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Thread: Favorite St. Matthew's Passion

  1. #106
    Senior Member Marc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i like music View Post
    My favorite St. Matthew's Passion is the one by Bach.
    Which one do you prefer?
    The 1727, 1729 or 1736/1742 version?

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  3. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Which one do you prefer?
    The 1727, 1729 or 1736/1742 version?
    Great question!!!!!
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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  5. #108
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    They are a bit dated and old-fashioned by today's HIP standards, but I would taker Karl Richter's performances of both the St. Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor over any one else's versions.
    Last edited by hpowders; May-30-2017 at 19:51.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Wow, one of my favourite topics!. Despite I love Bach passions, It's been a long time I haven't heard recordings. I own 9 recordings of St John Passion and only 4 recordings of Matthew Passion. The ones I own are: Herreweghe, Dunedin Consort, Harnoncourt (second recording), Leonhardt. I am interested in McCreesh, Suzuki and maybe Gardiner or Koopman. Somebody owns or have an opinion about Suzuki, Gardiner or Koopman?

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Stay away from Gardiner's new recording - the soloists are third-rate at best. His first recording is fine, although if you have Herreweghe, Dunedin, and Leonhardt, you might not need it. The women soloists on the first recording are excellent; the men not so much. It strikes me as HIP for people who aren't really into HIP.

    Suzuki's is flawlessly performed, but I find it rather passionless, pun not intended. Koopman has two recordings, both quite good.

    You really need something that's isn't HIP, though - somethings like Corboz' recording, which boasts the best soloists of any recording I know, or Rilling's last one on Hanssler, which has all of the drama and superb singing, with modern instruments but with some HIP influence.
    Last edited by wkasimer; Jun-07-2017 at 01:43.

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  10. #111
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    You really need something that's isn't HIP, though - something like Corboz' recording, which boasts the best soloists of any recording I know,
    Thank you for reminding me this one, it's on my shelf en did spin it earlier.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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    Senior Member Barelytenor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDaddy View Post
    That's 2 for Klemperer! Noted. Thank you.
    The Klemperer is the only one I ever needed to own.

    Kind regards,

    George

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    Senior Member MattB's Avatar
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    The only one I own is the Karl Richter 1959 St. Matthew's Passion.
    Which I find to be great but I'ld love to hear something more Karajanesque.

    Any advices?

  13. #114
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattB View Post
    The only one I own is the Karl Richter 1959 St. Matthew's Passion.
    Which I find to be great but I'ld love to hear something more Karajanesque.
    What do you mean by "Karajanesque"? If you want Karajan, he made a recording for DG:

    https://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Matt.../dp/B000VHIS2O

    I found a cheap used copy a couple of weeks ago, and thought it was awful, but you may think differently - I'm not a fan of the 1959 Richter recording, either (I actually prefer the 1979 one).

    If you want something less sedate than the Richter but with modern instruments, try Rilling's...

    https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthew-.../dp/B0000365NE

    ...or, if you can find it, Corboz's...

    https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Matthaus.../dp/B000005E6H

    ...or even Solti's, which is surprisingly good:

    https://www.amazon.com/Bach-J-S-St-M.../dp/B01M1MTQ83

  14. #115
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy View Post
    Sorry if this question has been asked and answered already:
    Does any know of a Matthew Passion which is sung in English?
    There's one conducted by Willcocks, available on either ASV or Decca. Excellent solo work, but I can't seem to get used to hearing this work in English:

    decca.jpgasv.jpg

    There's also a St. John Passion in English, also conducted by Willcocks:

    512GL7zk9NL.jpg

  15. #116
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    One should note this performance is heavily cut. There is also the unending succession of rubatos, exaggerated dynamics, inappropriate, thickly-spread legato, micromanaged phrasing, and a runaway harpsichordist who disfigures recitatives with staccato poundings are among the practices here some, used to a more HIP style, will find objectionable. Of course, many of these reflected the performing style of the time; others, the conductor’s willfulness. Just where this performance lies today is a matter of opinion. And accepting that Erb is good, to describe him as the 'greatest evangelist' in the light of some of the superb singers of the part around today (Gura for Jacobs is simply superb) might be a bit overstated.
    The Mengelberg performance is worth hearing....once.

    As for Erb, he was no doubt a great Evangelist (and probably better twenty or so years before this recorded performance, based on my hearing of his other recordings), but for me, the greatest Evangelist was Kurt Equiluz, who recorded the part at least four times - with Swarowsky, Corboz, and twice with Harnoncourt.

