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Thread: Favorite St. Matthew's Passion

  1. #166
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    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?
    In general, if I don't like someone's first version, I'll rarely check out their second I believe that most of the ones I listed are their first recordings.

    I don't believe I've heard the Rilling. I've heard some of his cantatas and the Magnificat and was a little underwhelmed, and never sought out his other Bach afterwards.

    One point of clarity--it is not that I just like non-HIP versions, I'm not that fond of the Karajan, I vacillate on the Scherchen from moment to moment, and strongly dislike the Mengelberg. K Richter... I like his 1958 version, I've not heard the others. I tend to like not love his Bach.

    I'll put the Jacobs and Veldhoven on my shopping list, thanks for the suggestions.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Sep-05-2017 at 19:04.

  2. #167
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    I don't believe I've heard the Rilling. I've heard some of his cantatas and the Magnificat and was a little underwhelmed, and never sought out his other Bach afterwards.
    I've been underwhelmed by much of his Bach, too - but he's considerably more animated in the large scale choral works, and his St. Matthew has the advantage of a superb group of soloists.

    One point of clarity--it is not that I just like non-HIP versions, I'm not that fond of the Karajan, I vacillate on the Scherchen from moment to moment, and strongly dislike the Mengelberg. K Richter... I like his 1958 version, I've not heard the others. I tend to like not love his Bach.
    I think that we largely agree on most of these. I heard the Karajan for the first time just a few weeks ago, and thought it was awful on many levels. I do like the Scherchen, but I wish that his chorus was better. I can't stand the Mengelberg, either, and the 1958 Richter is (IMO, of course) among the most overrated recordings of anything, ever.

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  4. #168
    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    What I completely dislike is those large/numerous/big choirs, because aside they are completely inaccurate, obscures the Bach polyphony and the sound of instruments, completely necessary to appreciate the counterpoint in Bach works. Being honest, it's not really important for me to listen or not OVPP Bach, what is more important for me is the balance between vocal forces and number of instruments so at least for me numbers do matter. I am usually happy with just 1 to 4 voices per part and a number of instruments accordingly.

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  6. #169
    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    I have the second recording of Herreweghe but I am tempted with the first one as well as I saw it at good price. I am not sure if this one is the first Herreweghe recording:



    What is your opinion about it?

  7. #170
    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Two weeks ago I got this box set containing Matthew Passion, St. John Passion and Mass in B minor of Koopman / Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, at a very good price, nice bargain.



    So far I have 10 Matthew Passion recordings: Herreweghe (1st), Herreweghe (2nd), Butt/Dunedin Consort, Harnoncourt, Suzuki, Gardiner (1st), Veldhoven (2nd), Leonhardt, McCreesh, Koopman. I noticed that Koopman lacks of passion , energy, details in some of his recordings, not only for vocal works but also for instrumental works. I feel this is the case of his first recording of Matthew Passion, I wonder how well he conducted his second recording. I liked it but I rather prefer Veldhoven, Suzuki, Herreweghe and Butt over Koopman.

  8. #171
    Senior Member Victor Redseal's Avatar
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    I just bought Klemperer's version in a 3-cd boxed set on EMI Classics with a nice thick booklet. Ripping it right now. I also have borrowed Richter's version in DVD but I haven't watched it yet. I will do so over the weekend. It's about two hours long.
    "God," asked Adam, "why did you make Eve so beautiful?"
    And He replied, "So that you could love her."
    "But God," asked Adam, "why did you make her so stupid?"
    And He replied, "So that she could love you."

  9. #172
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSBach85 View Post
    I have the second recording of Herreweghe but I am tempted with the first one as well as I saw it at good price. I am not sure if this one is the first Herreweghe recording:



    What is your opinion about it?
    It is his first and my most treasured St. Matthew set.

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  11. #173
    Senior Member Star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSBach85 View Post
    I have the second recording of Herreweghe but I am tempted with the first one as well as I saw it at good price. I am not sure if this one is the first Herreweghe recording:



    What is your opinion about it?
    Certainly very good. Not heard the later one

  12. #174
    Senior Member SenaJurinac's Avatar
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    Maybe an interesting peformances for comparison (also for the location). Not too big choruses too.

