Leonhardt today. This could be my favoured St. Matthew Passion (with strong competition from Herreweghes 1st recording). Leonhardt brings forward a performance which is contemplative, solemn and with other-worldly, mystical qualities. He is quite slow and that suits my taste, and the use of a Boy's choir works excellently. What do you other people think about this recording?

I agree with you, Rubio. It is also my preferred version because of the almost priestly quality so usual in Leonhardt, both as a director and as a performer. This quality, I think, is shared by Sigiswald Kuijken, especially when he is a soloist. Their respect for the composer and his output -Bach particularly- is almost “tangible” in the atmosphere of their performances.

I have some other Passions (Herreweghe I, Gardiner, Veldhoven, Fasolis, Jeffrey Thomas, Koopman II, John Butt), but my second choice is Hermann Max on Capriccio, probably rather different to Leonhardt: more alert, more dramatic, very beautiful.

Herreweghe I, Leonhardt and Max are probably (I'm just not sure :-\) among my favourites, too. I think Leonhardt really makes it a Lutheran service. Herreweghe and Crook c.s. tell a great story in the first recording  of Ph. H. (and I can't really stand Bostridge in the second). Max is kind of a mystery to me: he's very fast, but never sounding hasty. A pity Monika Frimmer was not in her best shape, though.
I also have a weak spot for all the Harnoncourt recordings, btw.
So, in the end: :-\.

But passion & suffering is over from today, let's move on to ..... :).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on August 01, 2009, 11:05:52 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. :)
 

I think there are more recordings of St Matthew Passion out there too.  Here are the last two versions I bought, both historical recordings ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gwmrBO6zL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419FFS3G0SL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 15, 2009, 12:08:18 PM
Yesterday I bought the Herreweghe’s second recording of the Matthäus Passion (apparently, he has a third one now).

I think I will be busy with this box set for some days (3 CDs, CD-rom & printed booklet), especially checking the attractive CD-rom included in the box.

Although this recording has been mentioned here a number of times, never it has been commented. Obviously, my impressions are preliminary, but two or three ideas have been going round and round in my mind since yesterday:

- I see here a preference for the treatment of the vocal material over the instrumental aspects: this is a recording for voices accompanied by instruments. It sounds stupid, I know, because after all I am speaking about a major vocal work, but I have in mind that usually HIP recordings have a very detailed and/or focused treatment of the instruments… just a thing of emphasis or “soundstage” of the recording
 
- Herreweghe privileges certain “legato” approach over the “staccato” more typically HIP. This choice move this performance away from the HIP origins and it recalls, distantly for sure, some performances of the fifties and sixties, where the structure is emphasized over the instrumental details.

- Additionally, the choice of this approach produces some separation of the idea about the Baroque music as a “speech” -in this case as a “sermon”- and certain “objectivity” is abandoned in favor of the drama.

I need to listen to the first Herreweghe's recording again…

 :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: ccar on November 15, 2009, 03:21:50 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41W6MG5CY4L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Bio/Scherchen-Hermann-3.jpeg)

Herman Scherchen conducted one of the most moving St. Mattew’s I have ever listened. Beautiful singing (Hugues Cuenod as the Evangelist,  Laszlo, Rossel-Majdan, Munteanu, Standen, Rehfus, Wachter, Equiluz), the Vienna Kammerchor and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra led by Walter Barylli.

His 1953 performance may be quite “modern” in the sense of drive and musical transparency but contrary to some historically “correct” performers Scherchen doesn’t seem to search for a demonstration of Bach's “original” tempi, orchestration or instrumentation. The magic of Scherchen’s St. Matthew Passion is the way his huge musical talent was able, in each moment, to combine emotional intimacy with the energy of a spiritual exhortation.

Carlos

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 15, 2009, 04:01:04 PM
I am quite happy with the Karl Richter's St Matthew Passion on 2 DVD's.  While it is not HIP, Peter Schreier was superb as the evangelist who provided the narrative.  Julia Hamari was another standout in her mezzo-soprano role that conveyed all the emotions that were expected.  All in all, it was a very satisfying and engaging set.  For a work such as St Matthew Passion or any other massive choral works, orchestral playing really contributes no more than 50% of the overall success and whether it is really HIP is not all that important.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 16, 2009, 06:19:50 AM
Yesterday I bought the Herreweghe’s second recording of the Matthäus Passion (apparently, he has a third one now).
A third one? Really? Do you have a link?

Quote from: Antoine Marchand
I think I will be busy with this box set for some days (3 CDs, CD-rom & printed booklet), especially checking the attractive CD-rom included in the box.

Although this recording has been mentioned here a number of times, never it has been commented. Obviously, my impressions are preliminary, but two or three ideas have been going round and round in my mind since yesterday:

- I see here a preference for the treatment of the vocal material over the instrumental aspects: this is a recording for voices accompanied by instruments. It sounds stupid, I know, because after all I am speaking about a major vocal work, but I have in mind that usually HIP recordings have a very detailed and/or focused treatment of the instruments… just a thing of emphasis or “soundstage” of the recording
 
- Herreweghe privileges certain “legato” approach over the “staccato” more typically HIP. This choice move this performance away from the HIP origins and it recalls, distantly for sure, some performances of the fifties and sixties, where the structure is emphasized over the instrumental details.

- Additionally, the choice of this approach produces some separation of the idea about the Baroque music as a “speech” -in this case as a “sermon”- and certain “objectivity” is abandoned in favor of the drama.

I need to listen to the first Herreweghe's recording again…

 :)
Oh yes, I remember Herreweghe said a lot about music as speech and singing, in a Dutch book about the SMP tradition in Amsterdam. I'm too lazy to check it out; but he admitted that Harnoncourt & Leonhardt were his (and Ton Koopman's) heroes, but both Koopman and he eventually opted for more 'vocal & singing' interpretations in the way we were used to that nowadays.
He also stated that he sometimes preferred the SMP played by modern instruments, whilst the SJP was better served with HIP-instrumentarium, IHO. He said something like: the SJP is a Dürer, and the SMO is a Rembrandt.
So: yes, hardcore HIP-ers will definitely shake their heads in disbelief when they would read that. >:(

Anyway: I prefer his first SMP to his second. But that's .... [what's the word again?] .... PERSONAL! ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 16, 2009, 03:20:28 PM
Posted this in the cantata thread, but it actually belongs here. Just for the record:

[Something about Cleobury's recordings of the Bach passions]

In the SMP I get very moved during O Mensch, bewein' dein Sünde groß. When the boys start singing "Den'n Toten er das Leben gab .... und legt dabei all' Krankheit ab" it's very difficult to keep my eyes dry, I have to admit.
But in general, I think Cleobury's straightforward interpretation of the SJP is better. There are similarities with Gardiner's SJP, and of all Gardiner's vocal Bach attributions I still think his SJP is by far the best. Also, in both (Gardiner's and Cleobury's SJP) there is a good Evangelist, resp. Anthony Rolfe Johnson and John Mark Ainsley. The German pronouncation of the latter is slightly better, but the way Johnson sings "Barabbas aber war ein Mörder! ... Da nahm Pilatus Jesum und geißelte ihn!" is without competition, I dare say.

In Cleobury's SMP it seems that the boys are doing better with their German, but this doesn't go for Evangelist Rogers Covey-Crump. And I also think his interpretation is weak, too laid-back. Beautiful singing, but no he's no probing storyteller like Johnson or Ainsley.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 16, 2009, 03:44:53 PM
Posted this in the cantata thread, but it actually belongs here. Just for the record:

[Something about Cleobury's recordings of the Bach passions]

In the SMP I get very moved during O Mensch, bewein' dein Sünde groß. When the boys start singing "Den'n Toten er das Leben gab .... und legt dabei all' Krankheit ab" it's very difficult to keep my eyes dry, I have to admit.
But in general, I think Cleobury's straightforward interpretation of the SJP is better. There are similarities with Gardiner's SJP, and of all Gardiner's vocal Bach attributions I still think his SJP is by far the best. Also, in both (Gardiner's and Cleobury's SJP) there is a good Evangelist, resp. Anthony Rolfe Johnson and John Mark Ainsley. The German pronouncation of the latter is slightly better, but the way Johnson sings "Barabbas aber war ein Mörder! ... Da nahm Pilatus Jesum und geißelte ihn!" is without competition, I dare say.

In Cleobury's SMP it seems that the boys are doing better with their German, but this doesn't go for Evangelist Rogers Covey-Crump. And I also think his interpretation is weak, too laid-back. Beautiful singing, but no he's no probing storyteller like Johnson or Ainsley.

A case can certainly be made for having an all German/Dutch cast except the orchestra   ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 16, 2009, 04:10:02 PM
Italian instrumentalists, then? :)

Well, I think it's good that there's a wide variety in the cd market. Some people get nasty habits when they hear the voice of a German boy soprano, you know. :P

And there would be not much left to talk & discuss about if the market were less diverse!
Still, the universe probably won't change with or without it.

Mmm, better get to bed. I'm getting far too philosophical. ::)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 16, 2009, 04:36:26 PM
Italian instrumentalists, then? :)

Well, I think it's good that there's a wide variety in the cd market. Some people get nasty habits when they hear the voice of a German boy soprano, you know. :P

And there would be not much left to talk & discuss about if the market were less diverse!
Still, the universe probably won't change with or without it.

Mmm, better get to bed. I'm getting far too philosophical. ::)

I think a northern European ensemble would do a better job - an English or a Swedish ensemble.  Italian ensembles always strike me as being too warm for Bach.  I have the Brandenburg Concertos recording by I Musici on LP and they were the worst Brandenburg I have ever heard - they were just too warm and played like Vivaldi's concertos.  I think you know what I mean.  Conversely, northern European ensembles tend to make the Vivaldi's concertos too cold.  That is why I am skeptical when an Italian ensemble recorded Handel Concerto Grossi Op. 6.  While diversity is good, though not necessarily leads to good listening experience.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 16, 2009, 04:44:54 PM
Sure, but to me I Musici is part of a (sweet) history. The early seventies and Music for the Millions.

Nowadays there are many very good baroque ensembles (and conductors) in Italy. And, in general, I have the feeling that they are more daring in their interpretations, especially when compared to some British ensembles.

If I were to choose personally: I'd probably go for La Petite Bande. But tomorrow could be different, who knows.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 16, 2009, 04:59:17 PM
Sure, but to me I Musici is part of a (sweet) history. The early seventies and Music for the Millions.

Nowadays there are many very good baroque ensembles (and conductors) in Italy. And, in general, I have the feeling that they are more daring in their interpretations, especially when compared to some British ensembles.

If I were to choose personally: I'd probably go for La Petite Bande. But tomorrow could be different, who knows.

Indeed, I am stepping up with my collection of works performed by La Petite Bande as well.  Stay tuned ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 16, 2009, 05:07:58 PM
Sure, but to me I Musici is part of a (sweet) history. The early seventies and Music for the Millions.

Nowadays there are many very good baroque ensembles (and conductors) in Italy. And, in general, I have the feeling that they are more daring in their interpretations, especially when compared to some British ensembles.

If I were to choose personally: I'd probably go for La Petite Bande. But tomorrow could be different, who knows.

But there are few that can rival the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir ...   ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on November 16, 2009, 05:08:16 PM
Sure, but to me I Musici is part of a (sweet) history. The early seventies and Music for the Millions.

And good riddance to their sewing-machine baroque.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 16, 2009, 05:10:52 PM
And good riddance to their sewing-machine baroque.

Their performance of works by Vivaldi or Albinoni are listenable ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 16, 2009, 06:45:56 PM

Nowadays there are many very good baroque ensembles (and conductors) in Italy. And, in general, I have the feeling that they are more daring in their interpretations, especially when compared to some British ensembles.


But does more daring mean HIP?  Not necessarily in my view ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 18, 2009, 04:46:42 AM
And good riddance to their sewing-machine baroque.

Alright.
But when I think of sewing-machine Bach, then Karl Richter comes to mind. (Sorry, fans.)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 18, 2009, 05:05:58 AM
But does more daring mean HIP?  Not necessarily in my view ...

Well, when one uses HIP and my view in one thought ....  ;)

Although I'm not fond of the words 'HIP' or 'authentic' myself, we apparently need to use it to give the reader any idea what to think about.
Still, HIP is supposed to be investigated by scholars and so on, so in a way 'objective' or at least 'inter-subjective'. 'My view' will remain subjective, though.

To summarize my view about Italian baroque ensembles: I like their way of playing (in general). And I'm afraid that I will continue to do so, even if scholars will prove that they are 'historically wrong' and 'not authentic'.

The same with Leonhardt/Harnoncourt: many scholars nowadays draw other conclusions from history, but I still like their approach. It's nice if history proves that a performance is 'right', but the main factor to me is .... does it satisfy me?

So: Herreweghe satisfies me (very much), Leonhard and Harnoncourt satisfy me, and McCreesh (and, in general, the anglo-saxon approach) doesn't. Even if a situation occurs in which well-informed scholars will be able to prove that Bach needs to be performed OVPP, and therefore say that the listener should go for McCreesh or Rifkin.

Summarized: in Bach, I have a personal view about bringing forward the meaning of the cantata lyrics. If this is done better, in my view, by a choir than by a vocal quartet, I will go for the choir-version. For instance: the worst recording that I've heard in the last few years, was Volume 1 of Bach Cantatas by The Purcell Quartet. In my experience, this performance was totally flat. But I know that others will like it very much, because it's clean and the singing is beautiful. But I don't think that I will have a go at other Volumes of this ensemble.

EDIT: it is true, though, that from the first time I listened to Bach's vocal music (when I was around 13 years of age) I apparently preferred the 'HIP' way of playing above the others. Which means, in short: small ensembles, expressive and vivid phrasing. So, without any historical knowledge whatsoever, I liked Leonhardt/Harnoncourt and Herreweghe very much, I was moderately happy with Charles de Wolff, I was more or less satisfied with Fritz Werner and I wasn't all that happy with Karl Richter and Herbert von Karajan .... those being the ones that I mostly heard those days, whilst listening to the radio.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 21, 2009, 02:19:56 PM
Jos van Veldhoven, conductor of The Netherlands Bach Society, speaking about different issues of performance in Matthäus-Passion:


                             http://www.youtube.com/v/vSWyUrKPEuI
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 21, 2009, 04:48:54 PM

So: Herreweghe satisfies me (very much), Leonhard and Harnoncourt satisfy me, and McCreesh (and, in general, the anglo-saxon approach) doesn't. Even if a situation occurs in which well-informed scholars will be able to prove that Bach needs to be performed OVPP, and therefore say that the listener should go for McCreesh or Rifkin.

Summarized: in Bach, I have a personal view about bringing forward the meaning of the cantata lyrics. If this is done better, in my view, by a choir than by a vocal quartet, I will go for the choir-version. For instance: the worst recording that I've heard in the last few years, was Volume 1 of Bach Cantatas by The Purcell Quartet. In my experience, this performance was totally flat. But I know that others will like it very much, because it's clean and the singing is beautiful. But I don't think that I will have a go at other Volumes of this ensemble.


When it comes to Bach Cantatas and Passions, I always look to the German/Dutch ensembles/choirs.  But for Handel Oratorios, I only go for the English ensembles/choirs since they are the only ones that can perform those works right.  BTW, I have heard some pretty bad Water Music performed by some German ensemble in my lifetime as well. 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 21, 2009, 06:13:22 PM
I actually have the DVD on Karajan conducting Bach Magnificat in 1984 New Year Concert.  I thought these YouTubes are kind of entertaining ...

YouTube on Karajan conducting Bach Magnificat  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtD3P5_IEhw)

YouTube on Karajan conducting Bach Magnificat segment two (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuSg0abOP3c)

Karajan conducting Brandenburg Cto No. 3 from harpsichord (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvHZ9xnuxoU&NR=1)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 21, 2009, 07:21:41 PM
But for Handel Oratorios, I only go for the English ensembles/choirs since they are the only ones that can perform those works right. 

Absolutely not correct, Coop.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 21, 2009, 07:47:05 PM
Absolutely not correct, Coop.

Back up your claim!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 21, 2009, 08:26:49 PM
Back up your claim!

Say what? I made no claim! I merely responded to YOUR claim.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Renfield on November 21, 2009, 11:20:50 PM
Say what? I made no claim! I merely responded to YOUR claim.

By making a counter-claim, that needs backing like any other claim does. Presumably you had something in mind...


(For the record, I am actually curious about the matter of Handel oratorios and performance styles.)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on November 21, 2009, 11:48:59 PM
Sorry for coming in late on this discussion.  I've listened around on this piece; Gardiner seems good, as does McCreesh.  Don't care for Harnoncourt or Herreweghe's work with Bach, they seem out of touch, but that might just be me.  I really like the performance found on the Brilliant Classics Bach Edition, though, with Stephen Cleobury, the Brandenburg Consort, and the Choir of King's College Cambridge - this goes for the Johannespassion as well.  They strike a nice middle ground.  Boys choir is a bonus for me as well.  Anyhow, that's my two cents worth.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 22, 2009, 04:58:22 AM
Sorry for coming in late on this discussion.  I've listened around on this piece; Gardiner seems good, as does McCreesh.  Don't care for Harnoncourt or Herreweghe's work with Bach, they seem out of touch, but that might just be me.  I really like the performance found on the Brilliant Classics Bach Edition, though, with Stephen Cleobury, the Brandenburg Consort, and the Choir of King's College Cambridge - this goes for the Johannespassion as well.  They strike a nice middle ground.  Boys choir is a bonus for me as well.  Anyhow, that's my two cents worth.  ;)

In all fairness, Harnoncourt and his Concentus Musicus have been the only non-English ensemble that have recorded a good number of Handel oratorios which are largely respectable.  But they are the exceptions since Harnoncourt was the pioneer in the HIP movement.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 22, 2009, 08:25:03 AM
By making a counter-claim, that needs backing like any other claim does. Presumably you had something in mind...

Well, a one-liner assertion deserves little more than a one-liner counter-assertion. At least that's how I viewed it.

Now, if Coop wishes to pursue this issue I'd be happy to oblige him but I prefer to hear it from him. That's not asking too much, is it?

Quote
(For the record, I am actually curious about the matter of Handel oratorios and performance styles.)

All I can tell you is what my ears tell me. I own several Handel Oratorios by Peter Neumann with his German band (on MDG) and the results are extraordinary. No lapses when compared to either Gardiner or Hogwood, which I also own.

Perhaps Coop has yet to encounter Neumann's recordings?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 22, 2009, 10:51:58 AM
Well, a one-liner assertion deserves little more than a one-liner counter-assertion. At least that's how I viewed it.

Now, if Coop wishes to pursue this issue I'd be happy to oblige him but I prefer to hear it from him. That's not asking too much, is it?

All I can tell you is what my ears tell me. I own several Handel Oratorios by Peter Neumann with his German band (on MDG) and the results are extraordinary. No lapses when compared to either Gardiner or Hogwood, which I also own.

Perhaps Coop has yet to encounter Neumann's recordings?

There are very few recorded Handel's oratorios and operas that I do not already own.  Pardon my ignorance but I have never heard of Peter Neumann and am not likely to buy any of his Handel oratorios.  My Handel's oratorios are by Gardiner, Hogwood, Pinnock, Harnoncourt, Christe and King in addition to Colin Davis, Marriner and Mackerras (and I forgot to mention Raymond Leppard) from the old school.  I just bought EVERY Handel's Oratorio by the King's Consort last spring and they were all excellent (thanks to the sale jobs by Elgarian and DA).  I am not convinced Peter Neumann is better than all these conductors collectively.  Moreover, I do not see many reviews of his recordings on Amazon, which I use partially to gauge their receptions by the listening public.  The collective wisdom of listeners, I am afraid, are behind me.  BTW, I also have every Handel's opera by Alan Curtis except Ezio.  The remaining operas are spread between Gardiner, Hogwood, Malgoire and Minkowski ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bulldog on November 22, 2009, 02:32:56 PM
There are very few recorded Handel's oratorios and operas that I do not already own.  Pardon my ignorance but I have never heard of Peter Neumann and am not likely to buy any of his Handel oratorios. 

Ignorance and stubborness are a fine mix.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 22, 2009, 08:20:52 PM
There are very few recorded Handel's oratorios and operas that I do not already own.  Pardon my ignorance but I have never heard of Peter Neumann and am not likely to buy any of his Handel oratorios.

So? What does this have to do with anything? 

Quote
My Handel's oratorios are by Gardiner, Hogwood, Pinnock, Harnoncourt, Christe and King in addition to Colin Davis, Marriner and Mackerras (and I forgot to mention Raymond Leppard) from the old school.  I just bought EVERY Handel's Oratorio by the King's Consort last spring and they were all excellent (thanks to the sale jobs by Elgarian and DA).

What, so this laundry list of "known" conductors is supposed to impress me? The smaller independent labels are rife with talent and just because they're out of step with your narrow viewpoint DOESN'T mean they're second stringers. 

Quote
I am not convinced Peter Neumann is better than all these conductors collectively.

Now, just how in the HELL would you know that if you've never even heard him??!? ::) ::) ::)

Besides, I never SAID Neumann was "better" than anyone else. Just that it isn't fair to discard an entire group of musicians in this repertoire just because they aren't English!!!!!

