So much for the seven-year itch. Every 15 years or so Nikolaus Harnoncourt likes to record a new St Matthew Passion ? with the full blessing of his record company (Teldec). His pioneering period performance with Vienna Concentus Musicus and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, seized the musical world by the scruff of the neck in 1970; a live relay of a concert with the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was issued in 1986 to raise money for the restoration of their famous hall; and now we have a brand new version with a repopulated Concentus Musicus, the mighty Arnold Schoenberg Choir and an impressive solo cast of established and rising stars. This new recording was made with much love and care over a 12-day period last year in the sumptuous acoustic of the Jesuit Church on Vienna's Ignaz-Seipel-Plaz. With the exception of a few distant traffic noises (annoying for those of us with sub-woofers) the church's genius loci has been gloriously captured, and this distinctive atmosphere adds much to the listening pleasure. But what increased my pleasure most was the technological miracle which allows those listeners with computers to follow the music in perfect sync with a complete facsimile of Bach's beautiful autograph score. (All you need is a disc drive and at least 500 MHz of processor power.) There's even the facility for printing out any page you like, albeit at fairly low resolution. Just one grumble about the production: some idiot editor has inserted pauses between each track on the final disc, regularly and pointlessly interrupting the flow of the music just as the drama reaches it's climax. But what about the performance itself? I must admit that when compared with Harnoncourt's perceptive Bach recordings of the 1960s (particularly the Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor and the St Matthew Passion), many of his more recent forays into the studios have proved less consistently satisfying. The 1986 Amsterdam recording of the Passion was certainly something of a disappointment, with an unequal solo team and a lack of clarity and precision in both the choral singing and playing. This new recording, though, is in a different class entirely, and should, I think, be enjoyed alongside Harnoncourt's first recording, though it will never entirely replace it. The tone of this new St Matthew may be more satisfyingly extrovert, even theatrical, but the honest liturgical conviction of King's Choir and the measured responses of the 1970s soloists remain extremely persuasive. In the soprano arias few conductors ever managed to elicit such mature singing from boy soloists as Harnoncourt did with the cream of the Vienna Boys' Choir. His grown-up soloists 30 years later offer very different musical insights. Dorothea Röschmann digs deep into her soul for one of the most passionate and urgent renditions on record of ?Blute nur' (Ann Monoyios, for Gardiner, sounds disappointingly pallid in comparison). I also particularly enjoyed the contributions of the full-bodied but perfectly focused contralto Bernarda Fink (magnificent in ?Erbarme dich'); bass Dietrich Henschel is also a joy, and endearingly Fischer-Dieskau-like in ?Komm, süsses Kreuz'. Wobbly baritone Oliver Widmer and over-enthusiastic tenor Michael Schade I can live without. Christoph Prégardien is an experienced Evangelist and is perhaps a shade more lyrical than the more urgently declamatory English Evangelists (Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Ian Bostridge) employed by Gardiner and Herreweghe respectively. But Harnoncourt's choice for Jesus ? Matthias Goerne ? is far and away the most convincing of recent times. On the minus side, the instrumental playing here is not always of the same standard as the singing, and is seldom quite as polished in the accompanied recitatives, ariosos and arias as we get from Gardiner's and Herreweghe's teams. (The rickety solo oboe in ?Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen' sounds like a throwback to the early days of period performance.) In choral terms, too, the large but well-trained Arnold Schoenberg Choir often fail to capture the mood in quite the same way as the Monteverdi Choir. This is in part the result of their slightly recessed recording perspective, but it's also a matter of interpretation: ?Wo willst du' is hardly quizzical, ?Lass ihn kreuzigen' too well mannered, and ?Wahrlich, dieser ist Gottes Sohn gewesen' is just too ordinary. But the great opening sarabande ?Kommt, ihr Töchter' is a triumph of optimism: infused with the spirit of the dance, it portrays hope and suffering as two sides of the same coin. After 30 years Harnoncourt clearly still has much to say about Bach's masterpiece. This is a recording I'll want to return to often, though probably not as frequently as I will to Gardiner's. Simon Heighes