    Two from Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, first with Munich Bach Сhoir and Moscow Chamber Orchestra conducted by Hans-Jörg Albrecht, second with the Bach Ensemble Helmuth Rilling (Helmuth Rilling conducting):

    http://klassikundopern.web.tv/video/...6__ksm9i7qhayo

    http://klassikundopern.web.tv/video/...4__kt5fe5rtnko

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    I'm baffled, after 174 pages, I haven't come across a single mention of Reinbert de Leeuw. I will just post this, should be enough to convince most. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfEn3IpSK3o

  14. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    I'm baffled, after 174 pages, I haven't come across a single mention of Reinbert de Leeuw. I will just post this, should be enough to convince most. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfEn3IpSK3o
    Does any available recording (CD, DVD) of the complete St. Matthew passion with de Leeuw exist? If not, this may be the reason why he is little known outside Holland in the role of Bach conductor.

  15. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by premont View Post
    Does any available recording (CD, DVD) of the complete St. Matthew passion with de Leeuw exist? If not, this may be the reason why he is little known outside Holland in the role of Bach conductor.
    I found this link https://www.brunoklassiek.nl/en/bach..._from_store=nl

    Also, in the same video, the channel owner posted this link: https://winkel.vpro.nl/de-matthaus-passion-box/

    which seems to be the same DVD.
    Last edited by Zeus; Jan-07-2018 at 01:10.

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  17. #178
    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Bach's passions are among my favourite sacred works ever composed but I still feel uncomfortable to not being able to find a final solution to the problem of the correct choir size. What we know with absolute certainty is how Bach's passions must not be performed, since there is a maximum number of singers Bach had according to surviving texts. Summarizing, there are two theories based on Entwurff:

    Arnold Schering, 1930s: Schering supports three to four voices per part, according to his interpretation of Entwurff: "A choir must have at least three singers per part so that a double-choir motet can still be sung even if one of them is ill". Even before Schering's theory, in 19th century, the Lowell Institute in 1886-1887 claimed: "Bach’s choir could not have numbered more than twelve or sixteen voices, for it is hardly possible for more than three or four singers to read at once from the same sheet". So we know is highly unlikely that Bach had more than 16 singers available.

    Joshua Rifkin, 1981: Rifkin theory has another interpretation of Entwurff: The instructions which emanate from Bach himself say: "A choir must have at least three singers per part so that a double-choir motet can still be sung even if one of them is ill" - i.e. a double-choir motet was sung by eight soloists, and Bach's demands refer to the total of disposable singers, not to the actual number of performers. In short terms, only a soloist read from the same sheet.

    We know then that it was not possible that cantatas and passions had more than 3 to 4 singers to a part but we still don't know how Bach could have used his available vocal forces since all the arguments of each theory are not completely proved to be right.

    Therefore, for St. John and St. Matthew Passion I opted to have recordings based on the two theories, however, not all the historically informed performance recordings are well balanced since some of them slightly exceed the allowed vocal forces opting for 5 voices per part. Regarding St. Matthew Passion, I finally got the remaining OVPP recording:

    Kuijken / La Petite Bande


    Similar to McCreesh and Butt recordings, Kuijken uses only seven singers using OVPP theory. The orchestra is large enough to accommodate those vocal forces. The sound is noticeable clearer with less performers and the sound quality is certainly excellent. The soloists are not up among the best, being not as good as John Butt, Suzuki, Herreweghe and other recordings and conducting lack of brightness and contrast. In the other hand, tempi and technical execution are excellent. The academic value of this recording is probably the best feature.

    There are lots of good recordings of St Matthew Passion and for that reason I am not able to say a favourite.

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  19. #179
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    sorry. wrong thread.
    Last edited by Granate; Mar-21-2018 at 10:21.

  20. #180
    Senior Member 13hm13's Avatar
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    Interesting vlog post [Otto Klemperer: Closer to Bach Than We Think?] on YouTube today (28 March, 2018) that compares Klemperer (and Bruno Kittel) to Koopman, concentrating on tempo. Koopman is faster ... but better/worse?



    I will agree with the vlogger that Klemperer's interpretation is superior.

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