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Bach: St Matthew Passion / McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort

Audio Samples

  1. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 1, Chorus I/II: "Kommt, Ihr Töchter, Helft Mir Klagen" $1.29 on iTunes
  2. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 2, Evangelist, Jesus: "Da Jesus Diese Rede Vollendet Hatte" $1.29 on iTunes
  3. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 3, Choral: "Herzliebster Jesu, Was Hast Du Verbrochen" $1.29 on iTunes
  4. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 4, Evangelist, Chorus I/II, Jesus: "Da Versammelten Sich Die Hohenpriester" $1.29 on iTunes
  5. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 5, Recitative (Alto): "Du Lieber Heiland Du" $1.29 on iTunes
  6. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 6, Aria (Alto): "Buss Und Reu" $1.29 on iTunes
  7. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 7, Evangelist, Judas: "Da Ging Hin Der Zwölfen Einer" $1.29 on iTunes
  8. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 8, Aria (Soprano): "Blute Nur, Du Liebes Herz" $1.29 on iTunes
  9. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 9, Evangelist, Chorus I, Jesus: "Aber Am Ersten Tage Der Süssen Brot" $1.29 on iTunes
  10. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 11, Evangelist, Jesus, Judas: "Er Antwortete Und Sprach" $1.29 on iTunes
  11. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 12, Recitative (Soprano): "Wiewohl Mein Herz in Tränen Schwimmt" $1.29 on iTunes
  12. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 13, Aria (Soprano): "Ich Will Dir Mein Herz Schenken" $1.29 on iTunes
  13. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 14, Evangelist, Jesus: "Und Da Sie Den Lobgesang Gesprochen Hatten" $1.29 on iTunes
  14. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 15, Choral: "Erkenne Mich, Mein Hüter" $1.29 on iTunes
  15. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 16, Evangelist, Jesus, Petrus: "Petrus Aber Antwortete" $1.29 on iTunes
  16. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 17, Choral: "Ich Will Hier Bei Dir Stehen" $1.29 on iTunes
  17. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 18, Evangelist, Jesus: "Da Kam Jesus Mit Ihnen Zu Einem Hofe" $1.29 on iTunes
  18. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 19, Recitative (Tenor, Chorus II): "O Schmerz! Hier Zittert Das Gequälte Herz" $1.29 on iTunes
  19. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 20, Aria (Tenor, Chorus II): "Ich Will Bei Meinem Jesu Wachen" $1.29 on iTunes
  20. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 21, Evangelist, Jesus: "Und Ging Hin Ein Wenig" $1.29 on iTunes
  21. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 22, Recitative (Bass): "Der Heiland Fällt Vor Seinem Vater Nieder" $1.29 on iTunes
  22. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 23, Aria (Bass): "Gerne Will Ich Mich Bequemen" $1.29 on iTunes
  23. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 24, Evangelist, Jesus: "Und Er Kam Zu Seinen Jüngern" $1.29 on iTunes
  24. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 26, Evangelist, Jesus, Judas: "Und Er Kam Und Fand Sie Aber Schlafend" $1.29 on iTunes
  25. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 27, Aria (Soprano, Alto, Chorus II): "So Ist Mein Jesus Nun Gefangen" - Chorus I/II: "Sind Blitze, Sind Donner" $1.29 on iTunes
  26. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 28, Evangelist, Jesus: "Und Siehe, Einer Aus Denen" $1.29 on iTunes
  27. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 29, Choral: "O Mensch, Bewein Dein Sünde Groß" $1.29 on iTunes
  28. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 30, Aria (Alto, Chorus II): "Ach Nun Ist Mein Jesu Hin" $1.29 on iTunes
  29. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 31, Evangelist: "Die Aber Jesum Gegriffen Hatten" $1.29 on iTunes
  30. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 32, Choral: "Mir Hat Die Welt Trüglich Gericht" $1.29 on iTunes
  31. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 33, Evangelist, Pontifex, Testis I/II: "Und Wiewohl Viel Falsche Zeugen Herzutraten" $1.29 on iTunes
  32. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 34, Recitative (Tenor): "Mein Jesus Schweigt Zu Falschen Lügen Stille" $1.29 on iTunes
  33. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 35, Aria (Tenor): "Geduld" $1.29 on iTunes
  34. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 36, Evangelist, Pontifex, Jesus, Chorus I/II: "Und Der Hohepriester Antwortete" $1.29 on iTunes
  35. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 37, Choral: "Wer Hat Dich So Geschlagen" $1.29 on iTunes
  36. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 38, Evangelist, Ancilla I/II, Petrus, Chorus II: "Petrus Aber Sass Draussen Im Palast" $1.29 on iTunes
  37. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 39, Aria (Alto): "Erbarme Dich" $1.29 on iTunes
  38. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 40, Choral: "Bin Ich Gleich Von Dir Gewichen" $1.29 on iTunes
  39. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 41, Evangelist, Judas, Chorus I/II, Pontifex I/II: "Des Morgens Aber Hielten Alle Hohepriester" $1.29 on iTunes
  40. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 42, Aria (Bass): "Gebt Mir Meinen Jesum Wieder" $1.29 on iTunes
  41. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 43, Evangelist, Pilatus, Jesus: "Sie Hielten Aber Einen Rat" $1.29 on iTunes
  42. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 44, Choral: "Befiel Du Deine Wege" $1.29 on iTunes
  43. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 45, Evangelist, Pilatus, Uxor Pilati, Chorus I/II: "Auf Das Fest Aber Hatte Der Landpfleger Gewohnheit" $1.29 on iTunes
  44. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 46, Choral: "Wie Wunderbarlich Ist Doch Diese Strafe" $1.29 on iTunes
  45. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 47, Evangelist, Pilatus: "Der Landpfleger Sagte" $1.29 on iTunes
  46. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 48, Recitative (Soprano): "Er Hat Uns Allen Wohlgetan" $1.29 on iTunes
  47. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 49, Aria (Soprano): "Aus Liebe Will Mein Heiland Sterben" $1.29 on iTunes
  48. Bach — St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 50, Evangelist, Chorus I/II, Pilatus: "Sie Schrieen Aber Noch Mehr" $1.29 on iTunes

