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J.S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion / Ute Selbig, Britta Schwarz, Martin Petzold, Thomas Laske

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : St. Matthew Passion (Matthauspassion; early version), BWV 244b (BC D3a)
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Over 280 years after its first performance, Bach's St Matthew Passion still exerts an unbroken fascination. The present recording was produced at the work's historical home, and documents a long-standing performance tradition: the Thomanerchor Leipzig (St Thomas's Boys Choir) and the Gewandhausorchester (Gewandhaus Orchestra) regularly perform one of Bach's magnificent passion settings at St Thomas Leipzig on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. With this recording, the early version of the famous St Matthew Passion is now available on CD for the first time. The astounding soloists, the Thomanerchor Leipzig (St Thomas's Boys Choir) with its superior, unmistakable sound, and the Gewandhausorchester (Gewandhaus Orchestra) and its exquisite instrumental soloists present the sufferings and death of Jesus of Nazareth in a performance of seldom heard dramatic impetus. This production under the direction of the present cantor at St Thomas, Georg Christoph Biller, combines a profoundly religious message with exceptional musical mastery.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
Musically, all else is well. The adult soloists all acquit themselves admirably; Martin Petzold outdoes himself in the tricky and emotion- laden role of Evangelist, and Matthias Weichert is the very model of a mournfully resigned Jesus. The renowned orchestra is superb at every turn; their shimmering string "halos" as Jesus sings are especially affecting.

My few niggling complaints (what performance is ever absolutely perfect?) are hardly worth the print space they would take. Sound quality is excellent, and the thorough liner notes not only cover the St Matthew Passion's history but offer an informative short history of the Passion tradition in Germany as well. Bach buffs should think seriously about adding this version to their collections - and owners of the classic recordings (Klemperer, Solti, Herreweghe, Gardiner, etc.) will find it a refreshing change.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Thomaskirche Leipzig (2006-04-12_2006-04-15&2006-).


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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion; early version), BWV 244b (BC D3a)
  • Performers: Georg Schutze (Boy Soprano); Frieder Bohme (Boy Soprano); Florian Knaack (Boy Soprano); Christian Koppelt (Boy Soprano); Tobian Rommel (Boy Soprano); Paul Stammkotter (Boy Soprano); Michael Schmucker (Boy Soprano); Maximilian Hohmann (Boy Soprano); Max Borner (Boy Soprano); Lorenz Blattert (Boy Soprano); Jean Chey (Boy Soprano)
  • Conductor: Georg Biller
  • Ensemble: Thomanerchor Leipzig
  • Notes: Thomaskirche Leipzig (2006-04-12_2006-04-15&2006-)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1727