What you're positing here is akin to saying Covent Garden shouldn't bother with the likes of Boris Godunov or the Vienna State Opera should forget about staging Les Troyens because...well, I wouldn't even begin to know why!

Such a position is untenable in the extreme and you've yet to say a single thing that makes even remotely a case for your views. 

Artistry is artistry and just because there's a language barrier shouldn't be taken to mean inferiority.

Quote
Moreover, I do not see many reviews of his recordings on Amazon, which I use partially to gauge their receptions by the listening public.  The collective wisdom of listeners, I am afraid, are behind me.  BTW, I also have every Handel's opera by Alan Curtis except Ezio.  The remaining operas are spread between Gardiner, Hogwood, Malgoire and Minkowski ...

So this is what it boils down to? The "collective wisdom of Amazon"? Unbelievable. ::)

Anyway, I regret all this but sometimes upholding the honor of an entire group of musicians is worth a little hair mussing. ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on November 23, 2009, 04:51:24 AM
Where are the moderators???  This thread has gone

OFF-TOPIC
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: (: premont :) on November 23, 2009, 05:00:40 AM
Jos van Veldhoven, conductor of The Netherlands Bach Society, speaking about different issues of performance in Matthäus-Passion:

So back to topic.

I do not know van Veldhoven´s recordings of the SMP (or SJP), which are offered by Presto Classical this month. Can anybody comment upon them?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 23, 2009, 09:16:41 AM
I do not know van Veldhoven´s recordings of the SMP (or SJP), which are offered by Presto Classical this month. Can anybody comment upon them?

I've owned Veldhoven's SJP for years now and never tire of extolling its virtues on this board. His use of orchestral color is among the best of any HIPster (or anybody) and his overall approach has a freshness and zeal that is endearing. It's long remained a top choice for me in Bach (ditto his Christmas Oratorio).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 23, 2009, 10:51:07 AM
Jos van Veldhoven, conductor of The Netherlands Bach Society, speaking about different issues of performance in Matthäus-Passion:

http://www.youtube.com/v/vSWyUrKPEuI

Thanks!
Informative link.

Though in the Netherlands Van Veldhoven's choice for smaller ensembles was partly commented and reviewed as a forced one, because of decreasing government allowances.

Personally: the performers just have to convince me, either with a choir or with an OVPP-ensemble. For instance: I love Harnoncourt's SMP from 2000, which sounds more 'grand', also caused by the spatial acoustics.
BTW, I'm referring to this one:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000050KFT
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bulldog on November 23, 2009, 10:55:27 AM
I am not convinced Peter Neumann is better than all these conductors collectively.  Moreover, I do not see many reviews of his recordings on Amazon, which I use partially to gauge their receptions by the listening public.  The collective wisdom of listeners, I am afraid, are behind me. 

I place much more validity in the Fanfare reviews than the comments of Amazon consumers.  Fanfare regularly praises Nuemann's Handel sets.  Still, the main point here is that you can't expect anyone to give much weight to your opinions of a recording when you haven't even heard it.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 23, 2009, 11:00:06 AM
Sorry for coming in late on this discussion. 
Please don't apologize for that. ;)
Welcome!

Quote from: Sorin Eushayson
I've listened around on this piece; Gardiner seems good, as does McCreesh.  Don't care for Harnoncourt or Herreweghe's work with Bach, they seem out of touch, but that might just be me.
Sure. And I prefer both the H's by far. It might just be me!
I must admit though that I'm intrigued by the 'out of touch' characterization.

Quote from: Sorin Eushayson
Anyhow, that's my two cents worth.  ;)
IMO, that's how it should be. ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 23, 2009, 11:04:11 AM
I've owned Veldhoven's SJP for years now and never tire of extolling its virtues on this board. His use of orchestral color is among the best of any HIPster [....]

Agreed!
Which in fact is remarkable, because he started as a baroque 'chorus' man. But he's got fresh and appealing ideas about instrumentation.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on November 23, 2009, 11:12:47 AM
Guys, Can we just stick with the St Matthew here. I think the Handel comments are relevent to Handel.

Thanks,

Knight
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 23, 2009, 11:16:46 AM
Guys, Can we just stick with the St Matthew here. I think the Handel comments are relevent to Handel.

But, but, but: we already were back on topic .... somehow. Or did I dream it?
:P

And I personally do not mind some remarks about differences between Handel and Bach .... it has been done before. :D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on November 23, 2009, 11:23:02 AM
Oh, yes comparison is just fine, bu I think there was a bit of sidetracking about Handel performance and whether or not the only folk who can adaquately cover that ground are English...not British I note. Anyway, as you were.....in the sense of enlightening me about Bach.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 23, 2009, 11:25:15 AM
Agreed!
Which in fact is remarkable, because he started as a baroque 'chorus' man. But he's got fresh and appealing ideas about instrumentation.

How interesting. :) His perspective definitely produces interesting results.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 23, 2009, 11:27:01 AM
...English...not British I note.

 ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on November 23, 2009, 11:42:49 AM
How interesting. :) His perspective definitely produces interesting results.

I can't speak to the Passions on record, which I'd love to have but don't, yet. His live Matthew Passion at Naarden was the finest live experience I've ever had with that work, which I love so.

http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=292 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=292), http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=232 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=232)

And of course his B-minor Mass might well be my favorite recording of that.

I am heartened to see that Channel Classics has re-released the St.John and the Christmas Oratorio at a lower price.


 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 23, 2009, 01:00:34 PM
I can't speak to the Passions on record, which I'd love to have but don't, yet. His live Matthew Passion at Naarden was the finest live experience I've ever had with that work, which I love so.

http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=292 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=292), http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=232 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=232)

And of course his B-minor Mass might well be my favorite recording of that.

I am heartened to see that Channel Classics has re-released the St.John and the Christmas Oratorio at a lower price.

Thank you for those links, jl. Very fine - and entertaining - reading. :)

One of the things that endears me to Veldhoven's approach (in general) is just how 'individual' he makes the music sound. No cookie-cutter routine nor falling back on any kind of dogma - simply a thoroughly thought-out approach that smacks all the world of intimate association with the score.

Overall Veldhoven's approach is the antithesis of someone like Herreweghe, who I also rate as tops in Bach. Herreweghe opts for the more somber approach with perhaps more an emphasis on the spiritual over the flashy (not that Veldhoven's flashy). Which is why Veldhoven's approach is so endearing to me - we get the spiritual side of Bach but with more of an emphasis on color and vigor. Neither conductor lacks subtlety which is important to me and overall I'd say the two work as perfect "twin" complements in the Bach choral arena. Something I value highly.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 23, 2009, 02:10:52 PM
Still, I would never describe Herreweghe's approach at Bach as being 'somber' (did you mean 'sober' or 'sombre' btw?), but as being 'warm and comforting'.
I don't have all Van Veldhoven's recordings, maybe because I was slightly disappointed with his 1724 SJP. Although I have to admit: this was mainly (only?) caused by his interpretation of the tenor arias, which I think he misunderstood.

About the re-issues: last week I think I saw (in a blink, really) a Christmas Oratoria of him in a 'normal' 2cd-case, but I didn't check the price. But I guess that's the one mr. Laurson is talking about. Maybe I'll check that out again; at least it sounds interesting.

Oops, getting Off-topic again.
About Van Veldhoven's SMP: saw & heard one of his Naarden performance years ago at the telly and yes, I liked it very much.
So I bought the 'other' live recording (same year, different place -> Utrecht), and never regretted that. :)

Post scriptum: Jens, you referred to Wilke te Brummelstroete as a countertenor, but AFAIK she's a woman .... or did I only wish she was? ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on November 23, 2009, 02:32:55 PM
Post scriptum: Jens, you referred to Wilke te Brummelstroete as a countertenor, but AFAIK she's a woman .... or did I only wish she was? ;D

Astonishing, what snafu-s happen along the way. Just a few days ago I spoke of Mahler Piano Rolls of the Adagietto that don't exist (to my knowledge)... and because I had not put sources into my documents, I wasn't able to find out where I got that idea from.

I don't think Brummelstroete is secretly or openly a man, but a mezzo, after all.  What a name for a singer, though! Ha!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 23, 2009, 02:39:23 PM
Astonishing, what snafu-s happen along the way. Just a few days ago I spoke of Mahler Piano Rolls of the Adagietto that don't exist (to my knowledge)... and because I had not put sources into my documents, I wasn't able to find out where I got that idea from.

I don't think Brummelstroete is secretly or openly a man, but a mezzo, after all.  What a name for a singer, though! Ha!

Yep. It might break one's tongue.
Wilke though is a very sweet maiden's name, IMHO. Sounds like Frisian origin, like a lot of names that end with -ke, although I'm not exactly sure about this specific one. Willeke is more general known in Dutchy country.

The piano rolls: Mahler 5, first movement, I guess? ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on November 23, 2009, 02:54:24 PM
Yep. It might break one's tongue.

I was more thinking of how it -- roughly translated -- means: Rumble-hooting-horn.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 23, 2009, 03:10:30 PM
Still, I would never describe Herreweghe's approach at Bach as being 'somber' (did you mean 'sober' or 'sombre' btw?), but as being 'warm and comforting'.

Solemn if you like.

Though if somber could ever be called a spice it would apply here. Almost a way to temper the jovial by applying dark undertones with the intent to fortify. Guided by a steady hand, of course. 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 23, 2009, 03:20:55 PM
Gentlemen, understood.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 23, 2009, 06:52:04 PM
I place much more validity in the Fanfare reviews than the comments of Amazon consumers.  Fanfare regularly praises Nuemann's Handel sets.  Still, the main point here is that you can't expect anyone to give much weight to your opinions of a recording when you haven't even heard it.

I do not view myself as a music critic as some of the more pompous individuals on the forum do.  I read and assimilate what I feel is worthwhile.  I feel good about having collected a pretty comprehensive library of works by Bach and Handel.  I am a mathematician by training and believe more in the law of large numbers - when 20+ people review a given recording than relying on a single so called expert's review ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 24, 2009, 12:46:33 AM
Of course one can use reviews to make a choice when buying.
But, just as an example: I've read almost 1000 enthousiastic reviews about Gardiner's SMP, and about three that mention Hermann Max. IMHO: those who selected Max are right, by a wide margin. :)

In the end, it has to be my own opinion (after listening myself) that makes a selection/choice. And yes, I guess sometimes me is 'pompous' in my 'reviews', too. Just out of enthousiasm though. :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on November 24, 2009, 04:51:39 AM
Sure. And I prefer both the H's by far. It might just be me!
I must admit though that I'm intrigued by the 'out of touch' characterization.
To elaborate, Herreweghe's Bach comes across as too light and sensitive for me.  It's like he's afraid to touch it; understandable, I suppose, but it would be nice to hear him get into it!

Harnoncourt I have had bad experiences with in general with regards to Baroque.  His work sounds kind of... distorted, as if he's trying to take the piece in a direction it doesn't want to go.

Anyhow, that's what I meant!

I might have to try this Hermann Max's recording, however.  What I've read of it I've liked.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 24, 2009, 10:00:13 AM
I feel good about having collected a pretty comprehensive library of works by Bach and Handel.

Having a "collection" and having insight are two different things.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 24, 2009, 10:07:47 AM
To elaborate, Herreweghe's Bach comes across as too light and sensitive for me.  It's like he's afraid to touch it; understandable, I suppose, but it would be nice to hear him get into it!

Herreweghe might be different things to different people but "afraid to touch" Bach is simply inaccurate. Honestly, I can't think of another conductor who is MORE in touch with Bach...

But like I've said before Herreweghe's brand of music-making isn't the type to slap a listener out of their chair. More's the better in my book. Savoring the music can be just as satisfying as 'jammin' to it.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on November 24, 2009, 03:50:44 PM
To elaborate, Herreweghe's Bach comes across as too light and sensitive for me.  It's like he's afraid to touch it; understandable, I suppose, but it would be nice to hear him get into it!

Harnoncourt I have had bad experiences with in general with regards to Baroque.  His work sounds kind of... distorted, as if he's trying to take the piece in a direction it doesn't want to go.

I can't deny that your reaction to Herreweghe's Bach genuinely baffles me. I lack comprehension. I hate Bernstein's Mahler vs. I love Bernstein's Mahler... that I can understand... but Herreweghe afraid of Bach, distorted? No, mon amie, I am warping into a question mark of flesh.

Will you maybe give him another try with this disc?!:

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/03/weinen-klagenherreweghes-new-bach.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/03/weinen-klagenherreweghes-new-bach.html)


Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 25, 2009, 01:57:45 AM
Or his first recording of the Matthäus-Passion.
Or his cantata disc Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, with BWV 8, 125 and 138.
Or his disc with BWV 21 and 42.
Or his Bach cantata recordings for Virgin Classics.
:)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on November 26, 2009, 07:07:41 AM
Well, given your guys' persistence perhaps I will have to try another Herreweghe Bach disc in the future, though up to this point I've always been underwhelmed...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 26, 2009, 07:12:18 AM
Well, given your guys' persistence perhaps I will have to try another Herreweghe Bach disc in the future, though up to this point I've always been underwhelmed...

Relax, Sorin.

Your remarks only shocked some of us in a life-threatening way. No serious problems involved, so to speak.

But yes, the short list certainly was meant to give you a few of my favourite things! :D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on November 26, 2009, 07:56:18 AM
Relax, Sorin.

Your remarks only shocked some of us in a life-threatening way. No serious problems involved, so to speak.

But yes, the short list certainly was meant to give you a few of my favourite things! :D

I certainly won't disregard such fervent and enthusiastic recommendations!  I'm reminded of Proverbs: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise..  ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 26, 2009, 06:50:31 PM
I certainly won't disregard such fervent and enthusiastic recommendations!  I'm reminded of Proverbs: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise..  ;)

If you are not totally gung ho about 100% HIP performance.  You may want to consider the following two SMP versions, which I own as well.  BTW, I have most of the HIP versions in my collection ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51C55PHT2SL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/412T0ZA780L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on November 28, 2009, 06:24:40 PM
I just added this DVD to my SMP collection ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51s1A5l4uxL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on November 28, 2009, 10:27:05 PM
If you are not totally gung ho about 100% HIP performance...
I don't think I could be much more gung-ho! ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on December 20, 2009, 09:43:24 AM
I'm usually more of an HIP guy when it comes to 18th Century music, but lately I've been returning to my old love for Bernstein's Bach (which was my first Matthew Passion as a youth).  As a matter of fact I decided to rebuy it because I didn't own it anymore:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5178QZZX4GL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

(I also like it because it's sung in English...no reading required)


And this one is rather new to me, and I just love it:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Aa8CIknCL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)


I' surprised I haven't heard much about these performances on this thread as of yet, although I strongly feel they have great merit (despite the cuts) and provide a great contrast to the HIP recordings.

 ;D

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on December 20, 2009, 11:17:01 AM
I'm usually more of an HIP guy when it comes to 18th Century music, but lately I've been returning to my old love for Bernstein's Bach (which was my first Matthew Passion as a youth).  As a matter of fact I decided to rebuy it because I didn't own it anymore:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5178QZZX4GL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

(I also like it because it's sung in English...no reading required)


And this one is rather new to me, and I just love it:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Aa8CIknCL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)


I' surprised I haven't heard much about these performances on this thread as of yet, although I strongly feel they have great merit (despite the cuts) and provide a great contrast to the HIP recordings.

 ;D

While I prefer Baroque music to be HIP, I am not nut about HIP.  I bought this Mengelberg's St Matthew Passion last spring and enjoyed it.  It was a different era and one should not summarily write off any historical recordings just because they were not HIP.  St Matthew Passion by Furtwangler also falls into the not-to-be-written-off category.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gwmrBO6zL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Sean on December 20, 2009, 11:20:26 AM
I know this work from the Solti, which I recommend very much, despite his strengths being in later music.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on December 20, 2009, 12:21:01 PM
While I prefer Baroque music to be HIP, I am not nut about HIP.  I bought this Mengelberg's St Matthew Passion last spring and enjoyed it.  It was a different era and one should not summarily write off any historical recordings just because they were not HIP.  St Matthew Passion by Furtwangler also falls into the not-to-be-written-off category.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gwmrBO6zL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Exactly and I agree...also, thanks for the heads up on the Mengelberg recording.

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on December 24, 2009, 06:44:52 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/319DHAK081L._AA240_.jpg)

Heard this for the first time the other night...WOW.  Trying to formulate some thoughts but still reeling after a couple days!



Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on December 30, 2009, 06:01:53 AM
Authentic or not, it packs a mighty punch, despite the modest number of singers. It has a wonderful directness and the drama is very clearly laid out.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Mandryka on December 30, 2009, 09:41:39 AM
Re Mengelberg and that sort of thing. I find Karl Erb's voice a bit hard to take. Thomas Mann mentions him in Doktor Faustus -- saying he sounds like a castrato. That's not fair I think, but there is something a bit shrill about his voice.

Erb, by the way , was the first Palestrina in Pfitzner's opera.

I prefer HIP, but my favourite of the old skool Matthew Passions is Herman Scherchen's with Hugues Cuenod. It's hard to get from the usual channels, but it is out of copyright and you can download it from musicouverte.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: rubio on January 02, 2010, 02:35:45 PM
I prefer HIP, but my favourite of the old skool Matthew Passions is Herman Scherchen's with Hugues Cuenod. It's hard to get from the usual channels, but it is out of copyright and you can download it from musicouverte.

What is the web address for musicouverte?

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Mandryka on January 03, 2010, 01:55:22 PM
What is the web address for musicouverte?

This is the page with the links to Scherchen's Passion:

http://www.i12.ch/musiqueouverte/index.php/accueil/toutafficher
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: KevinP on January 03, 2010, 05:28:41 PM
This is the page with the links to Scherchen's Passion:

http://www.i12.ch/musiqueouverte/index.php/accueil/toutafficher

That link doesn't work for me.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 03, 2010, 06:06:52 PM
That link doesn't work for me.

If you select the option "par artiste" and then write "Scherchen" and press enter, it works out perfectly.  :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: KevinP on January 03, 2010, 08:31:49 PM
Yeah, figured that out 30 seconds after posting. :-)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: The new erato on January 10, 2010, 11:30:07 AM
Seems like there's a new Kuijken OVPP version being released on Challenge Classics.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidRoss on January 12, 2010, 08:47:39 AM
Just yesterday listened to Harnoncourt's SMP.  Loved it.  Again.  Had it been my first on CD I might not have bought another.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Que on January 12, 2010, 12:05:52 PM
Just yesterday listened to Harnoncourt's SMP.  Loved it.  Again.  Had it been my first on CD I might not have bought another.

Would that be Harnoncourt's 2nd one? A grand recording! :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on January 12, 2010, 12:19:32 PM
[Splitting hairs, but only in a whisper:]
Q, his 2nd is already OOP for 15 years (Concertgebouw live); my guess is you refer to his 3rd.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Que on January 12, 2010, 01:09:49 PM
[Splitting hairs, but only in a whisper:]
Q, his 2nd is already OOP for 15 years (Concertgebouw live); my guess is you refer to his 3rd.

Yes, indeed. Although - was that recording complete? :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on January 12, 2010, 01:21:29 PM
Yes, indeed. Although - was that recording complete? :)

Yes, indeed. ;)

It was meant to stimulate the restoration of the Concertgebouw financially. But after the restoration was finished, the boxset was still part of the Teldec catalogue. Harnoncourt didn't want that. And around mid-90's Teldec withdrew it.
To me, that must have been H.'s worst decision ever. I was just a studento povero and when I finally was able to buy the recording, the shoplady told me it was OOP. And the library copy I got was severely damaged.
Not the best SMP in the world, but with a very good Kurt Equiluz. Thanks to his grown experience, he was in better shape than f.i. during Harnoncourt's first SMP.
And, of course, I also wanted to buy it for sentimental reasons. I mean: I was brought up with semolina and lard, and with Harnoncourt's Passions at Palm Sunday. :)

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidRoss on January 13, 2010, 11:14:12 AM
Yes, Harnoncourt's 3rd, with Goerne, Fink, et al.  To me this seems to have it all: beauty, drama, poignancy, transparency, and well-judged tempos that never flag but help sustain my interest throughout.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2010, 01:43:07 AM
It's that time of year and sure enough, a new recording comes along. But it is from an unexpected source:Chailly and Leipzig. There are samples here.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-J-S-St-Matthew-Passion/dp/B0032SK6T2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1267868066&sr=1-1

It seems to be on two discs, though stated to be on one and in an advert I saw it claimed to be on three. If the speed of the opening chorus is anything to go by at 5.39, (Richter is funerial in his second recording at 11.26), then perhaps it is on one disc.  >:D

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on March 06, 2010, 06:43:44 AM
I am purposely bypassing Bach's Matthew Passion this year and focusing in on his St. John's.  We are studying John's Gospel in one of the Bible studies I attend, and I did the same last year with Bach's Matthew when we studied that gospel during this season.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2010, 06:50:53 AM
I am purposely bypassing Bach's Matthew Passion this year and focusing in on his St. John's.  We are studying John's Gospel in one of the Bible studies I attend, and I did the same last year with Bach's Matthew when we studied that gospel during this season.

Morning Bill.

