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Thread: Favorite St. Matthew's Passion

  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    I happened to pick up a set of Karajan's recording form the 1990s with a stella cast of soloists (not always recorded to best advantage) and a superlative evangelist own Schreier. I was first of all a bit put off by how slow and old fashioned it sounded but the sheer beauty of it has won me over. Of course, not the only way of doing it but a wonderful listen

    Great set, I always coming back to that one.
    ( And no, I am not making jokes a about a typo,)

  2. #152
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    Pretty neat trick, since Karajan died in 1989.
    That of course explains the other-worldly feel about the performance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    Hertha Töpper notwithstanding....
    Yeah. There were other singers who could surely Töpp her. But after all, she was 3.7 on the Richter scale.
    Last edited by hpowders; Aug-25-2017 at 11:47.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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  5. #154
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Posted in a HIP thread a month ago:

    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    [...] HIP has not made me throw the Romantic era away at all. I still prefer it. Since I listened last year to the John Eliot Gardiner recordings of late Mozart symphonies for Philips (I need to visit the Pinnock ones) I was fully in love with the presence of the deep strings and timpani. Nothing can compare.

    That isn't the case in Bach. I think modern instruments still do it justice. My favourite Matthäus-Passion is the Harnoncourt Lamb CD, closely followed by the Karajan operatic recording. However, I must argue that the Harnoncourt instruments here do not sound to Baroque at all, probably the conducting style.


    I'm just hoping that one day DG releases a cheap box of the Karajan recording.
    I add that I also like Herreweghe DHM and Klemperer WC, and dislike Gardiner Archiv.


    Last edited by Granate; Aug-25-2017 at 16:41.

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  7. #155
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    My vote is for the Klemperer, I suppose.

    To me, HIP performances of this work are comically, gruesomely wrong. Fleet, light, dance-like, lively is the opposite of what I think Bach was going for. When I listen to HIPster Matthews, I hear something that could be played as background music at a gallery or a fancy café.

    Unlike many musical works, I think it's very clear what the emotional impact that Bach was going for here, because he tells you in the accompanying text. The opening chorus tells us we've come to lament the death of He who is like a lamb. We are to consider our guilt for the cross, his slaughter, and beg for his mercy. Our hearts should be swimming in tears, and by the end, we are so remorseful that we have to sit down with tears, and call on him to rest. This music should not sound like something that is a light listen and can be played at a dinner party without bumming everyone out.

    Leaving aside technical questions of choir sizes and vibrato or non vibrato, when I think of which recordings make me most emotionally shattered by the end, all the HIPster versions fail completely. They are an easy listen, a good soundtrack for a wine and cheese party, and are as emotionally wrenching as a Haydn string quartet.

    As wrong technically as Romantic performance practices may have been, I suspect they get a lot closer to the emotional color and impact Bach would endorse. I'd vote for the Furtwangler if he hadn't left out huge sections of the work.

    So I opt for the Klemperer, the most devastating full recording I know of. Not a "Romantic" (despite HIPsters calling him one along with everyone predating the HIPster movement), but he gets the emotional weight right.

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  9. #156
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    I'm just hoping that one day DG releases a cheap box of the Karajan recording.
    I add that I also like Herreweghe DHM and Klemperer WC, and dislike Gardiner Archiv.
    That beautiful gold box, are you kidding us?

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  11. #157
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    That beautiful gold box, are you kidding us?
    Is it a golden box? Worthy of 30€?

    (I acknowledge we are not the same buying animals)

  12. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    Is it a golden box? Worthy of 30€?

    (I acknowledge we are not the same buying animals)
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-li...condition=used

    This is less then the amount you mentioned.

  13. #159
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-li...condition=used

    This is less then the amount you mentioned.
    I had been all this morning tempted to buy or a new box for 25€ or an old box for 10€ with your link. But if Ralph Moore says in Amazon that it needs a new remaster, I'd rather wait. Then, in a couple of hours, I don't want to buy it anymore.

    I found my old MP challenge. I expected it to be more in-depth, but I could find it after the issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    J.S. Bach
    Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244



    Sol. Nico van der Meel, Kristinn Sigmundsson, Maria Cristina Kiehr, Mona Julsrud, Claudia Schubert, Wilke te Brummelstroete, Ian Bostridge, Toby Spence, Peter Kooy, Harry van der Kamp
    Cond. Hans Brüggen, O18thC, Phillips (1998)


    Sol. Ian Bostridge, Franz-Josef Selig, Sibylla Rubens, Andreas Scholl, Werner Güra, Dietrich Henschel, Frits Vanhulle
    Cond. Philippe Herreweghe, CVGC&O, Harmonia Mundi (1999)


    Sol. Christoph Prégardien, Matthias Goerne, Christine Schäfer, Dorothea Röschmann, Bernarda Fink, Elisabeth von Magnus, Michael Schade, Markus Schäfer, Dietrich Henschel, Oliver Widmer
    Cond. Nikolaus Harnoncourt, CMW, WSK, ASC; WC (2001)



    Sol. Anthony Rolfe-Johnson, Andreas Schmidt, Barbara Bonney, Ann Monoyios, Anne Sophie von Otter, Michael Chance, Howard Crook, Olaf Bär, Cornelius Hauptmann, Ruth Holton, Gillian Ross
    Monteverdi Choir & London Oratory Junior Choir
    Cond. John Eliot Gardiner, EBS, Archiv-DG (1989)


