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If the virus:devil: allows, I will be visiting Trevor Pinnock conducting the Concertgebouw orchestra in St. Matthews Passion coming Easter. I look forward to it. Pinnock never recorded the piece as far as I know.
 

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My favorite St. Matthew is Herreweghe's first set on Harmonia Mundi - great drama, pacing and vocal contributions.
I'm listening to this one today - I haven't done so for at least fifteen years - and am reminded of just how great it is. Yes, it's HIP, but Herreweghe doesn't shortchange the drama and solemnity. While I normally dislike countertenors in this music, for some reason, I find Rene Jacobs less objectionable than most.

My only quibble is about production. Part One could have easily fit onto the first CD, and shouldn't have been broken up in the interest of making three roughly equal CD's timewise.

Highly recommended if you can find it. It seems to have been superceded by Herreweghe's second recording, which I don't like as much.
 

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I'm listening to this one today - I haven't done so for at least fifteen years - and am reminded of just how great it is. Yes, it's HIP, but Herreweghe doesn't shortchange the drama and solemnity. While I normally dislike countertenors in this music, for some reason, I find Rene Jacobs less objectionable than most.

My only quibble is about production. Part One could have easily fit onto the first CD, and shouldn't have been broken up in the interest of making three roughly equal CD's timewise.

Highly recommended if you can find it. It seems to have been superceded by Herreweghe's second recording, which I don't like as much.
Yes I have this version too. Superb with Howard Crook sounding other-worldly as the evangelist. There are of course many ways of doing this work but this is one of the best
 

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I've gotten along well with Gardiner's 1989 (actually recorded in 1988) version for almost 30 years. Fantastic choirs and I love Anne Sophie von Otter and Olaf Bär in particular. As I mentioned in the Baroque on Youtube thread, I recently found this amazing performance by the "Thomaner" (Thomanenchor) and Leipzig Gewandthaus:

 

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The recording that I first listened to and still listen to is the Rene Jacobs recording from 2013. I like the sound quality and I think it is well conducted. I have never listened to an "old school" recording, but I am willing to give it a try. Here is my favorite part of the Passion from the Jacobs recording:


Sehet, Jesus hat die Hand,
See Jesus had stretched out his hands

Uns zu fassen, ausgespannt,
To embrace us,

Kommt! - Wohin? - in Jesu Armen
Come! - where? -in Jesus's arms

Sucht Erlösung, nehmt Erbarmen,
Seek redemption, receive mercy,

Suchet! - Wo? - in Jesu Armen.
Seek! - where? -in Jesus's arms.

Lebet, sterbet, ruhet hier,
Live, die, rest here,

Ihr verlass'nen Küchlein ihr,
You forsaken chicks,

Bleibet - Wo? - in Jesu Armen.
Remain -where? -in Jesus's arms.
 

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While it never gets mentioned, I grew up with Mogen Woldike’s 1959 recording on Vanguard. I have listened to many others since, but still go back to this. One of the first attempts at an historically informed performance, it uses small orchestral and choral forces. But these were some of the best players Vienna had to offer and their musicality is impeccable. The soloists are also among the best Vienna had to offer and sound deeply involved with the words they are singing. Woldike’s approach is an always flowing one which acknowledges the dance rhythms while making them subservient to the words. The sound is congested in the choruses but perfectly acceptable in the smaller scale pieces. It strikes a fine compromise between the old school and the new, and it was still available relatively cheaply on Amazon the last time I looked.
 

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Jacobs and Harnoncourt, I probably go to Harnoncourt more often but Jacobs is fantastic. I can't hear this anymore in the older practice performances, this is a place where the period orchestras and aesthetic really clinches it for me. And both Jacobs and Harnoncourt use such outstanding soloists-- Matthias Goerne for Harnoncourt, Christine Schafer, Bernarda Fink all match and for me outdo their predecessors.
Now this may have to come out today.:)
 
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