I hope to get the St John Passion by Philippe Herreweghe and Jos van Veldhoven later this year to beef up my collection in this work.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2010, 07:40:39 AM
I am purposely bypassing Bach's Matthew Passion this year and focusing in on his St. John's.  We are studying John's Gospel in one of the Bible studies I attend, and I did the same last year with Bach's Matthew when we studied that gospel during this season.

Nice to see some churches actually pay attention to the calendar!

I will be Harnoncourting through Lent (Pregadien, Gorne etc.) and going to a live St M on the 20th.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bulldog on March 06, 2010, 07:48:04 AM
It's that time of year and sure enough, a new recording comes along. But it is from an unexpected source:Chailly and Leipzig. There are samples here.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-J-S-St-Matthew-Passion/dp/B0032SK6T2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1267868066&sr=1-1

It seems to be on two discs, though stated to be on one and in an advert I saw it claimed to be on three. If the speed of the opening chorus is anything to go by at 5.39, (Richter is funerial in his second recording at 11.26), then perhaps it is on one disc.  >:D

Mike

I was pleasantly surprised by the samples although the opening chorus is too fast and emotionally light.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on March 06, 2010, 07:54:01 AM
It's that time of year and sure enough, a new recording comes along. But it is from an unexpected source:Chailly and Leipzig. There are samples here.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-J-S-St-Matthew-Passion/dp/B0032SK6T2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1267868066&sr=1-1

It seems to be on two discs, though stated to be on one and in an advert I saw it claimed to be on three. If the speed of the opening chorus is anything to go by at 5.39, (Richter is funerial in his second recording at 11.26), then perhaps it is on one disc.  >:D

Mike
Chailly absolutely adores the Matthäus!
He had so much respect for the score that he waited a long time to conduct it himself.
He did one live at the Concertgebouw in 1997, 100 years after Mengelberg started the Amsterdam Bach-Passion tradition.
The performance got fiercely battered in the (HIP calvinistic ;)) Dutch press (too 'large' and old-fashioned), but it wasn't all that bad IMO. Nevertheless Chailly decided not to do another one in the Netherlands again.

From the broadcast, I remember mainly that Prégardien (Evangelist) wasn't in good shape, which was a pity of course.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2010, 08:01:02 AM
I should think that whatever Chailly does, it is of a high quality. I don't think I am in the market for a new St M this year.

Somehow, I don't think I want more of the heavier textures or darker colours of the modern orchestra in this piece. But since I have swung from Klemperer to McCreesh in 40 years, if I live long enough, I may swing back again. I still enjoy the likes of Richter 1, but don't feel the need to get more traditional performances, but speeded up.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on March 06, 2010, 08:22:12 AM
It's that time of year and sure enough, a new recording comes along. But it is from an unexpected source:Chailly and Leipzig. There are samples here.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-J-S-St-Matthew-Passion/dp/B0032SK6T2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1267868066&sr=1-1

It seems to be on two discs, though stated to be on one and in an advert I saw it claimed to be on three. If the speed of the opening chorus is anything to go by at 5.39, (Richter is funerial in his second recording at 11.26), then perhaps it is on one disc.  >:D

Mike

… and this is probably the other side of the coin:

Bach – Matthäus-Passion
La Petite Bande
Sigiswald Kuijken
3 SACD
Challenge Classics

HERE (http://www.challenge.nl/product/11980731239) info and excerpts.


   
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2010, 08:32:33 AM
Sounds lovely. He has chosen femals soloists that sound almost male...in a good way. I am backing away from the computer.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidRoss on March 06, 2010, 08:39:57 AM
… and this is probably the other side of the coin:

Bach – Matthäus-Passion
La Petite Bande
Sigiswald Kuijken
3 SACD
Challenge Classics
Thanks (I think  :-\ ) for calling this to our attention.  I think I've liked every recording from Kuijken & La Petite Band that I've heard, the excerpts sound great, and thank God they used an alto and not a painfully coarse counter-tenor!

Even though I'm pretty darned happy with Harnoncourt III and Herreweghe I, I'm already considering the purchase (drat!).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2010, 08:48:38 AM
Yes, I am now pondering it....mind you David, wash your mouth out over your course remark about counter-tenors.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on March 06, 2010, 08:52:00 AM
Thanks (I think  :-\ ) for calling this to our attention.  I think I've liked every recording from Kuijken & La Petite Band that I've heard, the excerpts sound great, and thank God they used an alto and not a painfully coarse counter-tenor!

Even though I'm pretty darned happy with Harnoncourt III and Herreweghe I, I'm already considering the purchase (drat!).

I have this set with the Petite:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RJ6lgwA2L._SS400_.jpg)

I will give the John another spin today and report back.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2010, 08:53:23 AM
I have been looking at that...is that St M the same one that we have been discussion. The site I have been looking at gives too little info for me to tell.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on March 06, 2010, 09:00:18 AM
I have been looking at that...is that St M the same one that we have been discussion. The site I have been looking at gives too little info for me to tell.

Mike

The St. Matthew info for the above set, Mike:

Leonhardt/Petite/Recorded 1989, I believe.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidRoss on March 06, 2010, 09:02:33 AM
I have been looking at that...is that St M the same one that we have been discussion. The site I have been looking at gives too little info for me to tell.
It's a recent recording, Mike, leaner than their first made some twenty years ago.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on March 06, 2010, 09:03:16 AM
It's a recent recording, Mike, leaner than their first made some twenty years ago.

Is the '89 recording date correct, David?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidRoss on March 06, 2010, 09:08:23 AM
Is the '89 recording date correct, David?
Sounds right for their first one, Bill--the one included in the set you have.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2010, 09:09:55 AM
Thanks both.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on March 06, 2010, 09:16:28 AM
Could not resist and threw on the Matthew from above....very nice, so far.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on March 06, 2010, 09:17:32 AM
Sounds right for their first one, Bill--the one included in the set you have.

Thanks, Dave.  Is his older recording available?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidRoss on March 06, 2010, 09:19:31 AM
Yes, I am now pondering it....mind you David, wash your mouth out over your course remark about counter-tenors.
Let's just say that Heaven sighed in relief when René Jacobs turned to conducting--and the rest of us are bloody grateful!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidRoss on March 06, 2010, 09:21:05 AM
Thanks, Dave.  Is his older recording available?
In the set you have it is.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on March 06, 2010, 09:28:14 AM
Could not resist and threw on the Matthew from above....very nice, so far.

Bill,  I assumed you are talking about this set, which has been in my collection since last summer.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RJ6lgwA2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on April 25, 2010, 07:51:05 AM
Just ordered this set this weekend.  It will be interesting to see how it compares with the previous version by SK mentioned a few posts ago ...

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CC72357.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DarkAngel on April 25, 2010, 08:38:18 AM
Just ordered this set this weekend.  It will be interesting to see how it compares with the previous version by SK mentioned a few posts ago ...

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CC72357.jpg)

I ordered mine 2-3 weeks ago from MDT in UK, still waiting for delivery......
The volcano cloud has messed up all air freight in UK.
 
I was very impressed with same performers recent Mass in B so this release was a natural follow-up for me
 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on April 25, 2010, 08:42:54 AM

I ordered mine 2-3 weeks ago from MDT in UK, still waiting for delivery......
The volcano cloud has messed up all air freight in UK.
 
I was very impressed with same performers recent Mass in B so this release was a natural follow-up for me

I bought that Mass in b a few months ago.  It was an excellent performance indeed.  BTW, did you or Elgarian buy some of those Handel Italian Cantatas on the Glossa label?  How were those performances?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 25, 2010, 08:51:08 AM

I ordered mine 2-3 weeks ago from MDT in UK, still waiting for delivery......
The volcano cloud has messed up all air freight in UK.
 

Mine was sent the last Thursday from MDT.  :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DarkAngel on April 25, 2010, 08:56:14 AM
BTW, did you or Elgarian buy some of those Handel Italian Cantatas on the Glossa label?  How were those performances?

Yes we both have them but while very good performances with great intimate sound, they are also "molto caro" (very expensive)
 
A more sane route would be to first seek out much cheaper Hyperion and Virgin CD sets that are also quite good, hard to go wrong with Handel Italian era cantata sets
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on April 25, 2010, 09:25:19 AM

Yes we both have them but while very good performances with great intimate sound, they are also "molto caro" (very expensive)
 
A more sane route would be to first seek out much cheaper Hyperion and Virgin CD sets that are also quite good, hard to go wrong with Handel Italian era cantata sets

I already have a few of the Handel Italian Cantatas.  I will order all 6 volumes of the Handel Italian Cantatas on Glossa at one fell swoop shortly.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DarkAngel on May 24, 2010, 08:27:42 AM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CC72357.jpg)
 
Finally got this overseas from UK vendor........Kiujken has gone very minimalist compared to SMP with Leonhardt 20 years ago, now has bought into Rifkin/Parrott theories doing away with proper choral group and just using 8 soloists, 2 each of:
-soprano
-alto
-tenor
-bass
 
The effect is very intimate more like a motet or madrigal, choral parts taken by single voices. Kuijken said he researched church records and Bach's student record info as well as financial constraints of church convince him this is most likely the manner this work was performed
 
Did I read somewhere Antoine Marchand was not pleased with this set.............. ???
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 24, 2010, 11:41:09 AM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CC72357.jpg)
 
Finally got this overseas from UK vendor........Kiujken has gone very minimalist compared to SMP with Leonhardt 20 years ago, now has bought into Rifkin/Parrott theories doing away with proper choral group and just using 8 soloists, 2 each of:
-soprano
-alto
-tenor
-bass
 
The effect is very intimate more like a motet or madrigal, choral parts taken by single voices. Kuijken said he researched church records and Bach's student record info as well as financial constraints of church convince him this is most likely the manner this work was performed
 
Did I read somewhere Antoine Marchand was not pleased with this set.............. ???

Hi, DA. This is just to clarify that my disappointment is not about the OVPP theory, but about this specific performance of the SMP by Kuijken and the uninspired singers chosen by him. IMHO, it's an anemic, tired, even pedestrian performance, well performed in the instrumental parts, but totally mediocre in vocal aspects. Vocally speaking its only merit is the predictable clarity of textures, but without to suggest at any moment theological heights, human pains or all that sort of things that, from a rhetorical point of view, the account of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ should suggest… This version doesn't mark any change in my previous favorites for this work (Leonhardt and Hermann Max) and I even consider it inferior to the OVPP version directed by John Butt... But that's just my opinion.  :)

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DarkAngel on May 24, 2010, 11:53:30 AM
Hi, DA. This is just to clarify that my disappointment is not about the OVPP theory, but about this specific performance of the SMP by Kuijken and the uninspired singers chosen by him. IMHO, it's an anemic, tired, even pedestrian performance, well performed in the instrumental parts, but totally mediocre in vocal aspects. Vocally speaking its only merit is the predictable clarity of textures, but without to suggest at any moment theological heights, human pains or all that sort of things that, from a rhetorical point of view, the account of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ should suggest… This version doesn't mark any change in my previous favorites for this work (Leonhardt and Hermann Max) and I even consider this rendition as inferior to the OVPP version directed by John Butt... But that's just my opinion.  :)

AM does not beat around the bush (ha ha)
I have never been a big fan of OVPP (one voice per part) Bach vocal works, I never listen to my Parrott performances in the Virgin label boxset......just sounds too austere, like a monastary. I should have checked into this closer before purchasing, I just blindly put my money behind Kuijken
 
I will stick with the hybrid smaller scale forces of Gardiner, Herreweghe etc who have fuller richer sound but still have enhanced textural clarity using reduced size group over older large scale forces.
 
Coop
Do you like this........
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on May 24, 2010, 12:40:35 PM
I might have to listen to Kuijken again, but my first impressions were positive. Far better blending chorists compared to f.i. McCreesh (all singing more or less like soloists) and Butt (uneven). Also a more severe protestantic atmosphere, like in Kuijken's own reading of the Johannes-Passion.

And if OVPP is concerned: I don't mind about it. Let them have their fun. If the performance is to my likings: bless them.

This is Bach's own handwritten document, dating from 1729, where he notes down the numbers of chorists for the four Leipzig churches: Thomaskirche, Nicolaikirche, Neue Kirche, Petrikirche.

(http://i45.tinypic.com/mvkrq0.jpg)

As everyone can see, these numbers are the same as in Bach's Entwurff which he wrote a year later, a.o. complaining about the small number of chorists and instrumentalists. He wanted to have more musicians, f.i. in case of sickness, and because the level of performing wasn't always to his preferred standards.

All these documents can be viewed by scholars in a.o. the Thomanerbibliothek and the Bach Archiv in Leipzig. They contradict any proof of the so-called fact that Bach had to perform his choir music OVPP.
But the OVPP-school apparently never refers to them, or seems to be determined to give them another interpretation.
Which makes these so-called proven theories by Rifkin, Parrott, McCreesh and Kuijken rather .... odd, IMHO.

There are also a few choir lists of the 1730's and other interesting documents to see in Leipzig. They proof f.i. that not only OVPP wasn't the standard for cantatas, but that for Passion performances the first two choirs were used (= 24 singers of the Thomaskirche and Nicolaikirche) plus ALSO some singers from the third choir (of the Neue Kirche). Bach and his predecessor Johann Kuhnau weren't happy with that (probably because of the inferior quality for such a main event), but the City Council of Leipzig demanded it.

In the Netherlands, Ton Koopman (who's supported by Christoph Wolff btw) has referred several times to these docoments in interviews, and also that he has asked f.i. Rifkin and McCreesh if they knew about their existence and if they were examined by them. Reaction? According to Koopman: none. Just silence. He accuses Parott (who wrote the OVPP bible The Essential Bach Choir) of over-interpretation and incomplete quotations from original documents.

Somehow it looks as if some people want to be scholars and only mention the 'facts' that underline their own hypotheses, maybe only to create some revolution or having their names mentioned. I dunno. It's at least very strange that every evidence which contradicts their 'theories' are to be kept silent and isn't quoted or cited by these people.

No wonder that many scientists look down upon humanities fields. Apparantly it's far more easier for f.i. historians or art scholars to 'force' the facts to one's own opinion, and make so many people believe you.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: (: premont :) on May 24, 2010, 12:42:41 PM
Hi, DA. This is just to clarify that my disappointment is not about the OVPP theory, but about this specific performance of the SMP by Kuijken and the uninspired singers chosen by him. IMHO, it's an anemic, tired, even pedestrian performance, well performed in the instrumental parts, but totally mediocre in vocal aspects. Vocally speaking its only merit is the predictable clarity of textures, but without to suggest at any moment theological heights, human pains or all that sort of things that, from a rhetorical point of view, the account of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ should suggest… This version doesn't mark any change in my previous favorites for this work (Leonhardt and Hermann Max) and I even consider it inferior to the OVPP version directed by John Butt... But that's just my opinion.  :)

Mmm, I listened to Kuijkens St. Matthew passion yesterday (first time experience), and I was indeed moved by its intimate, unaffected and immediate expression. Agree that it does not convey any deep theological interpretation and rather makes Jesus too human, but wasn´t he a human being after all? I found this unpretentious interpretation, which lacks vocal "stars"  in the lineup to be a most refreshing team-work, making me able to concentrate upon the music and the story of the passion. I am often in other recordings annoyed by the "operatic" singing of many of the vocal "stars", who steal the attention too much.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on May 24, 2010, 01:04:43 PM
I might have to listen to Kuijken again, but my first impressions were positive. Far better blending chorists compared to f.i. McCreesh (all singing more or like as soloists) and Butt (uneven). Also a more severe protestantic atmosphere, like in Kuijken's own reading of the Johannes-Passion.

And if OVPP is concerned: I don't mind about it. Let them have their fun. If the performance is to my likings: bless them.

This is Bach's own handwritten document, dating from 1729, where he notes down the numbers of chorists for the four Leipzig churches: Thomaskirche, Nicolaikirche, Neue Kirche, Petrikirche.

(http://i45.tinypic.com/mvkrq0.jpg)

As everyone can see, these numbers are the same as in Bach's Entwurff which he wrote a year later, a.o. complaining about the small number of chorists and instrumentalists. He wanted to have more musicians, f.i. in case of sickness, and because the level of performing wasn't always to his preferred standards.

All these documents can be viewed by scholars in a.o. the Thomanerbibliothek and the Bach Archiv in Leipzig. They contradict any proof of the so-called fact that Bach had to perform his choir music OVPP.
But the OVPP-school apparently never refers to them, or seems to be determined to give them another interpretation.
Which makes these so-called proven theories by Rifkin, Parrott, McCreesh and Kuijken rather .... odd, IMHO.

There are also a few choir lists of the 1730's and other interesting documents to see in Leipzig. They proof f.i. that not only OVPP wasn't the standard for cantatas, but that for Passion performances the first two choirs were used (= 24 singers of the Thomaskirche and Nicolaikirche) plus ALSO some singers from the third choir (of the Neue Kirche). Bach and his predecessor Johann Kuhnau weren't happy with that (probably because of the inferior quality for such a main event), but the City Council of Leipzig demanded it.

In the Netherlands, Ton Koopman (who's supported by Christoph Wolff btw) has referred several times to these docoments in interviews, and also that he has asked f.i. Rifkin and McCreesh if they knew about their existence and if they were examined by them. Reaction? According to Koopman: none. Just silence. He accuses Parott (who wrote the OVPP bible The Essential Bach Choir) of over-interpretation and incomplete quotations from original documents.

Somehow it looks as if some people want to be scholars and only mention the 'facts' that underline their own hypotheses, maybe only to create some revolution or having their names mentioned. I dunno. It's at least very strange that every evidence which contradicts their 'theories' are to be kept silent and isn't quoted or cited by these people.

No wonder that many scientists look down upon humanities fields. Apparantly it's far more easier for f.i. historians or art scholars to 'force' the facts to one's own opinion, and make so many people believe you.

I couldn't agree with you more, on absolutely every point you make. The ideological battlefield of the OVPP-movement, many of the results which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, reminds me much of the historian's tussle when Daniel Goldhagen's book (H's Willing Executioners) came out and historians like Browning or Saperstein pointed out that he conveniently left out the single most important document that undermined his central thesis (and that he used language in specifically leading ways so as not to undermine that thesis). But then we know why Goldhagen did what he did: the more controversy, the more tenure at Harvard.  ;D What are Parrot, Butt & Rifking getting out it, other than 10, 20 more sold copies and a career in... oh... wait...
I see.  ;)

P.S. I absolutely adore Kuijken's 1-year cycle, btw., even if Koopman is still my over-all-but-nowhere-specifically favorite cantata cycle.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on May 24, 2010, 01:25:31 PM
Yes, the world of science gets 'tricky' if scholars think that they are on a mission from God. ;)

And don't get me wrong, either: I very much enjoy the OVPP performances of f.i. Junghänel and Kuijken.

BTW: years ago, after McCreesh's SMP was recently issued, the good man was interviewed in Dutch music magazine Luister.
Of course, the interviewer wanted to know about OVPP, and McCreesh wasn't surprised that the Dutch in general and Koopman in particular didn't accept it. But IHO they were negatively influenced by their own impressive culture of large SMP performances. Because of the fact that in Britain and the USA Bach's SMP and cantatas weren't traditionally performed as much as f.i. Handel's Messiah, Britains and Americans could study things like this in a far more objective way.

If my memory doesn't fail me, the conversation about OVPP went on something like this:

Interviewer: But Bach wrote in his Entwurff that he wanted 16 singers for each choir, did he not?
McCreesh: Yes, that's what all scholars did want us to believe up to now. But they forgot that Bach was referring to all four churches in Leipzig. Which means that he was talking about 16 singers for 4 churches = 4 singers per church.

Unfortunately, the interviewer didn't make a ruin out of that statement. One has to remain polite, has one not? ;D

Anyway, I laughed my head off when I read it. So Bach is doing all this trouble & efforts and writing this large Memorandum just to explain that he explicitely needs 4 singers for each and every choir!

At that moment, thanks to mr. McCreesh, I suddenly understood why the Council had not taken Bach's Entwurff seriously! :P
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2010, 04:25:20 PM

AM does not beat around the bush (ha ha)
I have never been a big fan of OVPP (one voice per part) Bach vocal works, I never listen to my Parrott performances in the Virgin label boxset......just sounds too austere, like a monastary. I should have checked into this closer before purchasing, I just blindly put my money behind Kuijken
 
I will stick with the hybrid smaller scale forces of Gardiner, Herreweghe etc who have fuller richer sound but still have enhanced textural clarity using reduced size group over older large scale forces.
 
Coop
Do you like this........