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

For his recording of St. Matthew Passion, Paul McCreesh is taking a radical yet convincing approach. Following the path he began with his previous Bach project (Magnificat and Easter Oratorio), he uses very limited forces - just eight singers, no chorus as such, and two chamber-size orchestras. One of the main reasons that this approach works is the line-up of singers, each an outstanding soloist and a remarkable consort singer.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
In the distinguished performance history of the Great Passion, this is a dynamic and powerful reading. What we have here, primarily, is a compelling directorial vision, a dramatically cohesive whole. The only 'controversial' aspect is the use of single voices in the chorus, thereby applying the research presented in the last two decades by Joshua Rifkin and Andrew Parrott.

However, as it happens, Paul McCreesh sees this option as a flexible way of enhancing the rich expressive possibilities of the St Matthew, a means to a somewhat greater end, thankfully, than joining the band of zealots who seek world domination in Bach vocal performance. And there can be no denying that McCreesh uses the single voices to great and encouraging effect.

The warm intimacy of expression in the chorales is often spellbinding, the lucid realism of the madrigalian commentaries touchingly palpable and the crowd scenes almost crazed, as if you were among the mob. McCreesh's pragmatism also ensures that his quality singers produce a rich tonal body rather than a pushed, squawking consort.

There's some outstandingly characterised singing to be heard here, and a few missed opportunities too. Deborah York sounds somewhat al dente in her soprano arias, a limited emotional range partly accentuated by the colour and subtlety of expression of Magdalena KoOená's 'Buss und Reu' as well as the enraptured and troubled 'Ach, nun ist mein Jesus hin!'. Mark Padmore's Evangelist is highly charged and responsive: at times he hovers, regaling the facts of the matter with disarming poise; at others he becomes agitated, even manic. He seems somehow implicated in Peter's denial in a tableau performed with quite remarkable dramatic power, setting up KoOená's 'Erbarme dich'. Hers is one of the most painfully beautiful performances in years, even if the violin obbligato bulges rather too much.

Of the two basses, the Christus of Peter Harvey conveys neither gilded halo nor testosterone- fired ruddiness but he remains an effective and constant companion. Stephan Loges is rhetorically imploring in timbre, unafraid to take risks and a singer you listen to attentively.

There's yet to be a clear leader in St Matthew Passion recordings, even if that were desirable.

The quality of the production is mainly firstrate, though there are the usual dips and troughs you expect from such a challenging undertaking. 'Können Tränen' is a scrappy and flat affair with a strangely below-par Susan Bickley, and the strings aren't always universally impressive.

Overall, if not as culturally resonant as Harnoncourt's remarkably mature and poetic reading, McCreesh's interpretation has an unremitting singularity of purpose, as aesthetically Protestant as Harnoncourt's is Catholic. A memorable and vitally conceived account.

Penguin Guide
Though Paul McCreesh uses minimum forces for Bach's masterpiece, with one voice per part, the result has the sharpest dramatic impact, thanks not only to the incisiveness of the performance but also to the vivid immediacy of the recorded sound.



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244
  • Performers: Susan Bickley (Mezzo Soprano); James Gilchrist (Tenor); Julia Gooding (Soprano); Peter Harvey (Bass Baritone); Magdalena Kozená (Voice); Stephan Loges (Baritone); Mark Padmore; Doborah York
  • Conductor: Paul McCreesh
  • Ensemble: Gabrieli Players
  • Running Time: 148 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1736