So much for the seven-year itch. Every 15 years or so Nikolaus Harnoncourt likes to record a new St Matthew Passion ? with the full blessing of his record company (Teldec). His pioneering period performance with Vienna Concentus Musicus and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, seized the musical world by the scruff of the neck in 1970; a live relay of a concert with the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was issued in 1986 to raise money for the restoration of their famous hall; and now we have a brand new version with a repopulated Concentus Musicus, the mighty Arnold Schoenberg Choir and an impressive solo cast of established and rising stars. This new recording was made with much love and care over a 12-day period last year in the sumptuous acoustic of the Jesuit Church on Vienna's Ignaz-Seipel-Plaz. With the exception of a few distant traffic noises (annoying for those of us with sub-woofers) the church's genius loci has been gloriously captured, and this distinctive atmosphere adds much to the listening pleasure. But what increased my pleasure most was the technological miracle which allows those listeners with computers to follow the music in perfect sync with a complete facsimile of Bach's beautiful autograph score. (All you need is a disc drive and at least 500 MHz of processor power.) There's even the facility for printing out any page you like, albeit at fairly low resolution. Just one grumble about the production: some idiot editor has inserted pauses between each track on the final disc, regularly and pointlessly interrupting the flow of the music just as the drama reaches it's climax. But what about the performance itself? I must admit that when compared with Harnoncourt's perceptive Bach recordings of the 1960s (particularly the Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor and the St Matthew Passion), many of his more recent forays into the studios have proved less consistently satisfying. The 1986 Amsterdam recording of the Passion was certainly something of a disappointment, with an unequal solo team and a lack of clarity and precision in both the choral singing and playing. This new recording, though, is in a different class entirely, and should, I think, be enjoyed alongside Harnoncourt's first recording, though it will never entirely replace it. The tone of this new St Matthew may be more satisfyingly extrovert, even theatrical, but the honest liturgical conviction of King's Choir and the measured responses of the 1970s soloists remain extremely persuasive. In the soprano arias few conductors ever managed to elicit such mature singing from boy soloists as Harnoncourt did with the cream of the Vienna Boys' Choir. His grown-up soloists 30 years later offer very different musical insights. Dorothea Röschmann digs deep into her soul for one of the most passionate and urgent renditions on record of ?Blute nur' (Ann Monoyios, for Gardiner, sounds disappointingly pallid in comparison). I also particularly enjoyed the contributions of the full-bodied but perfectly focused contralto Bernarda Fink (magnificent in ?Erbarme dich'); bass Dietrich Henschel is also a joy, and endearingly Fischer-Dieskau-like in ?Komm, süsses Kreuz'. Wobbly baritone Oliver Widmer and over-enthusiastic tenor Michael Schade I can live without. Christoph Prégardien is an experienced Evangelist and is perhaps a shade more lyrical than the more urgently declamatory English Evangelists (Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Ian Bostridge) employed by Gardiner and Herreweghe respectively. But Harnoncourt's choice for Jesus ? Matthias Goerne ? is far and away the most convincing of recent times. On the minus side, the instrumental playing here is not always of the same standard as the singing, and is seldom quite as polished in the accompanied recitatives, ariosos and arias as we get from Gardiner's and Herreweghe's teams. (The rickety solo oboe in ?Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen' sounds like a throwback to the early days of period performance.) In choral terms, too, the large but well-trained Arnold Schoenberg Choir often fail to capture the mood in quite the same way as the Monteverdi Choir. This is in part the result of their slightly recessed recording perspective, but it's also a matter of interpretation: ?Wo willst du' is hardly quizzical, ?Lass ihn kreuzigen' too well mannered, and ?Wahrlich, dieser ist Gottes Sohn gewesen' is just too ordinary. But the great opening sarabande ?Kommt, ihr Töchter' is a triumph of optimism: infused with the spirit of the dance, it portrays hope and suffering as two sides of the same coin. After 30 years Harnoncourt clearly still has much to say about Bach's masterpiece. This is a recording I'll want to return to often, though probably not as frequently as I will to Gardiner's. Simon Heighes
190295023287

Details

Format: CD
Label: WCL
Rel. Date: 04/09/2021
UPC: 190295023287

St Matthew Passion - Passion Selon St Matthieu (Bach)
Artist: Nikolaus Harnoncourt / Concentus Musicus Wien
Format: CD
New: IN PRINT AND ORDER-ABLE - NOT IN STORE, call or email $20.99
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Available Formats and Editions

DISC: 1

1. St Matthew Passion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 1 Kommt, Ihr Töchter Helft Mir Klagen (Chorus)
2. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 2 "Da Jesus Diese Rede Vollendet Hatte" (Evangelist, Jesus)
3. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 1 "Herzliebster Jesu, Was Hast Du Verbrochen" [Chorus]
4. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 1 "Da Versammleten... Da Das Jesus" [Evangelist, Chorus, Jesus]
5. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 5 "Du Lieber Heiland Du" (Alto)
6. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 6 "Buß Und Reu" (Alto)
7. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 7 "Da Ging Hin Der Zwölfen Einer" (Evangelist, Judas)
8. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 8 "Blute Nur, Du Liebes Herz!" (Soprano)
9. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 9A "Aber Am Ersten Tage Der Süßen Brot" (Evangelist) 1
10. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 1 "Ich Bin's, Ich Sollte Büssen" [Chorus 1
11. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 11 "Er Antwortete Und Sprach" (Evangelist, Jesus, Judas) 1
12. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 12 "Wiewohl Mein Herz in Tränen Schwimmt" (Soprano) 1
13. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 13 "Ich Will Dir Mein Herze Schenken" (Soprano) 1
14. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 14 "Und Da Sie Den Lobgesang Gespochen Hatten" (Evangelist, Jesus) 1
15. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 1 "Erkenne Mich, Mein Hüter" [Chorus] 1
16. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 16 "Petrus Aber Antwortete Und Sprach Zu Ihm" (Evangelist, Petrus, Jesus) 1
17. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 1 "Ich Will Hier Bei Dir Stehen" [Chorus] 1
18. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 18 "Da Kam Jesus Mit Ihnen Zu Einem Hofe" (Evangelist, Jesus) 1
19. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 19 "O Schmerz! Hier Zittert Das Gequälte Herz!" (Tenor, Chorus 2) 2
20. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 20 "Ich Will Bei Meinem Jesu Wachen" (Tenor, Chorus 2) 2
21. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 21 "Und Ging Hin Ein Wenig" (Evangelist, Jesus) 2
22. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 22 "Der Heiland FÄLLT Vor Seinem Vater Nieder" (Bass) 2
23. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 23 "Gerne Will Ich Mich Bequemen" (Bass) 2
24. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 24 "Und Er Kam Zu Seinen Jüngern" (Evangelist, Jesus) 2
25. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 1 "Was Mein Gott Will" [Chorus] 2
26. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 1 "Und Er Kam Und Fand Sie Aber Schlafend" [Evangelist, Jesus, Judas] 2
27. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 1: No. 27 "So Ist Mein Jesus Nun Gefangen" (Soprano, Alto, Chorus 2, Chorus 1) 2
28. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 1 "Und Siehe, Einer Aus Denen" [Evangelist, Jesus] 2
29. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 1 "O Mensch, Bewein' Dein Sünde Gross" [Chorus] 3
30. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 30 "Ach, Nun Ist Mein Jesus Hin!" (Alto, Chorus 2) 3
31. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 31 "Die Aber Jesum Gegriffen Hatten" (Evangelist 3
32. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Mir Hat Die Welt Trüglich Gericht't" [Chorus] 3
33. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 33 "Und Wiewohl Viel Falsche Zeugen Herzutraten" (Evangelist, Witnesses, High Priest) 3
34. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 34 "Mein Jesus Schweigt Zu Falschen Lügen Stille" (Tenor) 3
35. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 35 "Geduld!" (Tenor) 3
36. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Und Der Hohepriester... Weissage Uns" [Evangelist, Pontifex, Jesus, Chorus] 3
37. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Wer Hat Dich So Geschlagen" [Chorus] 3
38. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 38A "Petrus Aber Saß Draußen Im Palast" (Evangelist, Maid 1, Peter, Maid 2, Chorus 2) 3
39. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 39 "Erbarme Dich, Mein Gott" (Alto) 4
40. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Bin Ich Gleich Von Dir Gewichen" [Chorus] 4
41. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Des Morgens Aber... Und Er Warf" [Evangelist, Judas, Pontifex 1 ; 2, Chorus] 4
42. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 42 "Gebt Mir Meinen Jesum Wieder!" (Bass) 4
43. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 43 "Sie Hielten Aber Einen Rat" (Evangelist, Pilatus, Jesus) 4
44. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Befiehl Du Deine Wege" [Chorus] 4
45. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Auf Das Fest... Lass Ihn" [Evangelist, Pilate, Pilate's Wife, Chorus] 4
46. Bach, JS : St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Wie Wunderbarlich Ist Doch Diese Strafe!" [Chorus] 4
47. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 47 "Der Landpfleger Sagte" (Evangelist, Pilatus) 4
48. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 48 "Er Hat Uns Allen Wohlgetan" (Soprano) 4
49. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 49 "Aus Liebe Will Mein Heiland Sterben" (Soprano) 5
50. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Sie Schrieen... Da Gab Er Ihnen" [Evangelist, Pilate, Chorus] 5
51. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 51 "Erbarm Es, Gott!" (Alto) 5
52. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 52 "Können Tränen Meiner Wangen" (Alto) 5
53. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Da Nahmen Die Kriegsknechte... Und Speieten" [Evangelist, Chorus] 5
54. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "O Haupt Voll Blut Und Wunden" [Chorus] 5
55. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 55 "Und Da Sie Ihn Verspottet Hatten" (Evangelist) 5
56. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 56 "Ja, Freilich Will in Uns Das Fleisch Und Blut" (Bass) 5
57. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 57 "Komm, Süßes Kreuz" (Bass) 5
58. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Und Da Sie... Desgleichen Schmäheten" [Evangelist, Chorus] 5
59. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 59 "Ach Golgatha, Unselges Golgatha!" (Alto) 6
60. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 60 "Sehet, Jesus Hat Die Hand" (Alto, Chorus 2) 6
61. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Und Von Der Sechsten Stunde... Aber Jesus Schriee" [Evangelist, Jesus, Chorus] 6
62. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Wenn Ich Einmal Soll Scheiden" [Chorus] 6
63. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 63 "Und Siehe Da, Der Vorhang in Tempel Zerriß" (Evangelist, Chorus 1, Chorus 2) 6
64. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 64 "Am Abend, Da Es Kühle War" (Bass) 6
65. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 65 "Mache Dich, Mein Herze, Rein" (Bass) 6
66. St Matthew Passion BWV244 : Part 2 "Und Joseph Nahm... Pilatus Sprach" [Evangelist, Chorus, Pilate] 6
67. Matthäuspassion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 67 "Nun Ist Der Herr Zur Ruh Gebracht" (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus 2) 6
68. St Matthew Passion, BWV 244, Part 2: No. 68 "Wir Setzen Uns Mit Tränen Niedert" (Chorus)

More Info:

So much for the seven-year itch. Every 15 years or so Nikolaus Harnoncourt likes to record a new St Matthew Passion ? with the full blessing of his record company (Teldec). His pioneering period performance with Vienna Concentus Musicus and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, seized the musical world by the scruff of the neck in 1970; a live relay of a concert with the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was issued in 1986 to raise money for the restoration of their famous hall; and now we have a brand new version with a repopulated Concentus Musicus, the mighty Arnold Schoenberg Choir and an impressive solo cast of established and rising stars. This new recording was made with much love and care over a 12-day period last year in the sumptuous acoustic of the Jesuit Church on Vienna's Ignaz-Seipel-Plaz. With the exception of a few distant traffic noises (annoying for those of us with sub-woofers) the church's genius loci has been gloriously captured, and this distinctive atmosphere adds much to the listening pleasure. But what increased my pleasure most was the technological miracle which allows those listeners with computers to follow the music in perfect sync with a complete facsimile of Bach's beautiful autograph score. (All you need is a disc drive and at least 500 MHz of processor power.) There's even the facility for printing out any page you like, albeit at fairly low resolution. Just one grumble about the production: some idiot editor has inserted pauses between each track on the final disc, regularly and pointlessly interrupting the flow of the music just as the drama reaches it's climax. But what about the performance itself? I must admit that when compared with Harnoncourt's perceptive Bach recordings of the 1960s (particularly the Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor and the St Matthew Passion), many of his more recent forays into the studios have proved less consistently satisfying. The 1986 Amsterdam recording of the Passion was certainly something of a disappointment, with an unequal solo team and a lack of clarity and precision in both the choral singing and playing. This new recording, though, is in a different class entirely, and should, I think, be enjoyed alongside Harnoncourt's first recording, though it will never entirely replace it. The tone of this new St Matthew may be more satisfyingly extrovert, even theatrical, but the honest liturgical conviction of King's Choir and the measured responses of the 1970s soloists remain extremely persuasive. In the soprano arias few conductors ever managed to elicit such mature singing from boy soloists as Harnoncourt did with the cream of the Vienna Boys' Choir. His grown-up soloists 30 years later offer very different musical insights. Dorothea Röschmann digs deep into her soul for one of the most passionate and urgent renditions on record of ?Blute nur' (Ann Monoyios, for Gardiner, sounds disappointingly pallid in comparison). I also particularly enjoyed the contributions of the full-bodied but perfectly focused contralto Bernarda Fink (magnificent in ?Erbarme dich'); bass Dietrich Henschel is also a joy, and endearingly Fischer-Dieskau-like in ?Komm, süsses Kreuz'. Wobbly baritone Oliver Widmer and over-enthusiastic tenor Michael Schade I can live without. Christoph Prégardien is an experienced Evangelist and is perhaps a shade more lyrical than the more urgently declamatory English Evangelists (Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Ian Bostridge) employed by Gardiner and Herreweghe respectively. But Harnoncourt's choice for Jesus ? Matthias Goerne ? is far and away the most convincing of recent times. On the minus side, the instrumental playing here is not always of the same standard as the singing, and is seldom quite as polished in the accompanied recitatives, ariosos and arias as we get from Gardiner's and Herreweghe's teams. (The rickety solo oboe in ?Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen' sounds like a throwback to the early days of period performance.) In choral terms, too, the large but well-trained Arnold Schoenberg Choir often fail to capture the mood in quite the same way as the Monteverdi Choir. This is in part the result of their slightly recessed recording perspective, but it's also a matter of interpretation: ?Wo willst du' is hardly quizzical, ?Lass ihn kreuzigen' too well mannered, and ?Wahrlich, dieser ist Gottes Sohn gewesen' is just too ordinary. But the great opening sarabande ?Kommt, ihr Töchter' is a triumph of optimism: infused with the spirit of the dance, it portrays hope and suffering as two sides of the same coin. After 30 years Harnoncourt clearly still has much to say about Bach's masterpiece. This is a recording I'll want to return to often, though probably not as frequently as I will to Gardiner's. Simon Heighes