I find it enjoyable, though I clearly do not think it surpasses Herreweghe's second version.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on May 24, 2010, 06:06:16 PM
I'm a fan of the OVPP process and have been quite thrilled by McCreesh's Matthaus-Passion.  Whether the OVPP approach is entirely accurate or not I'm not so certain, having read convincing arguments from both sides.  However, I'd like to point out the the issue is not as clear-cut as Signore Marc has presented it; the OVPP crowd has its fair share of scholarship and proofs, as does the opposing point of view.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bulldog on May 24, 2010, 08:44:54 PM
Hi, DA. This is just to clarify that my disappointment is not about the OVPP theory, but about this specific performance of the SMP by Kuijken and the uninspired singers chosen by him. IMHO, it's an anemic, tired, even pedestrian performance, well performed in the instrumental parts, but totally mediocre in vocal aspects. Vocally speaking its only merit is the predictable clarity of textures, but without to suggest at any moment theological heights, human pains or all that sort of things that, from a rhetorical point of view, the account of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ should suggest…

I'm largely of the same opinion.  Tension and drama, quite lacking in the new Kiujken set, is not a product of size but interpretation.  It's a shame because the vocalists have fine voices and the orchestra plays beautifully.  Ultimately, the St. Matthew is not a work where "Bach Lite" sits well with me.  I'm ready to go back to my favorite SMP, Herreweghe I, which has all the drama and tension I could want.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on May 25, 2010, 04:34:51 AM
I'm a fan of the OVPP process and have been quite thrilled by McCreesh's Matthaus-Passion. Whether the OVPP approach is entirely accurate or not I'm not so certain, having read convincing arguments from both sides.  However, I'd like to point out the the issue is not as clear-cut as Signore Marc has presented it; the OVPP crowd has its fair share of scholarship and proofs, as does the opposing point of view.
Sure, opinions can differ. I have no problems with that at all. For the record though, personally, I find McCreesh's SMP's one of the most boring of my SMP collection: spick and span and shallow, with bad blending choral singing.

And to me, OVPP is not a proven theory, but just an opinion. There's far too much proof against it to make it a proven theory. I don't think you'll find one single scholar of the Bach Archiv in Leipzig who believes in it.
It's f.i. a proven fact that both Kuhnau and Bach had to use between 24 up to maybe 30 singers for their Passion performances. It was decreed by the Leipzig City Council.

So, my personal opinion ;) about the one-sided OVPP theorists is: botched job.
The biggest proof they offer is: there have remained copies of only one part per voice. Which is true indeed.
But, as Alfred Dürr, Christoph Wolff and Ton Koopman have proven: in those days it was pretty normal to share one copy with three or four singers. Sure, the OVPP-theorists say there is no written proof of that in Leipzig. Sure, but this doesn't mean that it didn't happen. It happened all throughout Europe. But the OVPP-school wants to look at Leipzig as one of those solid exceptions with extremely poor musical circumstances. Whilst Leipzig was quite well-known in Germany as a centre of high musical standard; this being one of the reasons for Bach to apply for Thomaskantor .... and for Graupner btw, a renowned composer, and for the very famous Telemann .... although in the end Georg Philipp was more thinking about his wallet. ;D
The second proof is: the word 'chor' or 'chorus' means in fact 'a body of singers', not necessarily a 'choir' as we know it. So, in Leipzig there was a group of Thomasschule singers, and Bach made his choice for the performances. He's writing about 54 pupils in his Entwurff, but many of the boys had no musical talent. Which meant that in the end he selected only a very small account to sing in the cantatas and for the two main churches only 8 boys were good enough (= 2x4 = 2xOVPP).
Of course, this can be true. But it's nothing but interpretation. Interpretation of one word and then change the 'entire' ;) history of music. In the Bach Archiv there are many documents against it: they show f.i. that all four churches in Leipzig had their own choir of at least 12 to 14 singers. There you can also read comments made by Bach about the progress of some boys, and that some of those received a 'promotion' to one of the better choirs. It shows that the non-talented boys did cooperate in church services, the really bad ones only in the Petrikirche, where only homophonic singing was required. But all 50+ boys of the school participated in church singing. Which is pretty normal, because it was simply Bach's job to do that and learn these boys some musical practice. Leaving more than 30 moderate or non-talented singers out would be an impudent violation of his tasks.

Joshua Rifkin also claims that Bach had to use just one instrument per part in the continuo section. But there is f.i. a manuscript of BWV 23 in Krakow, Poland, which says per fagotti, bassoni, violoncello e clavecimbalo. Which means: at least 2 bassoons and 2 violones/contrabasses. Ton Koopman did confront him with this fact and received no answer. Apparently every proof against their theories have to remain undiscussed. Which is a bad attitude for a scholar, IMHO.

During my university years, a teacher once told me: scientific or scholastic investigation is nothing else but ;) defining a problem and a goal, then observing and registering facts, then developing a hypothesis, then observing and registering again, then finding out that the hypothesis isn't 100% correct, then beginning all over again, maybe with a slightly or even entirely different problem or goal, then observing and registering again .... et cetera et cetera. This process takes years and years and in many many cases the ultimate goal can't even be 'reached'. For a good solid theory, one has to discuss and reconsider so many things over and over again .... it's almost disencouraging and scary to even think about it before you start such an investigation.
My opinion is, that the OVPP-theorists just do not want to be disencouraged. They shook up the world of baroque music and want to hold that position. To most of them, their hypothesis is now a proven theory and no proof against it should be viewed or discussed anymore. Well, bless them, but I don't buy it.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on May 25, 2010, 07:18:38 AM
Sure, opinions can differ. I have no problems with that at all. For the record though, personally, I find McCreesh's SMP's one of the most boring of my SMP collection: spick and span and shallow, with bad blending choral singing.


I could not disagree with you more. I think the set is wonderfully sung and highly dramatic. For me it is one set I would never get rid of and the one I listen to most.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Franco on May 25, 2010, 07:40:45 AM
I am not interested in academic theories (and/or proofs) for or against OVPP - I just like how it sounds.  What I've got are the Kuijken cantata recordings, and they are wonderful.  I also have a stipped down B Minor Mass directed by Andrew Parrott which is very enjoyable.  The SMP using this style might interest me as well.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on May 25, 2010, 08:03:04 AM
Sure, opinions can differ. I have no problems with that at all. For the record though, personally, I find McCreesh's SMP's one of the most boring of my SMP collection: spick and span and shallow, with bad blending choral singing.
I could not disagree with you more. I think the set is wonderfully sung and highly dramatic. For me it is one set I would never get rid of and the one I listen to most.
I am not interested in academic theories (and/or proofs) for or against OVPP - I just like how it sounds. What I've got are the Kuijken cantata recordings, and they are wonderful. I also have a stipped down B Minor Mass directed by Andrew Parrott which is very enjoyable. The SMP using this style might interest me as well.
Because Bach is my fave composer, I also got interested in reading stuff about him. Since there is little known about his biography (in contrast to a.o. Mozart or Beethoven), this meant that very soon I went along reading more 'theoretical' articles. This certainly has got my interest (as you might have guessed already ;)), but in the end I agree with you: as a music lover, the results in performance or recording do interest me (far) more. But sometimes the stiff-headed 'certainties' of these self-pronounced scholars annoy me, because of the already mentioned hard evidences against their theories.
But yes, even though I do not agree with the 'proven' OVPP-theory, I certainly like some OVPP recordings. The Kuijken cycle being a fine example of that. I'm less positive about Rifkin, Parrott and McCreesh, though. In most cases, if Bach is concerned, they remain on the surface of the compositions and don't dare to dig really deep IMO. To my ears, they fail to offer us a spiritual and religious Bach. F.i. McCreesh's SMP sounds very bold and dramatic indeed, but his reading leaves me cold and unmoved.
Of course, this is only my tuppence worth. Knight Mike likes McCreesh's SMP very much, and that's great. James likes Gould playing Bach on piano, Premont prefers Leonhardt on the harpsichord, Mike loves McCreesh and Marc adores Herreweghe. Each and everyone of us can have their share and choose a different part of the Bach-pie. If this wasn't the case, then there was nothing to talk or discuss about and a board like this would be utterly boring. :)

[....] I'm ready to go back to my favorite SMP, Herreweghe I, which has all the drama and tension I could want.
There's another favourite of mine. This one is a spiritual sermon to me. Another good example of that: the Leonhardt version.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Opus106 on May 25, 2010, 08:11:24 AM
If this wasn't the case, then there was nothing to talk or discuss about and a board like this would be utterly boring. :)

But I found the academic talk refreshing. :)

Please, go back to that, now that we know what everyone likes. ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Franco on May 25, 2010, 09:33:45 AM
Another OVPP recording that I discovered looking up the McCreesh:

Matthew Passion (Final Performing Version, c. 1742) [Hybrid SACD - DSD]
Dunedin Consort, John Butt (http://www.amazon.com/Matthew-Passion-Final-Performing-Version/dp/B001355OUW/ref=reg_hu-wl_list-recs)

Receives high marks from the Amazon reviewers.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 05, 2010, 05:06:21 AM
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Matthäus-Passion BWV244. (Passion selon st. Matthieu / Passione secondo Matteo)
Christoph Prégardien (evang) & Tobias Berndt (Christus).
soloists choir 1: Dorothée Mields sop, Damien Guillon alt, Colin Blazer ten and Matthew Brook b.
soloists choir 2: Hana Blažiková sop, Robin Blaze alt, Hans Jörg Mammel ten and Stephan McLoed b.
Collegium Vocale Ghent; Philippe Herreweghe cond.

This concert has been performed ten times: the 23 March at the Konzerthaus of Vienna (Austria), the 24 March at the Festspielhaus of Sankt-Pölten (Austria), the 26 March at the 'Philharmonie' in Essen (Germany), the 27 March at the 'Alte Oper' in Frankfurt (Germany), the 28 March at the 'Philharmonie' of Köln (Germany), the 29 March at the 'Bozar' in Brussels (Belgium), the 31 March in 'deSingel' in Antwerp, the 01 April in the 'Muziekcentrum de Bijloke' in Ghent (Belgium), the 2 April at the Congresszentrum of Innsbruck (Austria) and the 03 April at the 'Tonhalle' of Zürich (Switserland).
This recording was made in the Kölner Philharmonie the 28 March 2010 and broadcast by '3sat' the 2nd April. The whole Matthäus-Passion has been posted in 29 parts on ou-Tube.

Some samples (double-click on the windows to watch on You Tube):


Bach: Blute nur, du liebes herz!


http://www.youtube.com/v/5Yoio3S3zVw



Bach: Gerne will ich mich bequemen


http://www.youtube.com/v/QlsxYCU98J8



Bach: Komm, süsses kreuz


http://www.youtube.com/v/xwQHXw7GTHI



 8)

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Opus106 on June 05, 2010, 06:06:43 AM
Thank you, Antoine.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on June 05, 2010, 07:14:15 AM
Another OVPP recording that I discovered looking up the McCreesh:

Matthew Passion (Final Performing Version, c. 1742) [Hybrid SACD - DSD]
Dunedin Consort, John Butt (http://www.amazon.com/Matthew-Passion-Final-Performing-Version/dp/B001355OUW/ref=reg_hu-wl_list-recs)

It's good sh*t, as they say: review & comparison (of sorts) here, FYI. http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=464 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=464)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Scarpia on June 05, 2010, 07:27:57 AM
It's good sh*t, as they say: review & comparison (of sorts) here, FYI. http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=464 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=464)

Still waiting for my copy to make it's way across the Atlantic.

I was going to get this version as well

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fS0qcEBrL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

but discovered the packaging is very annoying, the whole thing bound like a mini hardcover book with the discs in paper sleeves incorporated into the cover and pages of the book.   Same as this one:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PN9Y2Z8FL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


I wish they would have put it in a little clam shell box.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on June 05, 2010, 07:32:26 AM


but discovered the packaging is very annoying, the whole thing bound like a mini hardcover book with the discs in paper sleeves incorporated into the cover and pages of the book.   Same as [Harnoncourt III]
I wish they would have put it in a little clam shell box.

I love that style of packaging. Unless the CDs are too damn tight in those sleeves, then it can be a hassle. But even so... anything beats a jewel case and 'books' beat clamshell cases. And nothing beats Channel Classics' Veldhoven Bach packaging... in the original versions. (And the M-Passion wasn't as luxuriously packaged as BMM, CO, and StJP.)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Opus106 on June 05, 2010, 07:39:38 AM
(And the M-Passion wasn't as luxuriously packaged as BMM, CO, and StJP.)

Not cool enough.  :(
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DarkAngel on June 05, 2010, 11:39:42 AM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CC72357.jpg)
 
Finally got this overseas from UK vendor........Kiujken has gone very minimalist compared to SMP with Leonhardt 20 years ago, now has bought into Rifkin/Parrott theories doing away with proper choral group and just using 8 soloists, 2 each of:
-soprano
-alto
-tenor
-bass
 
The effect is very intimate more like a motet or madrigal, choral parts taken by single voices. Kuijken said he researched church records and Bach's student record info as well as financial constraints of church convince him this is most likely the manner this work was performed

Music Web (not surprising) has posted a very positive review for Kuijken OVPP version, I was not really impressed and sold my version.......
 
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Bach_Matthew_CC72357.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Bach_Matthew_CC72357.htm)
 
I was much more impressed with Dunedin/Linn version also a OVPP style performance but with more passion and drama, beautiful recording....comes close to fullfilling the phrase "less is more"
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UeIwvpANL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on June 05, 2010, 12:43:50 PM

Music Web (not surprising) has posted a very positive review for Kuijken OVPP version, I was not really impressed and sold my version.......
 
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Bach_Matthew_CC72357.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Bach_Matthew_CC72357.htm)
 
I was much more impressed with Dunedin/Linn version also a OVPP style performance but with more passion and drama, beautiful recording....comes close to fullfilling the phrase "less is more"
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UeIwvpANL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

DA, I bought both of these SMP's over a month ago, one after the other.  They are both keeper to me.  A few days ago, I also received the following SMP as a gift from a friend, who was briefly a member of GMG ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51oPqBarPYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on June 05, 2010, 05:39:55 PM
DA, I bought both of these SMP's over a month ago, one after the other.  They are both keeper to me.  A few days ago, I also received the following SMP as a gift from a friend, who was briefly a member of GMG ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51oPqBarPYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

After a few diversions due to my weekend chores, I finally finished listening to this set, which is a gift from a friend.  My friend may be right that this set is better than the second Herreweghe's set.  Personally, the only fly in the ointment is Rene Jacobs, whom I never like in the alto role.  I have never liked him ever since I first started listening to choral works going back almost 30 years.  Even a Janet Baker or Christa Ludwig well past their prime would have been preferrable to Rene Jacobs in the alto role of SMP ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DarkAngel on June 05, 2010, 06:00:37 PM
DA, I bought both of these SMP's over a month ago, one after the other.  They are both keeper to me.  A few days ago, I also received the following SMP as a gift from a friend, who was briefly a member of GMG ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51oPqBarPYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I had that SMP a few years ago, it had different cover artwork...........
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510FA6TV8BL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
but later sold it for newer Herreweghe perfomance featuring stellar group of singers and great sound.....
(Andreas Scholl replaces Jacobs)
I prefer the newer version overall, available in a reduced price version
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TQ0G5348L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fS0qcEBrL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on June 05, 2010, 06:05:13 PM

I had that SMP a few years ago, it had different cover artwork...........
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510FA6TV8BL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
but later sold it for newer Herreweghe perfomance featuring stellar group of singers and great sound.....
I prefer the newer version now available in a reduced price version
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TQ0G5348L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fS0qcEBrL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Different covers but the same recording.  I found the soprano singing by Barbara Schlick in the earlier version one of the best in that role for SMP and am not sure the later Herreweghe's version could do better, which I zipped through a bit too fast. 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on June 05, 2010, 08:16:00 PM

I had that SMP a few years ago, it had different cover artwork...........
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510FA6TV8BL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
but later sold it for newer Herreweghe perfomance featuring stellar group of singers and great sound.....
(Andreas Scholl replaces Jacobs)
I prefer the newer version overall, available in a reduced price version
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TQ0G5348L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fS0qcEBrL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Wow.  I love the old recording, but then again have not tried the newer one.  Maybe I need to.  I can see having both, but I would be surprised if I got rid of the first. 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on June 06, 2010, 12:06:00 AM
After a few diversions due to my weekend chores, I finally finished listening to this set, which is a gift from a friend.  My friend may be right that this set is better than the second Herreweghe's set.  Personally, the only fly in the ointment is Rene Jacobs, whom I never like in the alto role.  I have never liked him ever since I first started listening to choral works going back almost 30 years.  Even a Janet Baker or Christa Ludwig well past their prime would have been preferrable to Rene Jacobs in the alto role of SMP ...
Jacobs is indeed the weakest link in Herreweghe's first SMP. He was in his prime during the seventies, as a few Cantata recordings with Leonhardt prove.
After that he developed some kind of a rather shrill and sharp edge around his voice.

In Herreweghe II, to me the weakest link is Ian Bostridge, with an almost hysterical interpretation of the Evangelist part. IMO, the Evangelist should deliver a delicate mix between involvement and objectivism. My fave interpreter of that role is Austrian Kurt Equiluz.

Some other short remarks (entirely personal of course):
Soprano Barbara Schlick (H I) shows a better understanding of the lyrics than Sibylla Rubens (H II).
And baritone Dietrich Henschel (H II) is very good as a recitativo singer, but I'm not particularly impressed by his aria singing. Peter Kooy (H I) is much better.

Summarized: I find Herreweghe II less striking than his first. Everything in H II is (alsmost) perfect, but also a bit too much spick and span. The warmth of the Herreweghe sound is still there, though.
But if I had to choose between the two, I would definitely pick Herreweghe I (despite the awful edit cut after about 17 seconds in the opening choir), and the less logical division of cd's.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on June 06, 2010, 02:20:34 AM
Jacobs is indeed the weakest link in Herreweghe's first SMP. He was in his prime during the seventies, as a few Cantata recordings with Leonhardt prove.
After that he developed some kind of a rather shrill and sharp edge around his voice.

In Herreweghe II, to me the weakest link is Ian Bostridge, with an almost hysterical interpretation of the Evangelist part. IMO, the Evangelist should deliver a delicate mix between involvement and objectivism. My fave interpreter of that role is Austrian Kurt Equiluz.

Some other short remarks (entirely personal of course):
Soprano Barbara Schlick (H I) shows a better understanding of the lyrics than Sibylla Rubens (H II).
And baritone Dietrich Henschel (H II) is very good as a recitativo singer, but I'm not particularly impressed by his aria singing. Peter Kooy (H I) is much better.

Summarized: I find Herreweghe II less striking than his first. Everything in H II is (alsmost) perfect, but also a bit too much spick and span. The warmth of the Herreweghe sound is still there, though.
But if I had to choose between the two, I would definitely pick Herreweghe I (despite the awful edit cut after about 17 seconds in the opening choir), and the less logical division of cd's.

Marc, we are in substantial agreement.  I have Ian Bostridge on a Bach DVD, either Mass in B or Christmas Oratorio but still cannot say I have found any major flaw with him.  Baritone Dietrich Henschel was on a few of my Bach DVD's and I am quite impressed with this onetime student of the great Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.  When it comes to the my all-time favorite for the Evangelist, Peter Schreier has gotten my vote.

I am eagerly awaiting for the release of the SMP by Veldhoven and the Netherlands Bach Society.  I like Johannette Zomer in her other soprano roles and would like to hear how she did in Veldhoven's SMP ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on June 06, 2010, 03:57:50 AM
Back to reasons to having multiple performances.  Some works ask for this.  This work shouts for it, IMO. :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on June 06, 2010, 04:01:45 AM
Back to reasons to having multiple performances.  Some works ask for this.  This work shouts for it, IMO. :)

Morning Bill.

I just re-ordered the SMP on DVD by Ton Koopman and am eagerly awaiting its arrival.  The last order I placed last year was lost in mail.  I was really impressed with Koopman and his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in their performance of Bach Cantatas on a DVD I bought a few months ago.  Seeing is believing ...   ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on June 06, 2010, 04:04:17 AM
Morning Bill.

I just re-ordered the SMP on DVD by Ton Koopman and am eagerly awaiting its arrival.  The last order I placed last year was lost in mail.  I was really impressed with Koopman and his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in their performance of Bach Cantatas on a DVD I bought a few months ago.  Seeing is believing ...   ;D

'Morning, Stuart.  Please post here with your comments on it so I do not miss them.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on June 06, 2010, 04:05:47 AM
'Morning, Stuart.  Please post here with your comments on it so I do not miss them.

Will do, Bill.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: The new erato on June 06, 2010, 10:04:51 AM
I love that style of packaging. Unless the CDs are too damn tight in those sleeves, then it can be a hassle. But even so... anything beats a jewel case and 'books' beat clamshell cases.
True indeed.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 01, 2010, 04:28:53 PM
Back to reasons to having multiple performances.  Some works ask for this.  This work shouts for it, IMO. :)

Not sure that I'm even a poster in this thread!  :o  The night is late and have not reviewed the previous 12+ pages - sorry -  :-\

But I've been 'slowly' going through Robert Greenberg's Teaching Company offering on Bach (32 45-min. talks) (brief description attached) - coming to the end but Greenberg decided to spend 4 lectures, i.e. 3 hrs, on the St. Matthew Passion (and gives the listener the impression that it is the greatest musical composition of its time); now, I've owned a number of recordings of the SMP, but currently have just the one shown below -  :)

But Bill's comment in combination w/ Greenberg's emphasis of this work (1/8 of his total lecture series!) makes me want to own at least several copies of this masterpiece - so, I'm hoping that the frequent posters to this thread might kindly provide some guidelines to pick a few (yes HIP vs. non-HIP, multiple voices per part vs. single voices, etc would all be fine).  Hopefully, I can pick up a couple more versions of this work which are best appreciated by all - thanks for any input!  Dave  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41pm6VT9%2BiL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on July 01, 2010, 07:38:56 PM
Not sure that I'm even a poster in this thread!  :o  The night is late and have not reviewed the previous 12+ pages - sorry -  :-\

But I've been 'slowly' going through Robert Greenberg's Teaching Company offering on Bach (32 45-min. talks) (brief description attached) - coming to the end but Greenberg decided to spend 4 lectures, i.e. 3 hrs, on the St. Matthew Passion (and gives the listener the impression that it is the greatest musical composition of its time); now, I've owned a number of recordings of the SMP, but currently have just the one shown below -  :)

But Bill's comment in combination w/ Greenberg's emphasis of this work (1/8 of his total lecture series!) makes me want to own at least several copies of this masterpiece - so, I'm hoping that the frequent posters to this thread might kindly provide some guidelines to pick a few (yes HIP vs. non-HIP, multiple voices per part vs. single voices, etc would all be fine).  Hopefully, I can pick up a couple more versions of this work which are best appreciated by all - thanks for any input!  Dave  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41pm6VT9%2BiL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Dave,
Are the Greenberg classes free, or do you have to pay?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 02, 2010, 03:22:25 AM
Dave,
Are the Greenberg classes free, or do you have to pay?

