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Thread: Favorite St. Matthew's Passion

  1. #61
    Senior Member isorhythm's Avatar
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    I know there's good stuff in the Klemperer but I can't even listening to the opening chorus. It was somehow traditional at one point to do Bach choruses slower than all other music - I mean, in terms of beats per minute, it's literally slower than his Bruckner adagios - I don't know where that came from but it made no sense at all.

    The first recording I bought is the 1999 Herreweghe and that's probably still my favorite.

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  3. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by AClockworkOrange View Post

    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.

    I've read in several places that the soloists had trouble sustaining their breath because of the slow tempi. I haven't got an opinion of my own yet about this recording.

  4. #63
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Sorry but the Klemperer is totally misconceived to me. He makes eg Richter and Karajan (no speed merchants) seem like racehorses! Bach with the forces he had available couldn't have conceived such a slow tempo for the opening chorus. It's more akin to a Bruckner adagio.

    An interesting link I found on this that compares speeds:

    http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Gen2.htm
    Last edited by DavidA; Nov-07-2015 at 23:30.

  5. #64
    Senior Member nightscape's Avatar
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    Klemperer's is about as un-historically informed as you can get, but there's a power around it that is undeniable for me. It's not my favorite, but it's a mighty performance that's quite beautiful.

    Herreweghe's second crack at it is probably the best overall. With a work that nearly 3 hours long it's impossible for me to find a "perfect" one, but that comes about as close as you're likely to find.

    I like Suzuki's as well.
    Last edited by nightscape; Nov-08-2015 at 03:27.

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  7. #65
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    I found this one in my local second hand shop € 5.00

    Very pleasant listing.



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  9. #66
    Senior Member Steatopygous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    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).
    When did Johann tell you what he had in mind? Would you like to share it?

    Have you heard the marvellous anecdote with Klemperer performing the Mass in London? The soloists are all concerned that it is far too slow, but are too nervous to say so. They elect Fischer-Dieskau, a fellow German, as their spokesman. the next day at rehearsal FD speaks up. "Herr Klemperer, God came to me in a dream last night and told me the Mass is too slow." Klemperer lifts his baton and conducts even more slowly. After a few bars he stops: "God came to me in a dream last night also. He asked, Who is this Fischer-Dieskau?"

    Boom boom!

  10. #67
    Senior Member isorhythm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steatopygous View Post
    When did Johann tell you what he had in mind? Would you like to share it?
    JSB told us in the score he wrote, which is in 6/8, not 3/2.

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  12. #68
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steatopygous View Post
    When did Johann tell you what he had in mind? Would you like to share it?

    Have you heard the marvellous anecdote with Klemperer performing the Mass in London? The soloists are all concerned that it is far too slow, but are too nervous to say so. They elect Fischer-Dieskau, a fellow German, as their spokesman. the next day at rehearsal FD speaks up. "Herr Klemperer, God came to me in a dream last night and told me the Mass is too slow." Klemperer lifts his baton and conducts even more slowly. After a few bars he stops: "God came to me in a dream last night also. He asked, Who is this Fischer-Dieskau?"

    Boom boom!
    if I told you I had a dream in which I had a personal communication with Bach and he told me Klemperer was too slow you probably wouldn't believe me! I think there's enough evidence available on the net and elsewhere as to what Bach intended without we putting my four-pennyworth in. And what you have just said about the communication between D F-D and K - even the (HIP uniformed) soloists thought it was too slow!

  13. #69
    Senior Member isorhythm's Avatar
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    ^Richter's later recording is worth having for DF-D alone. But otherwise I'm still gonna prefer HIP.

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  15. #70
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    There's a performance by Herreweghe on you tube with very good sound quality https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm1os4VzTgA but sadly no subtitles...

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  17. #71
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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 a OVPP performance, correct? I know the Butt B minor mass is....

  18. #72
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    Karl Richter and forces.

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  20. #73
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Karl Munchinger with Fritz Wunderlich, Peter Pears, Hermann Prey, Tom Krause, Elly Ameling and Marga Hoffgen on Decca. I guess Munchinger's Bach is out of fashion these days, but that doesn't make this any less splendid.

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  22. #74
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    Still my number one

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  24. #75
    Senior Member Xaltotun's Avatar
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    If Bach came to my dreams and said that what he intended was something totally different than what Klemperer did, I think I'd say "Sorry, dear Maestro, I just don't care. HAIL KLEMPERER!"
    Wäre das Faktum wahr, – wäre der außerordentliche Fall wirklich eingetreten, daß die politische Gesetzgebung der Vernunft übertragen, der Mensch als Selbstzweck respektiert und behandelt, das Gesetz auf den Thron erhoben, und wahre Freiheit zur Grundlage des Staatsgebäudes gemacht worden, so wollte ich auf ewig von den Musen Abschied nehmen, und dem herrlichsten aller Kunstwerke, der Monarchie der Vernunft, alle meine Thätigkeit widmen.

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