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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently bowled over by performance of this masterpiece once again. The St John Passion (Johannes-Passion in German), BWV 245, is a setting of the Passion story as related in St John’s Gospel. It was first performed on Good Friday 7 April 1724 in Leipzig’s Nikolaikirche. Bach revised the work in 1725 and 1732 but it is heard most frequently today in the final version he completed in 1749 (though never performed during his lifetime).
Quite a few versions on my shelf.
Just wondered what versions of the work the readers of TC would recommend.
 

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Nice post, marlow ... and hope you receive some recommendations, for the best version. Personally, I still have an old recording, with Fritz Wunderlich, on the ol' Seraphim label/LP - good enough for me! Good luck!
 

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I recently purchased the Minkowski recording after doing some comparing and contrasting. It's very well sung and a very dramatic and moving interpretation.

Otherwise I very much like Herreweghe's second recording, but that is of a slightly different version of the score.
 

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It's true that there are a vast number of excellent recordings of the St. John Passion. But my personal favorite continues to be Kenneth Slowik's performance with the Smithsonian Chamber Players. It includes arias and choruses from the 1725 version as an appendix. It's OOP, but there are plenty of ridiculously cheap used copies on Amazon.

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Another favorite, but one that may now be impossible to find, is an English language version conducted by David Willcocks, that originally appeared on the Argo label, but appeared on CD on Belart:

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The recorded sound is rather overresonant, but the solo work is particularly fine.
 

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It's true that there are a vast number of excellent recordings of the St. John Passion. But my personal favorite continues to be Kenneth Slowik's performance with the Smithsonian Chamber Players. It includes arias and choruses from the 1725 version as an appendix. It's OOP, but there are plenty of ridiculously cheap used copies on Amazon.

View attachment 165783
Mine too. :tiphat:
 

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I love the Schreier approach, never regretted buying it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I started off the St JohnPassion with Karl Richter's performance on LP many years ago. Worthy but seems very heavy footed today and the soloists are not the best. Haeflinger, however, is a superb evangelist.

Since the advent of CD

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Bruggen's is a wonderfully thought out fresh performance
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I started off the St JohnPassion with Karl Richter's performance on LP many years ago. Worthy but seems very heavy footed today and the soloists are not the best. Haeflinger, however, is a superb evangelist.

Since the advent of CD

View attachment 165885

Bruggen's is a wonderfully thought out fresh performance
 

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I bought Suzuki in a charity shop for next to nothing. Simply superb performance just like the cantatas

Gardiner's first has better soloists than his second
I agree to both statements. Gardiner I and Suzuki I are among my favorites for this work.

Should I find some time this weekend, I will try to write a short overview on the four versions.
 

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I was recently bowled over by performance of this masterpiece once again. The St John Passion (Johannes-Passion in German), BWV 245, is a setting of the Passion story as related in St John's Gospel. It was first performed on Good Friday 7 April 1724 in Leipzig's Nikolaikirche. Bach revised the work in 1725 and 1732 but it is heard most frequently today in the final version he completed in 1749 (though never performed during his lifetime).
Quite a few versions on my shelf.
Just wondered what versions of the work the readers of TC would recommend.
Maybe these 2 threads might be of interest for you. :)

Favourite St John Passion

Bach Passions
 
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