Bill - Bob Greenberg is the 'musical man' for the Teaching Company's courses - Check HERE (http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=720) for a more thorough description of the Bach Baroque set; Susan & I purchase a lot of these courses - always buy when ON SALE!  The Bach set is currently $129.95 for the DVDs (about half that price for the audio download).  Dave  :D  P.S. I've got an 'old' thread somewhere on this company?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on July 02, 2010, 06:24:30 PM
Bill,

I really enjoyed this DVD set by Ton Koopman.  Excellent performance that was expertly filmed IMO ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51s1A5l4uxL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on July 03, 2010, 09:38:53 AM
[....]
I am eagerly awaiting for the release of the SMP by Veldhoven and the Netherlands Bach Society.  I like Johannette Zomer in her other soprano roles and would like to hear how she did in Veldhoven's SMP ...
Van Veldhoven is a solid choice for this repertoire. I value his (live) recording of the SMP above his (studio) recording of the 1724 SJP .... though just by a small margin.

[....]
Hopefully, I can pick up a couple more versions of this work which are best appreciated by all - thanks for any input! [....]

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41pm6VT9%2BiL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
To me, this recording by Hermann Max is one of those 'silent favourites'. Fast yet not hasty. Good singers, good choir, good spirit. Wonderful readings of some arias, especially 'Erbarme dich, mein Gott'.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 03, 2010, 11:39:04 AM
Van Veldhoven is a solid choice for this repertoire. I value his (live) recording of the SMP above his (studio) recording of the 1724 SJP .... though just by a small margin.
To me, this recording by Hermann Max is one of those 'silent favourites'. Fast yet not hasty. Good singers, good choir, good spirit. Wonderful readings of some arias, especially 'Erbarme dich, mein Gott'.

Marc - thanks for the comments; I've heard and culled a number of recordings of the SMP, and was just surprised that I had just one!  I do like the Max and it will remain in my collection, but could easily add at least one or possibly 2 more (that should be enough for me) - will be keeping notes - Dave  ;D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on July 03, 2010, 11:53:23 AM
Marc - thanks for the comments; I've heard and culled a number of recordings of the SMP, and was just surprised that I had just one!  I do like the Max and it will remain in my collection, but could easily add at least one or possibly 2 more (that should be enough for me) - will be keeping notes - Dave  ;D

The version by van Veldhoven should be my last SMP to purchase since I already have 15 versions, not including the big box from BC, the 22 CD-set by Gardiner and the 60-CD Harnoncourt Complete Cantatas set.  I have Ton Koopman's SMP on a 2-DVD set and probably will not bother with the identical audio CD set ... 

van Veldhoven is a more recent discovery for me, thanks to Q for the recommendation on his Veldhoven's Bach Christmas Oratorio ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on July 03, 2010, 11:57:43 AM
Marc - thanks for the comments; I've heard and culled a number of recordings of the SMP, and was just surprised that I had just one!  I do like the Max and it will remain in my collection, but could easily add at least one or possibly 2 more (that should be enough for me) - will be keeping notes - Dave  ;D
Dave, my first advice will be: read the thread. :)
It can be fun, reading some interesting comments of members who have heard more than a handful recordings.

My personal fave would probably be the recording by Gustav Leonhardt et al, mainly because I think it's a very committed and consistent protestant reading which gives me the feeling of a true sermon, with dramatic 'intermissions'.
But I do realize that this all-male performance might not be everyone's cup of tea.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 04, 2010, 01:59:05 PM
Dave, my first advice will be: read the thread. :)
It can be fun, reading some interesting comments of members who have heard more than a handful recordings.

My personal fave would probably be the recording by Gustav Leonhardt et al, mainly..............................

Marc - thanks for your continued comments - I did read through much of the thread the other night; of course, lots of 'hiccups & repetitions' w/ posters coming in at different times and w/ the same questions, like me!  :-\

But, I'm gravitating toward Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Leonhardt, & McCreesh (the latter seems a must have but not a first choice, esp. if a collector wants just one?) - now I could pick up several more (3 would be enough for me) and McCreesh appears a 'must hear' - now as to the others?

The set below w/ 5 discs and including two passions seems like a great bargain, plus on my list - I know that this offering has been discussed in the past, but would appreciate any updated thoughts (and I could certainly use another performance of the alternate passion) - thanks all!  Dave  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RJ6lgwA2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on July 04, 2010, 07:18:20 PM

The set below w/ 5 discs and including two passions seems like a great bargain, plus on my list - I know that this offering has been discussed in the past, but would appreciate any updated thoughts (and I could certainly use another performance of the alternate passion) - thanks all!  Dave  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RJ6lgwA2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Have it and love it, Dave!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on July 04, 2010, 07:20:46 PM
Have it and love it, Dave!

Dave,

Same here.  I think Bill and I got the set right around the same time ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: ccar on September 12, 2010, 04:05:12 AM
One of the most underrated and magnificent interpretations of the St. Mathew Passion is back. Tahra Records recently issued Scherchen’s 1953 Westminster recording with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Hughes Cuénod as the Evangelist. For me it still is one of the most illuminating and “spiritual” renditions of this work.

There were some previous CD releases in the 1990’s – MCA and Victor Japan – but they are OOP for years. The Victor is a superb transfer. But this new Tahra edition is also important for the magnificent essay from Francis Jansky included in the notes – one of the most politically incorrect but important musical reflections I read in years.       
     

http://www.amazon.fr/Passion-Selon-Saint-Mathieu-Jean-Sebastien/dp/B003PN5TWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1284297179&sr=1-1 (http://www.amazon.fr/Passion-Selon-Saint-Mathieu-Jean-Sebastien/dp/B003PN5TWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1284297179&sr=1-1)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417Tsx7FTFL._SL500_AA280_.jpg) (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Bio/Scherchen-Hermann-3.jpeg) (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Bio/Cuenod-Hugues-12.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: czgirb on January 21, 2011, 01:02:41 AM
Does anybody make a comparison between Harnoncourt 1st & 3rd? what is your opinion.
Does anybody would do a favor by delivered me the MP3's file of the same movement to compare?
Because I wish to buy the 1st ... but 3rd won the Best Choral Work ... that's why I confused.
Thank you.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on January 21, 2011, 03:04:17 AM
Because I wish to buy the 1st ...
Thank you.

Someone put the entire '1st' on youtube, and this is the opening movement plus the first recitatives and chorale.

http://www.youtube.com/v/8AQzG3JuJPc

Listen for yourself.  Equiluz's work as the Evangelist has been highly praised by many.

ps. Another poster has uploaded the opening movement from the '3rd' as well
http://www.youtube.com/v/tVPUpyvdO1g

I have both in my collection but listen to OVPP more these days for the 'choral' parts myself.  Massed voices really confuse the already complicated texture of this music for me.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 21, 2011, 03:13:45 AM
Someone put the entire '1st' on youtube, and this is the opening movement plus the first recitatives and chorale.

http://www.youtube.com/v/8AQzG3JuJPc

Listen for yourself.  Equiluz's work as the Evangelist has been highly praised by many.  I listen to OVPP SMP more these days for the 'choral' parts. 

ps. Another poster has uploaded the opening movement from the '3rd' as well
http://www.youtube.com/v/tVPUpyvdO1g
Is this version generally well regarded? I have a definite opinion of it based just on this.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on January 21, 2011, 03:24:39 AM
Is this version generally well regarded? I have a definite opinion of it based just on this.

The first?  In the LP days very much, because it was the only HIP attempt to do that music known to the public at the time.  Won the Edison plus several other international record prizes.  The Evangelist did brilliant work as well.  But I am not sure whether that revered status is still well deserved these days.  Some of the boy sopranos and falsetto altos especially can sound a bit of a trial to today's audience.  To my ears, Harnoncourt's work as a 'director' (music as drama) seems a bit flaccid as well in retrospect.  That he has much improved in the third recording.  Thirty years of experience counts. 
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 21, 2011, 03:37:34 AM
The first?  In the LP days very much, because it was the only HIP attempt to do that music known to the public at the time.  Won the Edison plus several other international record prizes.  The Evangelist did brilliant work as well.  But I am not sure whether that revered status is still well deserved these days.  Some of the boy sopranos and falsetto altos especially can sound a bit of a trial to today's audience.  To my ears, Harnoncourt's work as a 'director' (music as drama) seems a bit flaccid as well in retrospect.  That he has much improved in the third recording.  Thirty years of experience counts.
Sorry -was referring to the first. I definitely did not like that (and that's putting it nicely). The 3rd version (the other youtube version) was much better. The first one seemed totally flaccid to me. The other has much better energy (and flow).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on January 21, 2011, 03:50:03 AM
I definitely did not like that (and that's putting it nicely). The 3rd version (the other youtube version) was much better. The first one seemed totally flaccid to me. The other has much better energy (and flow).

Yes I certainly agree with that as a listener from the 20th-21st centuries.  :)  The views and values in aesthetic matters would have been different in Bach's own time, but it's hard to tell to what extent even with musicological work.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: czgirb on January 21, 2011, 05:36:25 PM
Someone put the entire '1st' on youtube, and this is the opening movement plus the first recitatives and chorale.
http://www.youtube.com/v/8AQzG3JuJPc
Listen for yourself.  Equiluz's work as the Evangelist has been highly praised by many.
ps. Another poster has uploaded the opening movement from the '3rd' as well
http://www.youtube.com/v/tVPUpyvdO1g
I have both in my collection but listen to OVPP more these days for the 'choral' parts myself.  Massed voices really confuse the already complicated texture of this music for me.

Thank you very very much ...
Thank you too for your explanation.
Firstly, I found both clips on YouTube and give myself a listen ... and confused. which one is the 1st and which one is the 3rd.
Because the clips, which you said to be the 1st is used 3rd's Cover ... http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Harnoncourt.htm
While the other used Manuscript only.
But today ... thank you very very much.


... the 3rd version ... was much better ...

Yup! I absolutely agree with you ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: czgirb on January 21, 2011, 06:29:36 PM
I also see Koopman' & Richter's live performance for the same work ...
I find Koopman's style is much more funny & enjoyable than Richter, which looks like to formal.
I just say the CLIP ... not the RECORDING's

To me ... Richter (1959), Herreweghe (1984), and Gardiner ... both are top notch.
Planning ... Harnoncourt 2000.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on January 21, 2011, 06:44:01 PM
I also see Koopman' & Richter's live performance for the same work ...
I find Koopman's style is much more funny & enjoyable than Richter, which looks like to formal.
I just say the CLIP ... not the RECORDING's

To me ... Richter (1959), Herreweghe (1984), and Gardiner ... both are top notch.
Planning ... Harnoncourt 2000.

I have the SMP dvd sets by both Koopman and Richter.  I found Richter conducting with a very disarming charm - absolutely relaxed and almost lack of any intensity.  To be sure, the two conducting styles were very different.  On the other hand, I found Harnoncourt very intense compared with both Koopman and Richter.

One also has to watch Richter conducting the Brandenburg Concertos to realize he should not be dismissed as totally non-HIP.  He clearly scaled his Munich Bach Chamber Orchestra according to the particular concerto the group was performing, which was only clear from watching the dvd.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: czgirb on January 21, 2011, 06:58:01 PM
... I found Harnoncourt very intense compared with both Koopman and Richter ...

Would you mind to lead me where to see it? I wish I can see Harnoncourt on SMP ...

One also has to watch Richter conducting the Brandenburg Concertos to realize he should not be dismissed as totally non-HIP.  He clearly scaled his Munich Bach Chamber Orchestra according to the particular concerto the group was performing, which was only clear from watching the dvd.
Yes ... I have that too.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on January 21, 2011, 07:02:26 PM
Would you mind to lead me where to see it? I wish I can see Harnoncourt on SMP ...
Yes ... I have that too.

My apology as my last post was not so clear.  Harnoncourt does not have an SMP performance on DVD.  I was just comparing his general conducting style I have observed for the Bach Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: czgirb on January 23, 2011, 05:56:23 PM
My apology as my last post was not so clear.  Harnoncourt does not have an SMP performance on DVD.  I was just comparing his general conducting style I have observed for the Bach Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos ...

Thank you for the guidance.
Tioday I search that on YouTube and found this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr1jkr6hv8Y
It's a BIG BIG SURPRISE for seeing YOUNG Harnoncourt.
Thank you so much.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on January 23, 2011, 06:07:28 PM
Thank you for the guidance.
Tioday I search that on YouTube and found this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr1jkr6hv8Y
It's a BIG BIG SURPRISE for seeing YOUNG Harnoncourt.
Thank you so much.

This YouTube segment actually came from the Brandenburg Concertos DVD, which I own as well.  I think the performance was originally filmed in the 1980's.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: FideLeo on January 24, 2011, 12:20:30 AM
This YouTube segment actually came from the Brandenburg Concertos DVD, which I own as well.  I think the performance was originally filmed in the 1980's.

I had that on a VHS cassette.  I got a bit scared watching him drive the Concentus with those ferocious stares.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on January 24, 2011, 05:21:22 PM
I had that on a VHS cassette.  I got a bit scared watching him drive the Concentus with those ferocious stares.  ;)

Harnoncourt conducts with extreme intensity ...    ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on March 24, 2011, 07:31:33 AM
Some nice stuff I found, thanks to the website http://www.bach-cantatas.com/

J.S. Bach: Matthäus-Passion BWV 244
 
Regensburger Domspatzen (Regensburg Cathedral Choir)
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Choir)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra)
 
Tenor [Evangelist]: Maximilian Schmitt
Bass [Jesus]: Detlef Roth
Soprano: Lenneke Ruiten
Alto: Wilke te Brummelstroete
Tenor: Steve Davisilim
Bass [Pilatus]: Yorck Felix Speer

Soloists from the choir:
Bass [Judas]: Werner Rollenmüller
Bass [Petrus]: Rudolf Hillebrand
Bass [Pontifex I]; Christof Hartkopf
Bass [Pontifex II]: Wolfgang Klose
Alto [Testis]: Sigrid Horvath
Tenor [Testis]: Andrew Lepri Meyer
Soprano [Ancilla I]: Simona Brüninghaus
Soprano [Ancilla II]: Atsuko Suzuki
Soprano [Uxor Pilati]: Barbara Fleckenstein

Max Hanft (Harpsichord)
Markus Märkl (Organ)

Peter Dijkstra (Conductor)
 
TT: 157:24.43
 
Recording location:
Herkules-Saal, Residenz München, Munich, Germany.
Sound files: 320kb/s, mp3
Recording date:
February 23rd, 2008

Links:
http://rapidshare.com/files/316865791/BWV_244_Live_Dijkstra_1.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/316872660/BWV_244_Live_Dijkstra_2.zip
http://rapidshare.com/files/316878637/BWV_244_Live_Dijkstra_3.zip
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on June 08, 2011, 10:50:17 AM
Despite going from Ascension Day to Whitsun, I listened to fragments of BWV 244, 2nd recording by Harnoncourt, live in Concertgebouw Amsterdam 1985.

Such a pity he withdrew this issue!

(http://i52.tinypic.com/1zv3l9d.jpg)

The opening choir, sung by an amateur choir (which fell apart after only a few years of existence), is much better taken than in his 3rd one, in which it is performed disappointingly shallow.

The voices of f.i. Kurt Equiluz and Arleen Augér .... such great Bach interpreters IMHO. At a certain point in Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben Augér's voice literally breaks, probably to her own embarrassment, but it brings an extra tad of emotion.
Also nice to listen to a young Jaap van Zweden (now conductor in Dallas) playing a sensitive obbligato violin part in Erbarme dich, mein Gott. Well, maybe Jadwiga Rappé isn't really a Bach mezzo (too much vibrato) and the same goes for Robert Holl, who's more a Wagner bass-bariton, and I've never really liked Anton Scharinger's voice, but still: the intensity of the entire performance is great. Sometimes even 'too great', which leads to a crazy tempo in Sehet Jesus hat die Hand, with Rappé sounding kinda like Al Jarreau. ;D

Bach/Harnoncourt fans who are able to get it somewhere sometime somehow: grab it!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on June 11, 2011, 05:09:37 AM
Despite going from Ascension Day to Whitsun, I listened to fragments of BWV 244, 2nd recording by Harnoncourt, live in Concertgebouw Amsterdam 1985.

Such a pity he withdrew this issue!

(http://i52.tinypic.com/1zv3l9d.jpg)

The opening choir, sung by an amateur choir (which fell apart after only a few years of existence), is much better taken than in his 3rd one, in which it is performed disappointingly shallow.

The voices of f.i. Kurt Equiluz and Arleen Augér .... such great Bach interpreters IMHO. At a certain point in Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben Augér's voice literally breaks, probably to her own embarrassment, but it brings an extra tad of emotion.
Also nice to listen to a young Jaap van Zweden (now conductor in Dallas) playing a sensitive obbligato violin part in Erbarme dich, mein Gott. Well, maybe Jadwiga Rappé isn't really a Bach mezzo (too much vibrato) and the same goes for Robert Holl, who's more a Wagner bass-bariton, and I've never really liked Anton Scharinger's voice, but still: the intensity of the entire performance is great. Sometimes even 'too great', which leads to a crazy tempo in Sehet Jesus hat die Hand, with Rappé sounding kinda like Al Jarreau. ;D

Bach/Harnoncourt fans who are able to get it somewhere sometime somehow: grab it!

The late Arleen Augér is one of my favorite sopranos and among the very few world-class sopranos the US has ever produced.  She recorded many Bach choral works with Helmut Rilling but I did not know she actually made some recordings with Harnoncourt.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Wendell_E on June 12, 2011, 01:35:32 AM
The late Arleen Augér is one of my favorite sopranos and among the very few world-class sopranos the US has ever produced.

Oh no he didn't!.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on June 12, 2011, 02:19:44 AM
The late Arleen Augér is one of my favorite sopranos and among the very few world-class sopranos the US has ever produced.  She recorded many Bach choral works with Helmut Rilling but I did not know she actually made some recordings with Harnoncourt.

AFAIK, she lived in the Netherlands since the seventies (Amsterdam, later Barneveld) and was a regular appearance in Het Gebouw ('The Building'), as the Amsterdam people call the Concertgebouw. I first heard her on Palm Sunday 1979 (SMP/Harnoncourt) and fell in love with her voice immediately.

In a book about the Amsterdam SMP tradition, there's this nice story from flutist Paul Verhey. He was used to listen thoroughly to the arioso Er hat uns allen wohlgetan to come into the right spirit for his flute part in the Aus Liebe .... aria. But when Augér performed it for the first time (probably 1976) and sang the last line .... sons hat mein Jesus nichts getan he got a lump in his throat and was barely able to start the solo.
After that experience, he stopped listening to it, because he feared that one time he wouldn't be able to prelude, and just waited for Harnoncourt to give the sign.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 12, 2011, 05:58:39 AM
AFAIK, she lived in the Netherlands since the seventies (Amsterdam, later Barneveld) and was a regular appearance in Het Gebouw ('The Building'), as the Amsterdam people call the Concertgebouw. I first heard her on Palm Sunday 1979 (SMP/Harnoncourt) and fell in love with her voice immediately.

In a book about the Amsterdam SMP tradition, there's this nice story from flutist Paul Verhey. He was used to listen thoroughly to the arioso Er hat uns allen wohlgetan to come into the right spirit for his flute part in the Aus Liebe .... aria. But when Augér performed it for the first time (probably 1976) and sang the last line .... sons hat mein Jesus nichts getan he got a lump in his throat and was barely able to start the solo.
After that experience, he stopped listening to it, because he feared that one time he wouldn't be able to prelude, and just waited for Harnoncourt to give the sign.

Not tears, but something similar... It's a nice story, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on June 12, 2011, 08:45:02 AM
AFAIK, she lived in the Netherlands since the seventies (Amsterdam, later Barneveld) and was a regular appearance in Het Gebouw ('The Building'), as the Amsterdam people call the Concertgebouw. I first heard her on Palm Sunday 1979 (SMP/Harnoncourt) and fell in love with her voice immediately.

