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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The role of evangelist in the Bach passions is one of the most important and complex in music.

Those on my recording on my shelf include:
Ernst Haeflinger for Richter
Peter Pears for Britten
Peter Scheier for Karajan
Anthony Rolfe-Johnson for Gardiner
Nico van der Meel for Bruggen
Howard Crook for Herreweghe (1)
Ian Bostridge for Herreweghe (2)
Gerd Turk for Suzuki
Pregardien for Harnoncourt
Mark Padmore for McCreesh
Werner Gura for Jacobs
All with something special to offer.

Who is your favourite story teller?
 

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Kurt Equiluz for Harnoncourt/Willcocks SMP 1970
Christoph Pregardien SJP with Max, SMP with Harnoncourt
Peter Schreier SJP 1988 with himself as conductor; SMP with Mauersberger, but he sang the roles countless times with many conductors
 

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I don't know if I have a favourite (many are effective in their own ways) but have been a bit surprised to see no mention of James Gilchrist who seems to sing the Evangelist role in numerous more recent and recommendable Bach passion recordings. He is generally very good.
 

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Equiluz, Prégardien, Crook and Schreier... those are my personal favourites.
I heard Equiluz live quite a few times: just amazing. Goosebumps. (Even though I knew what to expect.)
I also heard Crook live, before he got well-known as a recording artist. Very impressive already at a young age.

I prefer an Evangelist who really tells the story as a story teller, and increases the emotion & personal involvement when I think it's really asked for, without getting too angry or (melo)dramatic. That's probably the main reason why I dislike(d) Ian Bostridge. When I listen to him, I tend to think: "Ian doesn't seem to realize that this harsh story has a purpose designed in heaven."
 

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For some reason (probably the "-uz" which occurs in some Swiss regions in place names) I always think Equiluz is Swiss, but he is Austrian and still alive (*1929)
He stepped in for a singer who had become ill only a few years ago at 87?!? which seems quite incredible..

https://slippedisc.com/2016/10/hero-tenor-87-steps-in-to-save-vienna-recital/
Here's an interview with Equiluz when he turned 85... alas, it's in German (with a creamy Austrian accent of course) without English subtitles.
For those who understand... it's good fun.

 

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For some reason (probably the "-uz" which occurs in some Swiss regions in place names) I always think Equiluz is Swiss, but he is Austrian and still alive (*1929)
He stepped in for a singer who had become ill only a few years ago at 87?!? which seems quite incredible..

https://slippedisc.com/2016/10/hero-tenor-87-steps-in-to-save-vienna-recital/
I only just read the comments... the reaction of his former colleague Max van Egmond (who is now 85) is awesome.
 

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It's a great interview; Equiluz seems a very modest and unassuming person. It's interesting that he spent a long time in choir and small/buffo opera rôles before becoming something of a Bach specialist in his late 30s (he denies this specialization).
 

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It's a great interview; Equiluz seems a very modest and unassuming person. It's interesting that he spent a long time in choir and small/buffo opera rôles before becoming something of a Bach specialist in his late 30s (he denies this specialization).
He may deny it, but it's hard to argue with his discography....
 

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He may deny it, but it's hard to argue with his discography....
Maybe he was mainly referring to his non-recording career, in Wien/Vienna and Austria, before he became a well-known name. Of course, after he had done his first Bach/baroque stuff, conductors et al got interested and before one knows it, one is considered a 'specialist'. And in Equiluz' case, the discovery of him being a very good baroque singer (especially in recitatives imho) took place around the same time when the HIP movement began to (slowly) expand.

I recall an interview on the Dutch television with Bernard Haitink, who will be remembered mainly as a Bruckner and Mahler specialist. He didn't consider himself such a specialist though, but everyone who invited him asked him to do Bruckner and/or Mahler. He himself loved Mozart, Beethoven et al... and he even dearly wanted to do the Passions of Bach, but, as he said, recording labels, concert hall managements and concert organizers wanted other 'specialist' conductors to do that. They just wanted him to do Bruckner and Mahler. Period.

And in the end, I guess, most of these performers and musicians will think "well, all right then...". ;)
 

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The discography is not quite representative because his opera rôles were fairly small (down to something like the tenor Armed Man in the Magic Flute), rarely recorded and mostly early although he sang there until the 1980s. He mentions that he is a very good sightreader (apparently not so common with singers maybe because in opera they have to learn the stuff by heart anyway which must have made him the perfect short notice replacement).

I also remember that I saw Equiluz once on TV with a song from Winterreise accompanied on a very historic sounding Hammerflügel, probably done in the 1980s? Demus or Dähler could have been the pianist? and he mentions that he has been transcribing lieder from the manuscripts of an older Schubert contemporary in his retirement, so he clearly has an interest in and performed quite a bit of lieder but I don't know what has been recorded.
 

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The discography is not quite representative because his opera rôles were fairly small (down to something like the tenor Armed Man in the Magic Flute), rarely recorded and mostly early although he sang there until the 1980s. He mentions that he is a very good sightreader (apparently not so common with singers maybe because in opera they have to learn the stuff by heart anyway which must have made him the perfect short notice replacement).

I also remember that I saw Equiluz once on TV with a song from Winterreise accompanied on a very historic sounding Hammerflügel, probably done in the 1980s? Demus or Dähler could have been the pianist? and he mentions that he has been transcribing lieder from the manuscripts of an older Schubert contemporary in his retirement, so he clearly has an interest in and performed quite a bit of lieder but I don't know what has been recorded.
Yeah, and check the 2016 programming... if he was a 'specialized' he would never have dared to sing such a program at the tender age of 87.
 

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Benedict Randhartinger (now, that's an Austrian name!) is the guy whose lieder Equiluz transcribed himself. In the interview he erroneously says that Randhartinger was older than Schubert; he is in fact a few years younger and lived much longer, which is probably what he meant, or I misunderstood.
 

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I don't remember. As I recall it, it was a man playing but I could be wrong. It was only a song or two within a TV program that could have been on Schubert, on historic instruments or something else.
 
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