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Thread: Favorite St. Matthew's Passion

  1. #46
    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    The "old school" sounds horrible to my ears, I prefer the period instrument performances. Latter also present earlier and later versions of the great work beyond the "standard version". I like this one,

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    Senior Member Steatopygous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    The "old school" sounds horrible to my ears, I prefer the period instrument performances. Latter also present earlier and later versions of the great work beyond the "standard version". I like this one,

    This is very highly regarded, and I would like to hear it.
    In some ways I agree about historically informed performance, and in some ways I don't. There, that was helpful wasn't it!
    I like the clarity and crispness of HIP but sometimes it can sound academic and mannered. Not sure, for example, about one voice per part. And now, slow tempi a la Klemperer sound mannered too. But I still love many of these magnificent old recordings, in which sheer love of the music shines through

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    Senior Member Steatopygous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    Which ever one you go for you should also obtain the historical recording of Willem Mengelberg,the Concertgebouw Orchestra with Karl Erb as the Evangelist. Erb was perhaps the greatest Evangelist of all time.
    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John might object to that. Ditto St Paul. Or Augustine, or that chap who took the gospel to the Slavs. Or Billy Graham. etc

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    Senior Member Andolink's Avatar
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    I'm surprised, going through this thread that no one mentioned this recording:

    Kuijken Matthew Passion Cover.jpg

    What I really like about it is it perfectly captures the profundity of the music without making it theatrically dramatic. Subtle, understated and all the more powerfully deep because of that.

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    Senior Member Bix's Avatar
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    I sang in St Matthew's Passion in March this year and did a lot of research to better understand all aspects. With regards recordings there are many great ones but the one that took me by surprise (which has already been mentioned) is:

    Harmonia Mundi
    Collegium Vocale Gent with Philippe Herreweghe
    Ian Bostridge as The Evangelist and Franz-Josef Selig as Jesus

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  10. #51
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    Another vote for Klemperer....the first one I ever heard....a great place to start...

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    The very first time I saw it was at King's College Cambridge with Stephen Cleobury and I love his version.



    I listened to lots of versions before I went and my favourite is this.

    Ann

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  14. #53
    Member Boothvoice's Avatar
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    You are fortunate to be where you are....I grew up in West Virgina (USA) in the 50s and 60s...never saw an orchestra ...but came to love classical music as my parents listened to recordings in the evenings and Sunday afternoons. Most of their music was courtesy of the Columbia Record club..so lots of Szell, Ormandy, Bernstein and Gould. There wasn't a record store within a day's drive.

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boothvoice View Post
    You are fortunate to be where you are....I grew up in West Virgina (USA) in the 50s and 60s...never saw an orchestra ...but came to love classical music as my parents listened to recordings in the evenings and Sunday afternoons. Most of their music was courtesy of the Columbia Record club..so lots of Szell, Ormandy, Bernstein and Gould. There wasn't a record store within a day's drive.
    Yes I do appreciate the fact that there are venues for music and opera so close to home. Earlier this year I went to Amsterdam to see Verdi's Macbeth and while I was there Matthew Passion was on at the Concertgebouw so I grabbed myself a ticket and went. It was superb.
    Ann

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bas View Post
    I want my Bach in small ensembles, more authentic to the baroque performance tradition. I have two favourites, one is favourite as the best recording (overall: sound, orchestra, singers, ensemble, tempi), that one is the one by John Butt and his Dunedin Consort:

    Attachment 34417

    And I am also very fond Herreweghe's 1998 recording, especially for the soloists (Andreas Scholl!)

    Attachment 34418
    Indeed—those are excellent recordings of Matthew.

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  19. #56
    Junior Member Asterix77's Avatar
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    My favourite is the 1993 recording of Ton Koopman, but it is more or less out of nostalgic reasons. It was the first Mattheus Passion rendition I bought, and it costed me an and a leg. I still think it is a very good performance.

    Take away the nostalgia...I'll go for the Herreweghe one (1999) if only for Andreas Scholl!
    I also like the intimate versions of Kuijken and Butt although I do not share the opinion that Bach did only one voice per part instead of a "full" choir.

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  21. #57
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    The first Herreweghe recording is very fine indeed. I find it most satisfying. Of course, in such a work there is no 'right' way (as indeed Bach may have performed it very differently with different available forces if he'd have had the chance) to perform the work but it is amazing how it still speaks through the years. I remember my first hearing when I bought my wife the Richter recording for our wedding anniversary as she's sung in the ripen chorus as a girl under Sir David Wilcocks. The first chord sounded and I was hooked!

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    Should I pick one right now to listen to, I´d take Ericson on Vanguard.

    I´ve also got Mengelberg (LP), Scherchen (LP), Klemperer (LP), Richter (LP), Cleobury (CD), and Gardiner (CD), so quite a mixture of styles. Ericson is somewhat in between monumental and minimalist forces.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Nov-05-2015 at 18:23.

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    Senior Member AClockworkOrange's Avatar
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    Whilst I like the Dunedin Consort's recording a lot, my favourite recording remains Otto Klemperer leading the Philharmonia.

    Klemperer was my first and despite being resolutely not HIP (which these days is refreshing), it captures the essence of the music wonderfully. Klemperer has a fantastic grasp of Bach's music and always serves his music well. It balances the full orchestra very well and maintains the structure and clarity of the music.

    As far as tempi go, given the proclivity for speed in many HIP ensembles or hybrid approaches it is little wonder Klemperer's tempi can be seen as a shade challenging at times in comparison. Listened to on it's own merits and standing however, it just feels right.
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  27. #60
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AClockworkOrange View Post
    Whilst I like the Dunedin Consort's recording a lot, my favourite recording remains Otto Klemperer leading the Philharmonia.

    Klemperer was my first and despite being resolutely not HIP (which these days is refreshing), it captures the essence of the music wonderfully. Klemperer has a fantastic grasp of Bach's music and always serves his music well. It balances the full orchestra very well and maintains the structure and clarity of the music.

    As far as tempi go, given the proclivity for speed in many HIP ensembles or hybrid approaches it is little wonder Klemperer's tempi can be seen as a shade challenging at times in comparison. Listened to on it's own merits and standing however, it just feels right.
    Frankly I can't take Klemperer's approach in this work. It is all too massive and turgid and worlds away from what Bach had n mind. I know some of the HIP brigade have gone the opposite extreme but somethng a bit more flowing appeals. Herreweghe's first shot is an example. Or if you want modern instruments try Richter's first (not the second by which time he was in the Klemperer mould).

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