In a book about the Amsterdam SMP tradition, there's this nice story from flutist Paul Verhey. He was used to listen thoroughly to the arioso Er hat uns allen wohlgetan to come into the right spirit for his flute part in the Aus Liebe .... aria. But when Augér performed it for the first time (probably 1976) and sang the last line .... sons hat mein Jesus nichts getan he got a lump in his throat and was barely able to start the solo.
After that experience, he stopped listening to it, because he feared that one time he wouldn't be able to prelude, and just waited for Harnoncourt to give the sign.

Speaking of the steep tradition the RCO has for SMP, I have the following version of SMP by Mengelberg ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ml4s8aC-L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)     :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on June 12, 2011, 01:05:12 PM
Not tears, but something similar... It's a nice story, thanks for sharing.

Well, I looked it up .... and there were some tears, too. :'(

Here's the story, translated in a more or less acceptable way ;):

For my first Matthäus under the direction of Harnoncourt, I was terribly nervous. I had already played Blute Nur in the second chorus once, but never Aus Liebe. Until then the flute solo was played very loud. I remember that I had to put up Hubert Barwasher's desk, because the instrumental solos were played with the instrumentalist standing, too.
The solo of Aus Liebe comes at a significant moment. Before and afterwards there are, as the two beams of the cross, two choruses of both orchestras. The aria comes at the center. In the build-up of the passion that aria has a function of reflection: Why did this happen?
Aus Liebe is the answer. There is no accompaniment from the bass, only two oboi da caccia, as a heartbeat. This was how Harnoncourt did put it, too. The soprano and the flute are floating from the earth. He wanted it to be played soft and intimate.
There is a recitative before the aria, also accompanied by only two oboi da caccia, ending with ".... sonst hat mein Jesus nichts getan." Arleen Auger sang it so incredibly beautiful that I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, so I could hardly play. From that moment on I never listened to it again, fearing that I would not be able to prelude.

Source:
De Matthäus-Passion: 100 jaar passietraditie van het Koninklijk Concertgebouw Orkest. Bussum, NL, 1999.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Opus106 on June 13, 2011, 07:16:40 AM
Thanks for sharing that with us, Marc. (And for providing source... I was about to enquire on the title as well :)).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on June 13, 2011, 07:41:00 AM
Thanks for sharing that with us, Marc. (And for providing source... I was about to enquire on the title as well :)).

It's only in Dutch, and OOP since long.

For those who are nevertheless interested: there are some 2nd hand chances. Like this one:

http://www.antiqbook.nl/boox/vrije/012726.shtml

The CD offers some highlights during the years (including the 'broken voice' Aus Liebe by Augér from 1985). This particular site also gives the price in dollars, so maybe it's possible to order from outside NL/Europe.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on December 31, 2011, 09:17:28 AM

Music Web (not surprising) has posted a very positive review for Kuijken OVPP version, I was not really impressed and sold my version.......
 
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Bach_Matthew_CC72357.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/June10/Bach_Matthew_CC72357.htm)
 
I was much more impressed with Dunedin/Linn version also a OVPP style performance but with more passion and drama, beautiful recording....comes close to fullfilling the phrase "less is more"
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UeIwvpANL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Wow, I'm just blown away with the Dunedin/Butt account! My favorite SMP is the McCreesh, but now the Butt sits right beside it.  ;)

Eventually I want to try every OVPP recording out there.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on January 22, 2012, 06:46:51 AM
It's been awhile since I heard the McCreesh, but I just finished another listen, and again, was impressed with the performance and recording. Will compare with John Butt's acount, perhaps today.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on January 22, 2012, 08:32:05 AM
AFAIK, [Arleen Augér] lived in the Netherlands since the seventies (Amsterdam, later Barneveld) and was a regular appearance in Het Gebouw ('The Building'), as the Amsterdam people call the Concertgebouw. I first heard her on Palm Sunday 1979 (SMP/Harnoncourt) and fell in love with her voice immediately.

In a book about the Amsterdam SMP tradition, there's this nice story from flutist Paul Verhey. He was used to listen thoroughly to the arioso Er hat uns allen wohlgetan to come into the right spirit for his flute part in the Aus Liebe .... aria. But when Augér performed it for the first time (probably 1976) and sang the last line .... sons hat mein Jesus nichts getan he got a lump in his throat and was barely able to start the solo.
After that experience, he stopped listening to it, because he feared that one time he wouldn't be able to prelude, and just waited for Harnoncourt to give the sign.

Palm Sunday 1985, March 31st, Concertgebouw:

http://www.mediafire.com/?qp15gla440t92b3
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on January 22, 2012, 09:47:43 AM
Palm Sunday 1985, March 31st, Concertgebouw:

http://www.mediafire.com/?qp15gla440t92b3

IIRC,  Harnoncourt recorded the SMP with RCO and Arleen Augér.  That recording must be OOP now ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on January 22, 2012, 09:54:40 AM
IIRC,  Harnoncourt recorded the SMP with RCO and Arleen Augér.  That recording must be OOP now ...

Coop, just lift up your head for this post ;):

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,4877.msg525017.html#msg525017
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on January 22, 2012, 09:57:49 AM
Coop, just lift up your head for this post ;):

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,4877.msg525017.html#msg525017

I saw this recording on Amazon US many moons ago but really have not been actively looking for it since I already have another HIP Harnoncourt version in my collection ...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on March 01, 2012, 09:04:51 AM
Finally hearing Klemperer's account of the Matthew Passion, and wow, it's a shattering experience.

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on March 02, 2012, 03:58:15 PM
Finally hearing Klemperer's account of the Matthew Passion, and wow, it's a shattering experience.

I only listened to my set once a few years ago.  While the performance was impressive, it was not a revelation to me.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 02, 2012, 11:57:44 PM
I have avoided it, not because I don't like Klemperer. I am old enough to have been brought up on such recordings and initially I found it difficult to move away from the massive sound and slow tempi. I do have both Richter sets, preferring the earlier performance, but the later soloists. But the one to a part McCreesh misses none of the drama that I used only to believe could be found in the Brucknerian approach.

However, the suggestion prompted me and I am right now listening to the EMI Klemperer set via Spotify. Newer performances dispatch the opening chorus in six or eight minutes. Whenever I hear that opening chorus I feel I am starting a journey. Occasionally it does feel like a forced march. The Klemperer is about 11 minutes long with great sustained arcs of sound. I prefer to be able to feel the dance that sits the core of so much Bach, even in this chorus. What I am listening to needs me to make some readjustments. I will get back and explain what kind of cumulative effect it has on me.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Opus106 on March 03, 2012, 01:16:25 AM
I prefer to be able to feel the dance that sits the core of so much Bach, even in this chorus.

That's what I like also. I once sampled the opening chorus from a Mengelberg recording (on YouTube, with a video of WW2 footage, if I remember correctly) and utterly lost track of what was happening in the music. I know the chorus describes the Crucifixion, but the performance was too dirge-like even for that!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on March 03, 2012, 07:24:51 AM
I have avoided it, not because I don't like Klemperer. I am old enough to have been brought up on such recordings and initially I found it difficult to move away from the massive sound and slow tempi. I do have both Richter sets, preferring the earlier performance, but the later soloists. But the one to a part McCreesh misses none of the drama that I used only to believe could be found in the Brucknerian approach.

However, the suggestion prompted me and I am right now listening to the EMI Klemperer set via Spotify. Newer performances dispatch the opening chorus in six or eight minutes. Whenever I hear that opening chorus I feel I am starting a journey. Occasionally it does feel like a forced march. The Klemperer is about 11 minutes long with great sustained arcs of sound. I prefer to be able to feel the dance that sits the core of so much Bach, even in this chorus. What I am listening to needs me to make some readjustments. I will get back and explain what kind of cumulative effect it has on me.

Mike

Mike, thanks for your thoughtful post, and considering this recording with me. I look forward to your further thoughts.

I am generally more HIP oriented, and McCreesh's account of the SMP is where I usually turn when I listen to this work. I love the pacing McCreesh establishes and the way his account dances with nuance and transparency in the balance of voices and instruments.

A couple years ago I bought the BBC Legends disk with Guilini (recorded at the reverberant St.Paul's Cathedral) conducting a large account of Bach's B Minor Mass. I bought it based on the samples on Amazon, as I found myself fascinated by the large, slow sound, and the quality of meditation. I suddenly got an interest to hear more of the old school Bach, the traditional classic recordings. I then explored Furtwangler's SMP on EMI, which I also loved, but don't listen to it all that often.

I also avoided Klemperer, thinking I had enough of the old school, but my exploration of Bach's WTC from harpsichord to piano has lead me back to the old warhorse recordings of other Back masterpieces. I recently heard Klemperer's account of the B Minor Mass, and was absolutely floored. The same goes with his SMP. The overall force of sound is impressive and I found the pace moved along with intelligence and structure despite the slower tempos, and the radiance of the soloists and the nuance of the orchestra added to the experience, which envolved my mind and my emotion.

I still enjoy my HIP recordings, and I am happy to have this other performance tradition to explore now. It is very interesting and captivating.

 8)



Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on March 03, 2012, 07:38:02 AM
Finally hearing Klemperer's account of the Matthew Passion, and wow, it's a shattering experience.

Interesting, Leo.  I am most curious now.  Thanks for the post and opening a door I would have never went through. :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on March 03, 2012, 09:21:25 AM
Interesting, Leo.  I am most curious now.  Thanks for the post and opening a door I would have never went through. :)

Thanks Bogey, I hope you find some cool discoveries too  8)

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 04, 2012, 11:32:08 AM
Sorry to have been slow at getting back my listening was interrupted...by life and a concert of Tristan.

I got a lot out of the Klemperer, though I did initially wonder at the plod through that first chorus. But, as in his Mozart, the slow overall timings do not mean he does not spring the rhythms. I quite quickly adjusted to the pace and to the massive sound, the rather Romantic approach. But with such great musical minds, even if the practice moves on: there remains validity in the way they communicate or release the meaning of the work. Klemperer manages that balance between drama and the religious aspects of the piece and the more symphonic thinking through provides groups of numbers that are made to act like theme and variations of larger movements that take you on that journey that I mentioned  in a  contemplative way.

It was powerful and moving: though I did find some of the chorales a trial. I recall rehearsing them at that speed in order to get the blend and phrasing right.

Another older performance I enjoy is the first Karajan B Minor Mass (EMI). It is speedy for its time and well sung. There is a freshness about the performance. Later he produced it for DG and as with his later St M Passion, he had slowed down a deal and was lingering over the beauty: something I did not feel that Klemperer was doing. His slowness was about altogether other things than indulgence of the senses. He produced an intellectual rigor in his music making, I did not by any means grasp what it was all about; but I often feel I can sense it.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on March 04, 2012, 01:00:29 PM
Sorry to have been slow at getting back my listening was interrupted...by life and a concert of Tristan.

I got a lot out of the Klemperer, though I did initially wonder at the plod through that first chorus. But, as in his Mozart, the slow overall timings do not mean he does not spring the rhythms. I quite quickly adjusted to the pace and to the massive sound, the rather Romantic approach. But with such great musical minds, even if the practice moves on: there remains validity in the way they communicate or release the meaning of the work. Klemperer manages that balance between drama and the religious aspects of the piece and the more symphonic thinking through provides groups of numbers that are made to act like theme and variations of larger movements that take you on that journey that I mentioned  in a  contemplative way.

It was powerful and moving: though I did find some of the chorales a trial. I recall rehearsing them at that speed in order to get the blend and phrasing right.

Another older performance I enjoy is the first Karajan B Minor Mass (EMI). It is speedy for its time and well sung. There is a freshness about the performance. Later he produced it for DG and as with his later St M Passion, he had slowed down a deal and was lingering over the beauty: something I did not feel that Klemperer was doing. His slowness was about altogether other things than indulgence of the senses. He produced an intellectual rigor in his music making, I did not by any means grasp what it was all about; but I often feel I can sense it.

Mike

Thank Mike for your review! Your experience was very similiar to mine upon first listening to Klemperer's Bach SMP and B Minor Mass. I did relish the slow chorales though  ;D

I appreciate your description of your experience:

Quote
Klemperer manages that balance between drama and the religious aspects of the piece and the more symphonic thinking through provides groups of numbers that are made to act like theme and variations of larger movements that take you on that journey that I mentioned  in a  contemplative way.

I thought Klemp's SMP would be a slow trial, but instead found myself gliding along without getting anxious, becoming reflective and enjoying the details in the nuances of voices and instruments. the religious feeling is deep and profound in tone and I was involved in the experience.

I'm now interested in hearing the Karajan Bach B Minor you mentioned!


Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on March 04, 2012, 01:44:33 PM
I always overdose on the St Matthew at this time of year. Richter 1 coming up this week I feel.

When I was in the intervals of the Tristan und Isolde yesterday, I was reflecting on how Furtwangler produced the atmosphere that he did when the love potion was being consumed. Time stood still and it was somehow transmuted into a communion. Superb as the conductor was yesterday, that is an area he has not quite cracked: or perhaps sees differently.

Back to some old Toscanini and Furtwangler discs; plenty of material lined up.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Mandryka on March 18, 2012, 02:05:37 PM
Despite going from Ascension Day to Whitsun, I listened to fragments of BWV 244, 2nd recording by Harnoncourt, live in Concertgebouw Amsterdam 1985.

Such a pity he withdrew this issue!

(http://i52.tinypic.com/1zv3l9d.jpg)

The opening choir, sung by an amateur choir (which fell apart after only a few years of existence), is much better taken than in his 3rd one, in which it is performed disappointingly shallow.

The voices of f.i. Kurt Equiluz and Arleen Augér .... such great Bach interpreters IMHO. At a certain point in Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben Augér's voice literally breaks, probably to her own embarrassment, but it brings an extra tad of emotion.
Also nice to listen to a young Jaap van Zweden (now conductor in Dallas) playing a sensitive obbligato violin part in Erbarme dich, mein Gott. Well, maybe Jadwiga Rappé isn't really a Bach mezzo (too much vibrato) and the same goes for Robert Holl, who's more a Wagner bass-bariton, and I've never really liked Anton Scharinger's voice, but still: the intensity of the entire performance is great. Sometimes even 'too great', which leads to a crazy tempo in Sehet Jesus hat die Hand, with Rappé sounding kinda like Al Jarreau. ;D

Bach/Harnoncourt fans who are able to get it somewhere sometime somehow: grab it!

It's strange that this has become impossible to get. Why did he withdraw it.

When I read your post I thought I would buy it as  an Easter treat to myself, but impossible to find.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on March 18, 2012, 03:00:02 PM
It's strange that this has become impossible to get. Why did he withdraw it.

When I read your post I thought I would buy it as  an Easter treat to myself, but impossible to find.

The official reason is that he withdrew it because the benefits of this recording were only meant to support the restoration of the Concertgebouw during the mid-eighties. After the building was restored, Harnoncourt saw no reason to keep this issue in the catalogue any longer. But, as I once understood in an interview, he had to struggle with Teldec to achieve that.

Non-officially, I personally think that Harnoncourt already planned to make another studio recording because his own vision on this work had changed and he also realized that his first studio recording had become kinda 'antique' (though still very worthwhile IMO). And many of his more recent insights were already incorporated in the not-so-perfect live Concertgebouw recording. So maybe he didn't want to 'compete' with himself on the cd-market.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on May 11, 2012, 09:38:26 PM
Interesting, despite the returning disturbing ads :

http://www.youtube.com/v/MqL7uFfcIoM
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Leo K. on August 19, 2012, 05:54:45 AM
(http://i43.tower.com/images/mm105997184/bach-j-s-st-matthew-passion-jochum-royal-concertgebouw-cd-cover-art.jpg)

I got ahold of Jochum's (out of print) account with the Royal Concertgebouw on the Phillips label.

IN hearing it last night and this morning, I'm not sure what to say about it, but I'm enjoying it immensely, it sounds meditative and luminous, with clarity in the voices.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Coopmv on August 19, 2012, 06:11:28 AM
(http://i43.tower.com/images/mm105997184/bach-j-s-st-matthew-passion-jochum-royal-concertgebouw-cd-cover-art.jpg)

I got ahold of Jochum's (out of print) account with the Royal Concertgebouw on the Phillips label.

IN hearing it last night and this morning, I'm not sure what to say about it, but I'm enjoying it immensely, it sounds meditative and luminous, with clarity in the voices.

 8)

Philips always delivered excellent SQ even for some of the older recordings ...    ;)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Wakefield on August 19, 2012, 10:44:14 AM
Interesting, despite the returning disturbing ads :

http://www.youtube.com/v/MqL7uFfcIoM

Oh, man, how powerful this music is. Even when the words are translated to a completely alien language, all its power is there, intact.

I won't mention the tears this time because we have had some disagreement about this issue.  ;)

Thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 22, 2012, 07:13:48 AM
From the mammoth 107-disc box of tutto Furtwängler, 3 discs are devoted to his heavily cut SMP. Furtwängler often conducted the Passion, but never in its entirety. He is on record as saying that an uncut performance would try the patience of the modern listener... ::)

Be that as it may, conduct it he did, and there are 3-4 performances of it on disc, the most famous and widely available being that from this set, originally an EMI release. Emanating from Viennese performances that took place in April 1954, it is quite probably one of the very last concerts given by Furtwängler before his death. It's not a studio recording, and the sound calls for much tolerance. Very little of the choirs' words can be heard, and the orchestra (Wiener Philharmoniker) is not flattered either.

What made me sit still and pay attention throughout was the unusial, almost schizophrenic mélange of extraordinary spirituality carried by the conductor, and the intensely dramatic, theatrical recreation of the drama by the soloists. It helps that the solo voices are very well and clearly caught, and are of uniformly splendid quality.

The drama is enacted with the utmost passion (no pun intended) by tenor Anton Dermota. A great favourite of  the Wiener Staatsoper in mozartian roles, his singing is a heady mix of tonal plangency and verbal intensity. Every single word is clearly heard, and the many recitatives that are the cement of this work acquire unusual prominence. Indeed, Dermota's contribution is the hallmark of this performance. I know of no other Evangelist that brings such hair-raising dramatic intensity to this role.

The other parts are taken by the dream cast of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Grümmer, Marga Höffgen and Otto Edelmann. The young DFD sings a noble, very healthy Jesus. He never sounds like he's in any kind of dire straits or about to face the Great Beyond. But what a voice! Bass Edelmann sings the bass arias (only one is heard here), and brings a frightening intensity to the parts of Pilatus, Peter, Judas. Sometimes it sounds like Klingsor has strayed onto the stage of the Passion. The women bring beautiful voices to the arias, but Grümmer's singing style is hopelessly passé with its intense vibrato that robs the tones of the necessary purity.

I sincerely did not expect to like the results, but the sheer intensity and extraordinary devotional character of the performance swayed my many reservations. I wish Furt would have reconsidered his jettisoning of so many numbers!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on October 22, 2012, 07:34:03 PM
From the mammoth 107-disc box of tutto Furtwängler, 3 discs are devoted to his heavily cut SMP. Furtwängler often conducted the Passion, but never in its entirety. He is on record as saying that an uncut performance would try the patience of the modern listener... ::)



Furtwängler's press agent:

(http://www.thesharkguys.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Homer-Simpson-Work.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Bogey on October 22, 2012, 07:35:20 PM


I sincerely did not expect to like the results, but the sheer intensity and extraordinary devotional character of the performance swayed my many reservations. I wish Furt would have reconsidered his jettisoning of so many numbers!

Any of this available outside of the Furt brick?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Mandryka on October 23, 2012, 07:28:36 AM
From the mammoth 107-disc box of tutto Furtwängler, 3 discs are devoted to his heavily cut SMP. Furtwängler often conducted the Passion, but never in its entirety. He is on record as saying that an uncut performance would try the patience of the modern listener... ::)

Be that as it may, conduct it he did, and there are 3-4 performances of it on disc, the most famous and widely available being that from this set, originally an EMI release. Emanating from Viennese performances that took place in April 1954, it is quite probably one of the very last concerts given by Furtwängler before his death. It's not a studio recording, and the sound calls for much tolerance. Very little of the choirs' words can be heard, and the orchestra (Wiener Philharmoniker) is not flattered either.

What made me sit still and pay attention throughout was the unusial, almost schizophrenic mélange of extraordinary spirituality carried by the conductor, and the intensely dramatic, theatrical recreation of the drama by the soloists. It helps that the solo voices are very well and clearly caught, and are of uniformly splendid quality.

The drama is enacted with the utmost passion (no pun intended) by tenor Anton Dermota. A great favourite of  the Wiener Staatsoper in mozartian roles, his singing is a heady mix of tonal plangency and verbal intensity. Every single word is clearly heard, and the many recitatives that are the cement of this work acquire unusual prominence. Indeed, Dermota's contribution is the hallmark of this performance. I know of no other Evangelist that brings such hair-raising dramatic intensity to this role.

The other parts are taken by the dream cast of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Grümmer, Marga Höffgen and Otto Edelmann. The young DFD sings a noble, very healthy Jesus. He never sounds like he's in any kind of dire straits or about to face the Great Beyond. But what a voice! Bass Edelmann sings the bass arias (only one is heard here), and brings a frightening intensity to the parts of Pilatus, Peter, Judas. Sometimes it sounds like Klingsor has strayed onto the stage of the Passion. The women bring beautiful voices to the arias, but Grümmer's singing style is hopelessly passé with its intense vibrato that robs the tones of the necessary purity.

