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St Matthew Passion


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Audio CD, February 16, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

For all of Leonard Bernstein's remarkably eclectic affinities, his legacy as a conductor is not often associated with Baroque music. Yet this remastered recording of Bach's St. Matthew Passion--like that of his Bach concertos with Glenn Gould and others--is a moving document of musical and emotional empathy. True, Bernstein's stylistic approach (the frequently languorous tempos, the italicized effect accorded certain significant moments in Bach's richly textured drama) and employment of large-scale choral and orchestral forces have long since fallen out of favor in the wake of the "authentic- performance" movement. And purists will certainly object to the use of English texts as well as numerous cuts from the original score (mostly in Part Two). That said, Bernstein's reading has a thrilling cogency and dramatic consistency fully abetted by the New York Philharmonic's heartfelt playing as well as by the excellently prepared chorus. Listen to the subtly varied inflections of each recurrence of the chorale "O Lamb of God Most Holy" to signal the inexorable course of the tragedy, or to the devastating impact of the sorrowful final double chorus. The vocal soloists are unfortunately uneven, ranging from David Lloyd's erratic, hooty tenor as the Evangelist to the multidimensional Jesus characterized by bass William Wildermann. The set includes a bonus track of Bernstein discussing how Bach unfolds his vividly dramatic structure in the Passion. -- Thomas May