  16. #117
    Senior Member bobleflaneur's Avatar
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    A pair of English composers can be added:

    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    There's one conducted by Willcocks, available on either ASV or Decca. Excellent solo work, but I can't seem to get used to hearing this work in English:

    decca.jpgasv.jpg
    The Ralph Vaughan Williams recording on Pearl is in English -- and surprisingly good.


    There's also a St. John Passion in English, also conducted by Willcocks:

    512GL7zk9NL.jpg
    And the Britten recording on Decca, which I seem to recall finding disappointing. Do you like the Willcocks better? Where can it be found? It's not turning up on amazon.
    Last edited by bobleflaneur; Jun-15-2017 at 03:06.

  17. #118
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobleflaneur View Post
    And the Britten recording on Decca, which I seem to recall finding disappointing. Do you like the Willcocks better? Where can it be found? It's not turning up on amazon.
    It's not easy to find - you have to search for it by label (Belart), not by conductor. Here it is on Amazon.com:

    https://www.amazon.com/Bach-St-John-.../dp/B000027DN2

    You may find it less expensive on Amazon.co.uk:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B000027DN2

    I haven't listened to the Britten in years (although it's sitting in a pile of CD's on my desk, begging to be played), but I listen to the Willcocks frequently, and enjoy it, mostly for the soloists (a younger Peter Pears and Helen Watts in particular). The sonics are a little more reverberant than I'd like, though. But bear in mind that this was my "imprint" St. John Passion back in the LP era.

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    I thought that Britten only recorded St. John Passion, in English. Peter Pears is a marvelous Evangelist, with the text sensitivity required to keep the part engaging.

    Klemperer's vocal cast may be the finest ever assembled if you can stand the tempi. I have no idea how Walter Berry got through "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein" at that glacial pace, but he sounds amazing doing it!

    I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned John Eliot Gardiner's recording for Archiv, certainly one of the best HIP version in my opinion. Beautiful playing, and one of the better modern vocal casts: Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Evangelist; Andreas Schmidt, Jesus; Barbara Bonney, Ann Monoyios, sopranos; Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano; Michael Chance, countertenor; Howard Crook, tenor; Olaf Bär, Cornelius Hauptmann, basses.

    If you dislike period instruments but like the modern take on Bach's tempi, Riccardo Chailly recorded a version on Decca with Thomas Quasthoff singing the bass arias, probably its most attractive vocal feature.

    I don't care for Harnoncourt's boy sopranos, Karl Richter's video performance is less than stellar but both recordings are good, though the earlier one is better for many things the later one has better women in Edith Mathis and Janet Baker. I prefer Herreweghe's earlier recording over the later as well. René Jacobs has some interesting ideas but I find the recording over-engineered. Paul McCreesh was the first to release a recording with one voice per part, but despite liking the individual singers, I find that the orchestra overwhelms the choral parts, which may be bad recording technique. There's also something distinctly underwhelming about hearing only seven people shout "Barrabam!" instead of even two dozen or so. Cleobury's version has an older but very serviceable Emma Kirkby.

    I may have too many recordings of this piece, could you tell?

  20. #120
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Klemperer's vocal cast may be the finest ever assembled if you can stand the tempi.
    ...and Schwarzkopf. I'm allergic to her, which is among the reasons I almost never listen to the Klemperer. And to be honest, as great a singer as Gedda was in the right repertoire, Bach isn't it.

    If you dislike period instruments but like the modern take on Bach's tempi, Riccardo Chailly recorded a version on Decca with Thomas Quasthoff singing the bass arias, probably its most attractive vocal feature.
    I think that Rilling does this every bit as well, but with much better soloists (i.e. Quasthoff with much better surroundings).

    René Jacobs has some interesting ideas but I find the recording over-engineered.
    It's not so much over-engineered as it is simply misguided. Placing the two choirs in different parts of the church may have been how it was first performed, and may have been interesting when witnessed live, but as a recording, it doesn't really work.

    I imprinted on the first Harnoncourt when I was in college, and I now recognize that the boy soloists are a serious liability - but there's no Evangelist like Kurt Equiluz, and Karl Ridderbusch is a superb Jesus.

    Not a fan of Richter, and have never understood why everyone goes gaga over the 1958 recording, which is not very well sung compared to other recordings; the alto solos are particularly dire. If I have to listen to Richter, let it be 1979, which has much stronger solo work (especially from Janet Baker - is this her only St. Matthew?).

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