I sincerely did not expect to like the results, but the sheer intensity and extraordinary devotional character of the performance swayed my many reservations. I wish Furt would have reconsidered his jettisoning of so many numbers!

The end of that is very nice, from Am Abend Da Es Kühle War to the end of the whole passion. Furtwangler himself may have seen that he's pulled off  something worthwhile there since he asked for it to be played at his funeral.

What are the other 2-3 performances that you mention like, sound wise? And what are they? Apart from the one with Dermota I only know the one from Buenos Aires with Patzak.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 23, 2012, 07:49:13 AM
From the mammoth 107-disc box of tutto Furtwängler, 3 discs are devoted to his heavily cut SMP. Furtwängler often conducted the Passion, but never in its entirety. He is on record as saying that an uncut performance would try the patience of the modern listener... ::)

Be that as it may, conduct it he did, and there are 3-4 performances of it on disc, the most famous and widely available being that from this set, originally an EMI release. Emanating from Viennese performances that took place in April 1954, it is quite probably one of the very last concerts given by Furtwängler before his death. It's not a studio recording, and the sound calls for much tolerance. Very little of the choirs' words can be heard, and the orchestra (Wiener Philharmoniker) is not flattered either.

What made me sit still and pay attention throughout was the unusial, almost schizophrenic mélange of extraordinary spirituality carried by the conductor, and the intensely dramatic, theatrical recreation of the drama by the soloists. It helps that the solo voices are very well and clearly caught, and are of uniformly splendid quality.

The drama is enacted with the utmost passion (no pun intended) by tenor Anton Dermota. A great favourite of  the Wiener Staatsoper in mozartian roles, his singing is a heady mix of tonal plangency and verbal intensity. Every single word is clearly heard, and the many recitatives that are the cement of this work acquire unusual prominence. Indeed, Dermota's contribution is the hallmark of this performance. I know of no other Evangelist that brings such hair-raising dramatic intensity to this role.

The other parts are taken by the dream cast of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Grümmer, Marga Höffgen and Otto Edelmann. The young DFD sings a noble, very healthy Jesus. He never sounds like he's in any kind of dire straits or about to face the Great Beyond. But what a voice! Bass Edelmann sings the bass arias (only one is heard here), and brings a frightening intensity to the parts of Pilatus, Peter, Judas. Sometimes it sounds like Klingsor has strayed onto the stage of the Passion. The women bring beautiful voices to the arias, but Grümmer's singing style is hopelessly passé with its intense vibrato that robs the tones of the necessary purity.

I sincerely did not expect to like the results, but the sheer intensity and extraordinary devotional character of the performance swayed my many reservations. I wish Furt would have reconsidered his jettisoning of so many numbers!
I found the beginning of it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNqH3XIEqGs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNqH3XIEqGs). It didn't really excite me (at least the part I heard). Is this how the rest of it sounds?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 23, 2012, 05:40:02 PM
Any of this available outside of the Furt brick?

Yes, on a mid-price 2-disc EMI 'Références' set. Amazon.ca has it (new) under 12$. But really, this is for completists only. You can probably sample on internet, but it will not give you a fair idea.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 23, 2012, 05:43:43 PM
The end of that is very nice, from Am Abend Da Es Kühle War to the end of the whole passion. Furtwangler himself may have seen that he's pulled off  something worthwhile there since he asked for it to be played at his funeral.

What are the other 2-3 performances that you mention like, sound wise? And what are they? Apart from the one with Dermota I only know the one from Buenos Aires with Patzak.

I can't tell. Look at the Bach Cantata web site for details pf the performances. All of what we know comes from public performances from eons ago. The EMI is the most recent. Sound-wise I wouldn't expect much, and certainly no miracles.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 23, 2012, 06:07:03 PM
I found the beginning of it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNqH3XIEqGs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNqH3XIEqGs). It didn't really excite me (at least the part I heard). Is this how the rest of it sounds?

Good point. You listened to the opening chorus, which didn't excite me one bit at first hearing. Coming to it unwarned and not expecting anything special, I found it greyish, bloated, with saturated sound. If you can find other excerpts, they will probably sound much better than this. This performance is mostly about the drama being enacted as if it was an actual event. Don't take my word for it, but do try to hear some of the recits and arias, as well as concluding section chorales - they form the work's 'pietist' POV, and are here especially slow, reverential but incredibly committed - no fake spirituality here: you either fall for it, or flee from it.

This view has not been generally espoused by modern interpreters, who tend to eschew emotions or place them in a 'musically meaningful' context. IOW it's more about how the instruments sounded, how the voices sounded (one to a part or not, placement of antiphonal choruses, "authentic" voice production and the like), and least of all about a spiritual journey arising from an intensely dramatic, human story. If you can make it that far, try to hear Peter's denial. And listen to the Evangelist's increasingly weary, defiant, desperate narration. Whether it's a musical, dramatic or spiritual experience is for any one to discover for himself. Not for everyday consumption then, and definitely a view from times bygone. Too bad we can only judge from such inadequate sources.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 27, 2012, 07:16:01 PM
Just finished listening to another SMP, this one originating from 1970. Originally issued by Deutsche Schallplatten, it is directed by the Mauersberger brothers (Rudolph, choirmaster and Erhard, conductor). Soloists are different for each part, so we have soloists in the arias, and different ones as Jesus, Caiaphas, Peter, etc. I have no idea what was the practice in Bach's time. The various arias and dramatic parts can be sung by just four soloists, as with Furtwängler or by as many as seventeen. There are fifteen named soloists in this production. Among those I see the names of Peter Schreier (Evangelist), Theo Adam (Jesus), Annelies Burmeister (the alto arias) and some lesser names as well as totally unknown ones. The prestigious choirs of the Dresdner Kreuzchor and the Leipzig Thomanerchor as well as the Gewandhausorchester, Leipzig complete the prestigious 'cast' of this realization. The score is presented complete.

Overall I found it immensely polished, but dramatically weak. it is very beautiful, but it's all too seamless and legatoish. Make no mistake, it is musically unimpeachable. Superbly sung and played, spaciously recorded. Can't ask for more. Except that as a musical drama it's DOA.

IIRC it's rather similar in outlook and outline to the Rilling recording (Hänssler). I haven't listened to it in at least three years, but if my ears tell me the truth, Rilling had more emphasis and sinew to bring to the score. Mauersberger is more contemplative (some of the congregation chorales are breathtakingly beautiful). But generally speaking they hail from the same tradition.

Next (whenever that is) will be the 1986 Harnoncourt Concentus Musicus version on Teldec. And that's it. I have no other SMP ::). At least for now. I'm tempted to invest in the Klemperer and Karajan versions. Not sure about a HIP one. My requirements are: beautiful voices for the arias, characterful ones for the dramatic parts, a strong chorus and a purposeful direction from the conductor. Lucid, clear recording a definite plus. Any suggestions? :D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: kishnevi on October 28, 2012, 05:49:52 AM
Andre, I did a direct comparison of Rilling and Harnoncourt (Battle of the Boxsets, since I have both the Hanssler and Teldec Complete sets) this past Eastertide, and in general found myself preferring  Rilling.

My holdings in the SMP are not considerable--Enoch zu Guttenberg, on RCA--meh.  Gardiner--I liked his SMP, but then I like most of his performances.  At any rate, I think he meets most of your requirements, HIP or not.  And finally, Chailly/Gewandhaus,  which might also be of interest to you.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 28, 2012, 02:17:23 PM
Thanks, Jeffrey. I will seek the Chailly production. If I'm not mistaken he's quite the scholar when it comes to Bach. As long as you think a MI conductor can be considered a Bach scholar :D. . In any case, I yet have to find a Gardiner recording I've kept in my collection. I've bought a lot, sold as them all. In Gardiner's case the law of diminishing returns acquires a new significance.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Mandryka on November 09, 2012, 10:30:06 AM
Does anyone know this 1981 record from Harnoncourt?

(http://www.opera-club.net/upload/240_466.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 09, 2012, 11:06:45 AM
Does anyone know this 1981 record from Harnoncourt?

(http://www.opera-club.net/upload/240_466.jpg)

On my mother's little mono radio/recorder I recorded this one from the Dutch radio, on Palm Sunday 1981.

It's almost the same interpretation as the Telefunken 1985 live recording which has been withdrawn from the catalogue, yet without a.o. Arleen Augér (which is really a pity).

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,4877.msg525017

(http://i52.tinypic.com/1zv3l9d.jpg)

From 1981, I do remember a better performance of f.i. 'O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß' and a more sensible tempo in 'Sehet Jesus hat die Hand' .... if my memory serves me well, because I have not listened to those mono tapes since I left my parent's house in 1985, I think. ;D

Here's a possibility for a legal download, mp3, 320 kb/s, € 6,00:

http://www.opera-club.net/release.asp?rel=466

For those who missed the above mentioned withdrawn 1985 recording, this is a very good alternative!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 09, 2012, 11:36:32 AM
Be cautious though.
I paid € 6,-- and got 128 kb/s mp3 format.
Just sent them an e-mail about that.
Will see what happens.

Sound quality is indeed not too good, but yours truly is digging into his youth, so it's a sentimental journey anyway!

(Keep on smiling. :))

EDIT: my players say it's 128 and MediaInfo says it's 320.
???
I may probably receive a furious e-mail in return! :P
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on November 12, 2012, 11:44:55 AM
Does anyone know this 1981 record from Harnoncourt?

(http://www.opera-club.net/upload/240_466.jpg)

Overall: presumably not taken from the mastertape, too much noise and too many drop-outs in the sound. The amateur choir - just founded in that year - not too strong and some disappointing soloists (Gardow, Scharinger). Interpretation-wise almost the same as the above mentioned 1985 recording (OOP). Equiluz as good as ever, but that's not sufficient in the end.

Anyway, I enjoyed my sentimental journey for only € 6,--. :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidA on December 31, 2012, 12:58:54 PM
I used to have the Richter 1958 version of the St Matthew on LP and have great affection for it today as I learned the work from it. It is somewhat slow and unhistorical but a really rapt performance.
Since the advent of CD I have the Gardiner and the latest Harnoncourt. I prefer the latter as just that bit more humane.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 13, 2013, 11:19:33 PM
St Matthew Passion, Tilling, Kozena, Lehtipuu, Padmore, Quasthoff, Gerhaher, Berlin Radio Choir, Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle. Production Peter Sellars

This is not a staging, but sits half way between one and a concert performance. The quote from Sellars is that "it's not theatre. It is a prayer, it is a meditation." For me Sellars swings between angel and demon. I detest his Mozart da Ponte productions, vandalism that works against the music. In a house fire I would leap to save DVDs of his production of Theodora, which made a profound theatrical experience out of Handel's late oratorio.

He uses the Berlin concert platform as a 360 degree sacred space for the ritual. Soloists and choir move about with one exception and the players sit and occasionally some do move within the space. The two choirs and the two orchestras face one another and partake even when silenced.

Sellars certainly made me understand elements of the piece in a new way. We are accustomed to how Bach often provided an obligato instrument to duet with a singer, but here the two are brought into very close proximity when for example a violinist stands over the sitting Quasthoff and they gaze into one another's eyes and bring utter concentration and intensity to what is being performed. The meditations are brought to intense life in a way I have never heard. Kozena has sometimes seemed cool to me, but here she is like molten amber, the sound prompting thought of stained glass windows, rich and ultra expressive. She is like a whirlwind, a dervish and completely convincing. Padmore is the ever present thread who leads us through the piece singing magnificantly, but also living the drama as a personification of Christ as the story unfolds. Jesus is physically separated from everyone else and he stands and sings his pieces in a dignified yet slightly detached way. I felt that Gerhaher was just a bit chilly here and would have liked him and Quasthoff to have swapped places. But this is a near final opportunity to hear Quasthoff live and to be cherished and therefore apt that he sings to us as much as is possible within the piece.

This is growing to be a long review and rather like the performance, it is a bit of a mosaic.  I don't think quite everything works. The opening chorus looks a mess with confusing blocking, but after that you get drawn into a remarkable journey. Rattle is quoted as saying this is the most significant work they have done together in Berlin. It was his first attempt at the piece and he had held it off for decades. For me it is the performance of his that I am most likely to return to often. As is stated on the Extras documentary here the players come fresh to a cornerstone of the repertoire at last reclaiming it from the exclusive ownership of the authentic performance groups. Of course other large orchestras are also tipping toes into the stream once again. At no point did I feel the sound was overbearing. It is a well paced and well scaled approach. The soloists all provide beautiful and committed performances. All the singers sing from memory and that encourages the direct communication, communion, with one another. Although it sounds indulgent that they basically ignore the audience, in fact the audience is somehow an important celebrant, not a passive receiver.

This is a musical experience like no other, Sellars speaks at length about his approach and it is riveting stuff. He has been steeped almost daily in Bach for decades and has a profound understanding of the aims of the music. His interview is full of insights and very honest about the difficulties and set backs of developing the performance. Rattle is not interviewed, though he has elsewhere explained the profound effect the lengthy preparation and the short series of performances had on him. Unusually, he used a score, but also I felt it was interesting to glimpse him sitting down trusting whole arias on occasion to the soloist and obligato partner. The other soloists were all excellent, Tilling, very heavily pregnant and barefoot, Lehtipuu a warmer voice than Padmore, committed and moving.

But I end with Padmore, the personification of a suffering Christ and the physical object of the soloists as they poured their fears and passions into and through him. Remarkable. The audience's extended silence a tribute to the experience they were involved in, one of the audience wrote saying she was so involved she almost sang the final chorus with the performers.

This disc is not generally available, for instance, it cannot be found on Amazon. But is most reliably obtained from the Berlin Phil site. I have seen it advertised on one other music site.....but I cannot recall which.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on July 14, 2013, 02:35:38 AM
St Matthew Passion, Tilling, Kozena, Lehtipuu, Padmore, Quasthoff, Gerhaher, Berlin Radio Choir, Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle. Production Peter Sellars

Sounds fascinating, Mike.  I was really thinking I needed a St Matthew Passion on DVD, but I might have to get this.

I did find it at the UK and German amazon sites.  I just searched on Bach Rattle Sellars since I wasn't sure whether it'd be listed as "Matthew" or "Matthäus".  Only one overpriced copy from a seller at the U.S. amazon site so far.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on July 14, 2013, 02:58:37 AM
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Berliner%2BPhilharmoniker/BPH120012

Not sure if this is a help but I have found it for sale at Presto Classical. I know you are in the US and this is a UK seller, but it seems to cost less than buying from the Berlin Phil.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Wendell_E on July 14, 2013, 03:42:06 AM
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Berliner%2BPhilharmoniker/BPH120012

Not sure if this is a help but I have found it for sale at Presto Classical. I know you are in the US and this is a UK seller, but it seems to cost less than buying from the Berlin Phil.

Mike

Indeed cheaper than the amazon sites as well, even with shipping.  Even cheaper for the regular DVD (I don't have Blu-ray).  Thanks!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on July 14, 2013, 03:48:02 AM
Do let me know how you find it.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Wendell_E on July 14, 2013, 05:24:41 AM
Do let me know how you find it.

Mike

I'll try to remember to do that.  I may wait a while, and see if I can "buy American".  And then there are all those discs I've got that haven't gotten a first hearing/viewing yet...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: KevinP on July 15, 2013, 06:53:35 PM
I used to have the Richter 1958 version of the St Matthew on LP and have great affection for it today as I learned the work from it. It is somewhat slow and unhistorical but a really rapt performance.

That's still my go-to recording. It's not the only one I enjoy, but it's the one I reach for when I haven't listened to any recording in a while.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jochanaan on July 17, 2013, 09:30:33 AM
I found the beginning of it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNqH3XIEqGs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNqH3XIEqGs). It didn't really excite me (at least the part I heard). Is this how the rest of it sounds?
I found it lovely!  But I enjoy historical performances. :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Opus106 on August 31, 2013, 10:53:38 PM
Are these recordings the same?

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on August 31, 2013, 11:16:03 PM
Timings of the discs are exactly the same, so: yep.

(Don't own nor know this performance, though.)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: mc ukrneal on August 31, 2013, 11:20:24 PM
Timings of the discs are exactly the same, so: yep.

(Don't own nor know this performance, though.)
You just posted ahead me - I was about to say the say thing. In addition, the booklet for the second can be found here: http://www.rondeau.de/passion/ (http://www.rondeau.de/passion/)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on August 31, 2013, 11:25:22 PM
You just posted ahead me - I was about to say the say thing. In addition, the booklet for the second can be found here: http://www.rondeau.de/passion/ (http://www.rondeau.de/passion/)

A useful addition nevertheless. :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: mc ukrneal on August 31, 2013, 11:30:20 PM
A useful addition nevertheless. :)
Felt I had to add something! :) Besides, I love companies that put up the booklets, and this looks like a pretty nice one.

I can also add that the list of roles in the booklet is identical (asterisks and all) to the first version (back cover). So another reference point that they are identical.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on August 31, 2013, 11:39:12 PM
Felt I had to add something! :) Besides, I love companies that put up the booklets, and this looks like a pretty nice one.

I can also add that the list of roles in the booklet is identical (asterisks and all) to the first version (back cover). So another reference point that they are identical.

Yeah, the 2nd one was was a re-issue for a special price (with only downloadable booklet) to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Thomanerchor.
The booklet is downloadable until October 31, btw.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Opus106 on September 01, 2013, 06:51:46 AM
Thanks, gents.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Opus106 on October 02, 2013, 11:41:06 PM
Despite going from Ascension Day to Whitsun, I listened to fragments of BWV 244, 2nd recording by Harnoncourt, live in Concertgebouw Amsterdam 1985.

Such a pity he withdrew this issue!

(http://i52.tinypic.com/1zv3l9d.jpg)

The opening choir, sung by an amateur choir (which fell apart after only a few years of existence), is much better taken than in his 3rd one, in which it is performed disappointingly shallow.

The voices of f.i. Kurt Equiluz and Arleen Augér .... such great Bach interpreters IMHO. At a certain point in Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben Augér's voice literally breaks, probably to her own embarrassment, but it brings an extra tad of emotion.
Also nice to listen to a young Jaap van Zweden (now conductor in Dallas) playing a sensitive obbligato violin part in Erbarme dich, mein Gott. Well, maybe Jadwiga Rappé isn't really a Bach mezzo (too much vibrato) and the same goes for Robert Holl, who's more a Wagner bass-bariton, and I've never really liked Anton Scharinger's voice, but still: the intensity of the entire performance is great. Sometimes even 'too great', which leads to a crazy tempo in Sehet Jesus hat die Hand, with Rappé sounding kinda like Al Jarreau. ;D

Bach/Harnoncourt fans who are able to get it somewhere sometime somehow: grab it!

This was posted to SymphonyShare (probably at Mandryka's request) within the last two years. I have it on my local disk, but it's yet to be played. :-[
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on April 19, 2014, 12:32:02 AM
Download possibility of Bach's Matthäus-Passion on the Dutch Radio 4 website: Peter Dijkstra conducting the Nederlandse Bachvereniging in Eindhoven, March 2013 (126 & 181 mb, mp3, 256 kb/s).

http://www.radio4.nl/matthausdownload
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 23, 2015, 07:57:22 AM
First listen ever to Bach's St. Matthew Passion!  :)

Wow, what a gorgeous work.  I'm not usually into Baroque Era Vocal/Choral works, but there is definitely a great deal of beautiful music here, that it kept my attention throughout.

In particular, many of the Arias just blew me away with their incredible beauty, and none more so than the final Aria for Bass I: "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein"  :)

Was through this recording with Paul McCreesh leading the Gabrieli Players.




I realize most people have heard Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, so would love to hear what some of your favourite recordings are.  I really enjoyed this one, and from reading some of the liner notes, this isn't the performance norm or most recordings.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 23, 2015, 09:34:42 AM
First listen ever to Bach's St. Matthew Passion!  :)

Wow, what a gorgeous work.  I'm not usually into Baroque Era Vocal/Choral works, but there is definitely a great deal of beautiful music here, that it kept my attention throughout.

I realize most people have heard Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, so would love to hear what some of your favourite recordings are.  I really enjoyed this one, and from reading some of the liner notes, this isn't the performance norm or most recordings.

Hi Ray - own a LOT of Papa Bach's choral works - have the 3 versions below of the St. Matthew Passion - Gardiner's performance is w/i the 22 disc 'cantata box' and the other box is 5 discs of two passions - and just acquired my only recording of the St. Mark Passion - not sure which one I enjoy the most (i.e. of the St. Matthew), there are so many variables when performing these choral pieces.  Dave :)

(https://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-Ng8t79c/0/S/Bach_StJohnMattPassions-S.png)  (https://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-px7TKV2/0/S/Bach_GardinerLEd-S.jpg)  (https://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-zvG89xQ/0/S/Bach_Passions-S.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Jo498 on September 23, 2015, 12:02:51 PM
I have not heard the McCreesh but he uses a minimal/solistic choir which is not the norm at all. If you want to try an all male singers, try Harnoncourt's first (1970) recording. It has some of the best boy sopranos and male altos on recordings, the evangelist, Equiluz and the bass singers are also very good.
Harnoncourt's 2000 recording is more dramatic and has some really superb soloists, other are not as good.