    Sol. Peter Pears, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Christa Ludwig, Nicolai Gedda, Walter Berry, John Carol Case, Walter Berry, Otakar Kraus, Heather Harper, Helen Watts, Geraint Evans, Wilfred Brown
    Boys of the Hampstead Parish Church Choir
    Cond. Otto Klemperer, PO&C, WC (1961/2001 Remastered Edition)

    It was a long time since I listened to this exhaustive work by Bach. I had to write a long project and then I turned on this work on the speakers with Karajan's Operatic version. I actually liked it, but I wanted to know if there was any HIP recording that would be better. Gardiner was surprisingly the weakest contender, not even with the Monteverdi Choir. Brüggen did not make any mistake with the choice of soloists but the instruments sounded really harsh. My top three listenings were then Klemperer, with an ominous lenght but lovely and solemn choruses, Herreweghe's account for Harmonia Mundi, excelling in almost the same as Klemperer but with Period instruments, and finaly my chosen recording is Harnoncourt's for Teldec/WC, even if he may sound like he is cheating with modern instruments. I dot think Bach's music should be restrained and this is a magnificient result.

  14. #160
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    My vote is for the Klemperer, I suppose.

    To me, HIP performances of this work are comically, gruesomely wrong. Fleet, light, dance-like, lively is the opposite of what I think Bach was going for. When I listen to HIPster Matthews, I hear something that could be played as background music at a gallery or a fancy café.

    Unlike many musical works, I think it's very clear what the emotional impact that Bach was going for here, because he tells you in the accompanying text. The opening chorus tells us we've come to lament the death of He who is like a lamb. We are to consider our guilt for the cross, his slaughter, and beg for his mercy. Our hearts should be swimming in tears, and by the end, we are so remorseful that we have to sit down with tears, and call on him to rest. This music should not sound like something that is a light listen and can be played at a dinner party without bumming everyone out.


    So I opt for the Klemperer, the most devastating full recording I know of. Not a "Romantic" (despite HIPsters calling him one along with everyone predating the HIPster movement), but he gets the emotional weight right.
    The problem you have is of course that Bach uses some dance forms in the St. Matthew Passion: Siciliano, Menuet, Sarabande, etc.. which is anything but a dance in Klemperer's recording. I do find K deathly slow I must say even though he is admired by many. The other thing is that the setting is a drama not just a lamentation. The music should be dramatic as well as meditative.
    I am perhaps fortunate in that I can enjoy different styles. I have Karajan, Richter, Herreweghe I, Harnoncourt (II), Jacobs and Gardiner. I find things to enjoy in them all. This is, after all, one of the greatest musical and artistic and spiritual works ever written by a man!

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  16. #161
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    With respect I don't see that first point as a problem. Dance forms provide a starting point for the development of much Baroque music without anyone necessarily envisaging that the music in question would accompany actual dancing. I do agree that Klemperer can take things too far towards the other end of the spectrum at times at the expense of some of the piece's inherent drama, but sooner that any day of the week than a fundamentalist HIP approach which fails/refuses to tell the story as well as play the notes.
    Last edited by Animal the Drummer; Sep-05-2017 at 13:46.

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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post

    Unlike many musical works, I think it's very clear what the emotional impact that Bach was going for here, because he tells you in the accompanying text. The opening chorus tells us we've come to lament the death of He who is like a lamb. We are to consider our guilt for the cross, his slaughter, and beg for his mercy. Our hearts should be swimming in tears, and by the end, we are so remorseful that we have to sit down with tears, and call on him to rest. This music should not sound like something that is a light listen and can be played at a dinner party without bumming everyone out.

    Leaving aside technical questions of choir sizes and vibrato or non vibrato, when I think of which recordings make me most emotionally shattered by the end, all the HIPster versions fail completely. They are an easy listen, a good soundtrack for a wine and cheese party, and are as emotionally wrenching as a Haydn string quartet.
    I find the 1st Herreweghe set on Harmonia Mundi to offer the most emotionally wrenching opening chorus. Your contention that all HIP versions fail the emotional test is something that does not line up with my reactions to the music.

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    when I think of which recordings make me most emotionally shattered by the end, all the HIPster versions fail completely.
    Have you heard "all the HIPster versions"? Somehow, I doubt that - so which ones *have* you heard?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    Have you heard "all the HIPster versions"? Somehow, I doubt that - so which ones *have* you heard?
    That's fair. I've heard the Herreweghe, the Gardiner, the Harnoncourt, the Koopman, the Kuijken. Do you think there's another HIPster version I've missed out on that might better appeal to my sensibilities?

    Bulldog:
    I find the 1st Herreweghe set on Harmonia Mundi to offer the most emotionally wrenching opening chorus. Your contention that all HIP versions fail the emotional test is something that does not line up with my reactions to the music.
    Me:
    when I think of which recordings make me most emotionally shattered by the end, all the HIPster versions fail completely
    As usual, whenever I opine on the virtues of any recording or musician, I am solely describing my personal experience.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Sep-05-2017 at 18:31.

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  22. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    That's fair. I've heard the Herreweghe, the Gardiner, the Harnoncourt, the Koopman, the Kuijken. Do you think there's another HIPster version I've missed out on that might better appeal to my sensibilities?
    You've hit most of the better known versions, although I believe that Herreweghe, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, and Koopman have all recorded the work at least twice. Among these, I prefer the first Herreweghe. Of those you don't list, you might want to try Rene Jacobs recent recording, or Veldhoven's second recording. I like John Butt's with the Dunedin Consort on Linn, but I suspect that will be too minimalist for your taste.

    Just curious - if you've heard it, what do you think of Rilling's recording on Hanssler?

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