You might also want to try a more traditional one, like one of Richter's or the Dresden/Leipzig by Mauersberger (with Schreier as Evangelist).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on September 23, 2015, 12:13:32 PM
There are so many so very different recordings of this work, it's almost impossible to make a 'solid' choice, especially because people's tastes differ so much, too. ;)

But here's what I wrote about 6 years ago, and my taste hasn't changed all that much since then.

Herreweghe I, Leonhardt and Max are probably (I'm just not sure :-\) among my favourites [...]. I think Leonhardt really makes it a Lutheran service. Herreweghe and Crook c.s. tell a great story in the first recording of Ph. H. (and I can't really stand Bostridge in the second). Max is kind of a mystery to me: he's very fast, but never sounding hasty. A pity Monika Frimmer was not in her best shape, though.
I also have a weak spot for all the Harnoncourt recordings, btw.
So, in the end: :-\.
[...]
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Jo498 on September 23, 2015, 12:17:06 PM
but beware/try before you buy R. Jacobs as Altus in the first Herreweghe. That's an acquired taste if there ever was one... and "Erbarme Dich" is one of my 2-3 favorite arias in the piece...
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on September 23, 2015, 12:24:23 PM
but beware/try before you buy R. Jacobs as Altus in the first Herreweghe. That's an acquired taste if there ever was one... and "Erbarme Dich" is one of my 2-3 favorite arias in the piece...

And .... he's also singing in Leonhardt's SMP.
Jacobs was fine in the 1970s IMO, but his voice lost its 'creaminess' after that.

Paul Esswood certainly does a better job in Harnoncourt first SMP, and, if you can't really stand countertenors in general, Bernarda Fink is sublime in his last recording.

Or ... does all this leave Ray no other option than my 'third' choice ... Hermann Max?
I must say: Lena Susanne Norin sings a beautiful "Erbarme dich" in that one.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on September 23, 2015, 12:31:42 PM
First listen ever to Bach's St. Matthew Passion! :)

You lucky b******. ;)

Quote from: ChamberNut
Wow, what a gorgeous work.  I'm not usually into Baroque Era Vocal/Choral works, but there is definitely a great deal of beautiful music here, that it kept my attention throughout.

In particular, many of the Arias just blew me away with their incredible beauty, and none more so than the final Aria for Bass I: "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein"  :)

I was about 12 or 13 years of age when I first listened to Bach's SMP, and that particular one was my favourite then, too.
I still find the middle section "Denn er soll nunmehr in mir für und für seine süße Ruhe haben..." very moving indeed.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 25, 2015, 03:46:13 AM
Thanks Dave, Jo and Marc!  :)  I've been obsessed with the Mache dich, mein Herze, rein aria and have been listening to the McCreesh/Gabrieli Players recording with Peter Harvey bass vocal several times, along with sampling this aria in other performances on youtube.  Overall, I seem to enjoy the smaller orchestral forces with leaning towards period instruments.

I love the above mentioned performance, along with the Herreweghe/Kölner Philharmonie with Stephan MacLeod bass vocal, presented below:



Do yourself a favour and spend six minutes listening to that performance.  So gorgeous.  :)
 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoBcr-bAg2c[/url)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on September 26, 2015, 07:21:31 AM
[...] I love the above mentioned performance, along with the Herreweghe/Kölner Philharmonie with Stephan MacLeod bass vocal, presented below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoBcr-bAg2c (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoBcr-bAg2c)

Do yourself a favour and spend six minutes listening to that performance.  So gorgeous.  :)

Funny.
That's the one I listened to last week, and thought of recommending here, and then I forgot all about it, me lazy b******.

:D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: OrchestralNut on September 26, 2015, 07:33:55 AM
Funny.
That's the one I listened to last week, and thought of recommending here, and then I forgot all about it, me lazy b******.

:D

Have you listened to the entire Herreweghe/Kölner Philharmonie performance, Marc?  I might give it a go this weekend.  :D
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on September 26, 2015, 08:05:00 AM
Have you listened to the entire Herreweghe/Kölner Philharmonie performance, Marc?  I might give it a go this weekend.  :D

No, I haven't.
I only listened to this particular aria.
But I can assure you that Herreweghe is always a rock solid reliable choice in Bach's vocal works. He's probably my favourite Bach conductor.

Mind you: if you really like Bach's SMP, you might want to check out his other vocal stuff, too. There are so many gems to find, f.i. in the cantatas.
The main difference is: in the cantatas there is (in most cases) no true dramatic evolving story, which places the passion's arias and choruses in a more appealing context.
But musically, the differences are really small.

A good start, IMHO, would be cantata BWV 125 Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, which has got (more or less) the same atmosphere as the SMP, with a beautiful chorale fantasy to begin with, an amazing aria for alto, flute and oboe, and a very uplifting tenor/bass duetto with the message "whoever believes in God shall be blessed."

Here's Herreweghe again (live 2012, Vredenburg, Utrecht, NL):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8UyNOCsk8Q

or

http://baroquemusings.blogspot.fr/2014/07/bach-0125-herreweghe.html
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc 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
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Fitzcarraldo 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?

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: North Star 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:
https://www.youtube.com/v/ECWPpJjGK7k
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Fitzcarraldo 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.

Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: North Star 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc 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:

(http://i.imgbox.com/oj87FlUD.jpg)

https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthauspassion-Enoch-Zu-Guttenberg/dp/B000026HCP?&tag=goodmusicguideco
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Jo498 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).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on August 03, 2016, 11:47:00 AM

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

(http://i.imgbox.com/oj87FlUD.jpg)

https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthauspassion-Enoch-Zu-Guttenberg/dp/B000026HCP?&tag=goodmusicguideco (http://amzn.to/2avb5SV)

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 (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.

(http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jenslaurson/files/2015/11/Top-10_Bach_Recordings_No10_laurson_1600-1200x469.jpg)
JSB. MP. EzG. (http://amzn.to/2ayxmD8)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc 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 (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.

(http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jenslaurson/files/2015/11/Top-10_Bach_Recordings_No10_laurson_1600-1200x469.jpg)
JSB. MP. EzG. (http://amzn.to/2ayxmD8)

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).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: (: premont :) 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.



Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: (: premont :) 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?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: king ubu 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).
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc 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.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on August 04, 2016, 07:35:52 AM
Kurt Equiluz, Bach's evangelist.

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

https://www.youtube.com/v/zNyZoYILcTU

He's 87 now.
This interview dates from 2014, in honour of his 85th birthday.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: jlaurson on August 04, 2016, 08:10:31 AM
Kurt Equiluz, Bach's evangelist.

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

https://www.youtube.com/v/zNyZoYILcTU

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

That's a surprisingly lovely interview!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Que on April 07, 2019, 08:32:10 PM
After three years of inactivity,  anything new?  :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Biffo on April 07, 2019, 11:45:35 PM
After three years of inactivity,  anything new?  :)

Q

Nothing new from me. The last version I bought was from Rene Jacobs (harmonia mundi) in 2015. I usually like Jacobs' recordings but this was disappointing, not incisive enough for me. I am sure I seen/heard new versions reviewed and possibly even sampled them but none stick in my mind.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on April 08, 2019, 07:04:18 AM
After three years of inactivity,  anything new?  :)

Q

Unless Kurt Equiluz comes out of retirement, I have no need for more recordings of the St Matthew Passion.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Mandryka on April 08, 2019, 08:13:21 PM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/SMP-Egarr-R-R01a%5BAAM-3CD%5D.jpg)

I’ve been listening to Egarr’s operatic interpretation of the first (1727) version. He says this in the booklet

Quote
I encouraged all the players and singers to take risks with timing and freedom of expression, both in note, word and ornamental deed. I feel this music is so rich and demands a flexibility of tempo and dynamic equal to any found in the 19th century, although of course delivered with the sensibilities of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on April 08, 2019, 09:50:48 PM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/SMP-Egarr-R-R01a%5BAAM-3CD%5D.jpg)

I’ve been listening to Egarr’s operatic interpretation of the first (1727) version. He says this in the booklet

I have also been listening to this recording. I bought it as my musical prep for this year’s Easter.

This is one of, I think, only three recordings of this earlier 1727 version of the piece. I find it refreshing and it surprises the ear with the many small differences in vocal lines and the one or two more substantial differences. Additionally, the conductor, Richard Egarr is fairly interventionist.

Some obvious differences are that the ripieno in the opening chorus is taken by organ and woodwind and is less prominent than that soaring soprano line contribution in the later version. The great final chorus of the first part is missing, instead we have a fairly perfunctory chorale. And the bass aria normally accompanied by viola da gamba has instead, a mandolin.

The manuscript indicates in Bach’s hand some tempo alterations within numbers and this is taken as justification for introducing gear changes in various places, most noticably in the opening chorus. Taken at quite a lick, the middle section is speeded up. Describing this to me, I am sure I would not like it, but listening to it, it provided a real sense of urgency. And here we get a clue to the whole approach. While not devoid of introspection, the thrust of this performance is dramatic storytelling. I do sometimes feel rushed and I really value and prefer some stasis at key points of the journey, but I really was swept up in this entire approach.

Another stylistic choice first shows up in the initial alto solo where the instrumental bars are provided with fermatas, leaning into the woodwind notes. This is a mannerism to far, but is over quite quickly.

The soloists are exceptional. James Gilchrist is absolutely the the right narrator to hold all this together. A crystalline, pure voice, clear, clean, sweet and with a  dramatic grip on proceedings. Maltman is superb, and Sarah Connolly also is pure pleasure. We lose one of her arias to Christopher Maltman, but that is loss and equal gain. Matthew Rose has warmth and Elizabeth Watts has purity. Her duet with Connolly is a high point, though the dramatic double chorus after it lacks visceral impact.

The chorus is two or three to a part and I don't notice the separation between chorus 1 and chorus 2. The various solo players are excellent and the Academy of Ancient Music is of course polished.

I enjoy the performance a lot, despite feeling that the conductor has rather thrust his ideas at us. Although swift in the main, I feel that is mostly to serve and stress the drama whereas in Gardiner’s first version, I always felt his main aim was to prove that he was not Klemperer. So I am glad to add this set to the group of performances I have of the later standard version of the score. It is a good palate cleanser and made me think of the choices Bach had taken to arrive at what we regard as a cornerstone of Western music.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on April 08, 2019, 10:27:13 PM
Unless Kurt Equiluz comes out of retirement, I have no need for more recordings of the St Matthew Passion.

:laugh:
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on April 09, 2019, 09:06:28 PM
[...]

Some obvious differences are that the ripieno in the opening chorus is taken by organ and woodwind and is less prominent than that soaring soprano line contribution in the later version. The great final chorus of the first part is missing, instead we have a fairly perfunctory chorale. And the bass aria normally accompanied by viola da gamba has instead, a mandolin. [...]

I think it's a lute.
Not able to check it out right now, but, iirc, the lute is only accompanied by an organ continuo (so no violoncello or bass viol, either).

Personally, I prefer the gamba et al of the later version... it makes the tough and painful walk, with all its struggles, more 'visual', whilst the gamba sound also adds something to the sweetness of this suffering. That's probably what I like so much about instruments like gamba and viola d'amore... to my ears, their sounds add both sweetness and harshness.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on April 09, 2019, 10:01:13 PM
It might be a lute, I can’t check it as I am now away from home on holiday. I had never heard anything other than the da gamba before. The original idea is much more gentle and the da gamba is a brilliant idea to convey the staggering gait of Jesus carrying the cross. Hearing the original is what, for me, threw that light on the great musical imagery of the revision. I like both.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on April 09, 2019, 10:32:59 PM
It might be a lute, I can’t check it as I am now away from home on holiday. I had never heard anything other than the da gamba before. The original idea is much more gentle and the da gamba is a brilliant idea to convey the staggering gait of Jesus carrying the cross. Hearing the original is what, for me, threw that light on the great musical imagery of the revision. I like both.

Mike

My parents took me to 'their' Matthäus from 1980 on (they sang in an amateur choir), and  the conductor there already chose for a lute, which she explained in the concert booklet by saying that this was according to the first version. She also included the choral "Jesum laß ich nicht von mir" at the end of part 1, combined with the well known "O Mensch...". (So both chorals were sung.)
By doing this, she gave the children who sang the soprani in ripieno (including my sister) more to do. She also added the children's choir to the choral "Was mein Gott will..." to make it sound 'extra strongk' ;).
Well, lots of fun and lots to play with, in this beautiful work!

The bonus to these performances was the Evangelist Howard Crook, who was failry unknown at that point. But that changed very soon!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on April 05, 2020, 01:05:49 PM
This is how I kinda grew up with Bach's Matthäus-Passion.
Palm Sunday, live radio broadcast every year (BWV 244 and 245 alternating) in the Netherlands, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

This is the 1985 performance, which was issued on vinyl and compact disc, to collect money for the restoration of the Concertgebouw.
About 10 years later, Harnoncourt wanted this recording to be withdrawn from the Teldec catalogue… just before I finally had the money to buy it. :'(

It's a HIP-influenced (of course) performance, with modern instruments, an amateur choir (yes!) and many 'operatic' soloists. But Kurt Equiluz, my eternal hero ;), is the Evangelist. Other well-known names are a.o. Arleen Augér, Robert Holl and Ruud van der Meer. Jaap van Zweden, now conductor in New York, is the 1st violinist and he plays the solo in "Erbarme dich, mein Gott".

https://www.youtube.com/v/_U1WTC8wWr4

Kurt Equiluz , Tenor (Evangelista)
Robert Holl, Bass (Jesus)
Arleen Augér, Soprano I (Uxor Pilati 'Pilate's Wife'/ Ancilla I '1st Maid')
Sheri Greenawald, Soprano II
Jadwiga Rappé, Alto I (Ancilla II '2nd Maid')
Jard van Nes, Alto II (Testis '1st Witness')
Neil Rosenshein, Tenor (Arien, Testis '2nd Witness')
Ruud van der Meer, Bass I (Judas/Petrus/Pilatus/1st Priest)
Anton Scharinger, Bass II (2nd Priest)

Jongenskoor van de St. Bavo-kathedraal, Haarlem (direction: Fons Ziekman)
Koor van het Concertgebouw Orkest, Amsterdam (direction: Jan Slothouwer)
Concertgebouw Orkest, Amsterdam
Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Palm Sunday, March 31, 1985



Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: GioCar on April 05, 2020, 09:07:36 PM
Does anyone already listened to the new Suzuki?

(https://eclassical.textalk.se/shop/thumbnails/shop/17115/art15/h9554/5049554-origpic-bb2eb3.jpg_0_0_100_100_1600_1600_0.jpg)

I've just started with the "Komm ihr Töchter". Beautiful and intense pacing on the slow side.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Biffo on April 06, 2020, 12:30:29 AM
This is how I kinda grew up with Bach's Matthäus-Passion.
Palm Sunday, live radio broadcast every year (BWV 244 and 245 alternating) in the Netherlands, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

This is the 1985 performance, which was issued on vinyl and compact disc, to collect money for the restoration of the Concertgebouw.
About 10 years later, Harnoncourt wanted this recording to be withdrawn from the Teldec catalogue… just before I finally had the money to buy it. :'(

It's a HIP-influenced (of course) performance, with modern instruments, an amateur choir (yes!) and many 'operatic' soloists. But Kurt Equiluz, my eternal hero ;), is the Evangelist. Other well-known names are a.o. Arleen Augér, Robert Holl and Ruud van der Meer. Jaap van Zweden, now conductor in New York, is the 1st violinist and he plays the solo in "Erbarme dich, mein Gott".

https://www.youtube.com/v/_U1WTC8wWr4

Kurt Equiluz , Tenor (Evangelista)
Robert Holl, Bass (Jesus)
Arleen Augér, Soprano I (Uxor Pilati 'Pilate's Wife'/ Ancilla I '1st Maid')
Sheri Greenawald, Soprano II
Jadwiga Rappé, Alto I (Ancilla II '2nd Maid')
Jard van Nes, Alto II (Testis '1st Witness')
Neil Rosenshein, Tenor (Arien, Testis '2nd Witness')
Ruud van der Meer, Bass I (Judas/Petrus/Pilatus/1st Priest)
Anton Scharinger, Bass II (2nd Priest)

Jongenskoor van de St. Bavo-kathedraal, Haarlem (direction: Fons Ziekman)
Koor van het Concertgebouw Orkest, Amsterdam (direction: Jan Slothouwer)
Concertgebouw Orkest, Amsterdam
Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Palm Sunday, March 31, 1985

I have this performance but only on cassette and currently I have no way of playing it. For a time it was the only version I owned and I used to listen to it every year; now I have Harnoncourt's later Teldec recording (2001) with Concentus musicus Wien plus several other versions.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on April 06, 2020, 12:42:42 AM
I have this performance but only on cassette and currently I have no way of playing it. For a time it was the only version I owned and I used to listen to it every year; now I have Harnoncourt's later Teldec recording (2001) with Concentus musicus Wien plus several other versions.

This 'live' performance is special to me because of sentimental journey associations, without being the 'best' performance I ever heard. But it's got a great atmosphere and story teller Kurt Equiluz is Premier League. Arleen Augér is great too (her voice 'breaks' in "Aus Liebe…" but it actually makes it more emotional), and also Ruud van der Meer delivers some goodies, especially in the recitatives as Judas, Peter and Pilate, and in "Am Abend da es kühle war".

In earlier years, Harnoncourt performed this piece in Amsterdam with the Nederlands Kamerkoor and Collegium Vocale Gent (with a young Philippe Herreweghe). Those performances were better imho. Peter van der Bilt sang the part of Jesus in those earlier broadcasts and he was brilliant. Unfortunately he died way too young.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Marc on April 06, 2020, 12:47:59 AM
Does anyone already listened to the new Suzuki?

(https://eclassical.textalk.se/shop/thumbnails/shop/17115/art15/h9554/5049554-origpic-bb2eb3.jpg_0_0_100_100_1600_1600_0.jpg)

[…]

I do apologize, but I haven't. I'm sitting on my money right now.
I planned to order it at the central library here, but I can't collect it right now, because the library is closed due to the virus.

(Herreweghe got a 3rd recording of BWV 245 (SJP) out, btw. The same story applies to that one… hopefully later. :))
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Handelian on November 06, 2020, 11:23:54 PM
This is of course one of the greatest works ever written by mankind in both its music and theme. I can still remember the first time I actually heard it in that I had brought the 1958 Richter recording as a gift for my other half and we sat to listen. The sound of the first pedal brought the hairs of my head standing up. That deep growl in the base. Then the sound of ‘come ye daughters’ and the musical shock as the ripiano choir comes in with the chorale. Incredible stuff.
I still have the old Richter recording on CD but we have moved a bit by then.
Another old style recording I have is the Karajan but that is a bit of an indulgence. It is a reminder of the Easter festival where he used to conduct it every year.
However in more modern and authentic recordings the following I have found to give satisfaction and around my shelf:
Gardiner - very well sung all round but perhaps a bit missing in the spiritual side
Herreweghe I - certainly a version to be reckoned with as it combines a modern approach with a deep spirituality
Harnoncourt - his final version might be the best all-round as it combines a lifetime of experience with pragmatic historical practice
Jacobs - This is quirkily recorded but has the best opening chorus. As ever with Jacob he has something to say and it is a tremendously dramatic performance but with certain controversial aspects.
McCreesh - one to a part performance - I bought it because it was cheap just to dry it out but I really love it. Swift speeds as Bach intended but not over rushed
I attended a performance the other year that combined one in a part with a choir and thought it was a very good compromise. Tremendously moving evening. It really showed you don’t have to drag the music out for it to move you.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: OrchestralNut on January 09, 2021, 10:48:10 AM

McCreesh - one to a part performance - I bought it because it was cheap just to dry it out but I really love it. Swift speeds as Bach intended but not over rushed
I attended a performance the other year that combined one in a part with a choir and thought it was a very good compromise. Tremendously moving evening. It really showed you don’t have to drag the music out for it to move you.

Oh my, I just adore this performance.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on January 09, 2021, 11:48:19 AM
Oh my, I just adore this performance.

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
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: OrchestralNut on January 10, 2021, 05:31:59 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

A most interesting and appreciated post, Mike. Thank you for sharing!  :)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on January 10, 2021, 07:29:17 AM
A most interesting and appreciated post, Mike. Thank you for sharing!  :)

Thanks very much for that.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Handelian on February 03, 2021, 01:05:16 PM
I have just obtained Herreweghe II at almost give-away price. It is very fine indeed what I have listened to so far.
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Brewski on February 05, 2021, 03:11:19 PM
A most interesting and appreciated post, Mike. Thank you for sharing!  :)

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
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidW on February 05, 2021, 03:38:06 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 (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/21/arts/music/karl-richter-bach-music.html)
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on February 09, 2021, 12:48:05 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
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: knight66 on February 09, 2021, 01:09:15 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 (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
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Handelian on February 09, 2021, 01:14:41 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!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidW on February 09, 2021, 02:56:11 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.

Quote
I don’t think mixing the old and new instruments works.

With my biggest pet peeve being harpsichord continuo in late Mozart and Haydn symphonies!
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: DavidW on February 09, 2021, 02:56:33 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?
Title: Re: Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Post by: Handelian on February 09, 2021, 10:54:49 PM
Is that performance OVPP?

No with choir and orchestra. HIP though of course