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Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 1 Double Chorus - Come, ye daughters (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 7:45$1.98  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 2 Recit. - When Jesus had finished (Evangelist, Jesus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 3 Chorale - O blessed Jesu (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 4 Recit. - Then assembled the Chief Priests (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 5 Double Chorus - Not upon the feast (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 13 Recit. - Now on the first day (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 14 Chorus - Where wilt Thou (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 15 Recit. - He said: Go ye into the city (Evangelist, Jesus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Chorus - Lord, is it I? (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 16 Chorale - Tis I who should be sharing (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 17 Recit. - He answered them, and said (Evangelist, Jesus, Judas) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 18 Accompanied Recit. - Although my heart and eyes o'erflow (Soprano) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 19 Aria - Lord, to Thee my heart I proffer (Soprano) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 20 Recit. - And when they had sung (Evangelist and Jesus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Chorale - Acknowledge me my Keeper (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 22 Recit. - Then answered Peter (Evangelist, Peter, Jesus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 23 Chorale - Near Thee would I be staying (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 24 Recit. - Then cometh Jesus with them (Evangelist, Jesus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 25 Accompanied Recit. and Chorus - O grief, how throbs (Tenor, Chorus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 26 Aria and Chorus - I would beside my Lord be watching (Tenor, Chorus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 5:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 27 Recit. - And He went a little farther (Evangelist, Jesus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 28 Accompanied Recit. - The Saviour, low before His Father bending (Bass) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 29 Aria - Gladly would I be enduring (Bass) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 30 Recit. - And He came to His disciples (Evangelist, Jesus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 31 Chorale - The will of God be alway done (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 32 Recit. - And He came again (Evangelist, Jesus, Judas) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 33 Duet and Chorus - Behold, my Saviour now is taken (Soprano, Alto, Chorus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 34 Recit. - And behold, one of them (Evangelist, Jesus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 35 Chorale - O Man, bewail thy grievous sin! (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 8:41$1.98  Buy MP3 
listen30. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 36 Solo and Chorus - Ah! now is my Saviour gone (Alto, Chorus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen31. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 37 Recit. - And they that laid hold on Jesus (Evangelist, 1st and 2nd Maids, Peter) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen32. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Chorus - Truly, thou also art one of them (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen33. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Recit. - And then did he begin to curse and to swear (Evangelist, Peter) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:30$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 47 Aria - Have pity, Lord, on me (Alto) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 6:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 53 Chorale - Whate'er may vex or grieve thee (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 54 Recit. - Now at that feast (Evangelist, Pilate) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Double Chorus - Barabbas! (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Recit. - Then Pilate said to them (Evangelist, Pilate) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Chorus - Let him be crucified! (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 56 Recit. - The governor answered (Evangelist, Pilate) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 57 Accompanied Recit. - To all men Jesu good hath done (Soprano) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 59 Recit. - But they cried out the more (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 5:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 58 Aria - In love my Saviour now is dying (Soprano) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Chorus - Let Him be crucified! (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Recit. - Then released he Barabbas (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 60 Accompanied Recit. - O gracious God (Alto) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 62 Recit. - And then did the soldiers of the governor (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Double Chorus - We hail Thee, King of Jews (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Recit. - And then they spat on Him (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 63 Chorale - O Thou, with hate surrounded (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 64 Recit. - And after they had mocked Him (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 69 Accompanied Recit. - Ah, Golgotha! (Alto) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 70 Solo and Chorus - Look ye, Jesu waiting stands (Alto, Chorus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 71 Recit. - Now from the sixth hour (Evangelist, Jesus) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Chorus - He calleth for Elijah (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Recit. - And straightaway one of them ran (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Chorus - Wait, and see if Elijah cometh to save Him (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Recit. - And again Jesus cried aloud (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Chorale - When I too am departing (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 73 Accompanied Recit. - And then, behold, the veil of the temple (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 1:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Chorus - Truly, this was the Son of God (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/Recit. - At eventide there came a rich man (Evangelist) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic0:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen30. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 74 Accompanied Recit. - At evening, hour of calm and peace (Bass) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen31. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 75 Aria - Make the clean, my heart, from sin (Bass) (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 7:08$1.98  Buy MP3 
listen32. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 77 Soli and Chorus - And now the Lord to rest is laid (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen33. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew, BWV 244/No. 78 Double Chorus - In deepest grief, here sit we weeping (Vocal)Leonard Bernstein;Collegiate Chorale;New York Philharmonic 9:12$1.98  Buy MP3 
listen34. Leonard Bernstein discusses the musical and dramatic stucture of the St. Matthew Passion (Voice)Leonard Bernstein16:16$2.97  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: The Collegiate Chorale, Charles Bressler, Betty Allen, William Wildermann, Adele Addison, et al.
  • Orchestra: New York Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (February 16, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B00000I0W3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,445 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Woods on June 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The linear notes tell us: "Leonard Bernstien did not record a great deal of baroque music. His career blossumed at precisely the same time big-orchestra performances of Bach and Handel were falling into a curious disrepute." Not so curious if you ask me. Getting the NYPO to play baroque is a bit like getting an elephant to dance en point. I really shouldn't criticize: the fact Bernstein could get the elephant up at all shows his genius. Anyway, I cannot believe the total difference between this recording and the Koopman or the Herrewege is simply that this is in English and the others are in German. Is German a prettier language than English? I think not. Certainly understanding the language is helpful. Maybe the translation is bad. Is it the cutting of the Passion? Bernstein loses the anointing of the feet at Bethany and thereby loses one of my favorite Arias "Bub und Reu." Is that what I find so disappointing? I don't know. All I know is I feel a lightness in other interpretations I miss here. This is purely subjective, I gladly admit. Perhaps had a known this interpretation first and followed it up with the Koopman or the Herrewege I would have an entirely difference assessment.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bob S. VINE VOICE on April 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've waited 20 years to find this re-release of a 60's recording that I'd worn out 2 sets of LPs playing. In my view this is one of Bernstein's finest- every tempo, every dynamic, every nuance flows from his soul to his baton and to the orchestra, chorus, and soloists. Certainly not for the purists given the cuts and modern orchestral treatment, but for pure listening bliss this is the recording to own. His (all too) brief explanation of this work at the end exposes his emotional involvement with this masterful music and is a delightful bonus that was originally included as a 7" LP in the set. Bravo to Sony for their Bernstein re-release program!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. Keith Grosjean on February 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is one the great choral works of all time and to be able to hear it in English by an ensemble such as this is an experience no one should miss. The explanation by the conductor at the end of the work is enlightening and adds greatly to the enjoyment of this wonderful musical work.
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42 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The true test of this recording is comparing the last chorus with other versions by Klemperer, Gardiner, Ritcher, Koopman, et al. Why?
Because Bach was wrenching all the drama he could from that last
expression of the sorrow of life of Jesus. "Wir setzen uns mit Tranen nieder" says it all. And Bernstein's version comes in at the slowest.
Over nine minutes! Koopman at six. And the cold, heartless Gardiner
even faster. Gardiner has no concept of the meaning and glorious
passion in this music. Don't buy his Bach recordings. Listen only to
this last chorus' first phrase and how gut-wrenching it is! Bernstein
understood this great masterpiece, and his version is worth buying
just for this chorus.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Music is a dynamic art and must adapt in many ways with each individual performance. I really don't place much value in the effort to perform a composition only by the "original" or "period" standards. If one lays aside such bias, one may experience the muscial beauty and spiritual blessing of this performance of a sacred classic. I speak German as a second language, but thoroughly enjoyed hearing it in English. After all, one's mother tongue is always a more powerful medium. English draws us closer to the message of Christ's atoning death which Bach sought to share in this masterpiece. This recording is very passionate and moving. Kudos also to the staff at Sony who remastered the originals onto CD. I had no idea that the performance was from the early 60's until I read it. The sound quality is tops.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a marvelous performance which breathes life and despair from beginning to end. Bernstein's reading must take its place alongside the Klemperer recording as the most moving performance of the work in the catalog. Although I admire the period performance by Gardiner, this recording is not shackled by an academic straight jacket of politically correct "authentic" instruments. Bernstein once again brought out the best in the musicians under his baton. His brief dissertation on the work is of course compelling, especially his comments on the opening chorus.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "kek5" on August 31, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I bought this version of the St. Matthew Passion because it is sung in English, and there are few recordings of this Passion in English. Initially, I was somewhat disappointed. Being recorded live, the blemishes in ensemble and singing are caught, and it is a shame so many arias are not included (due to the nature of the performance). Nonetheless, upon repeated listenings, I find myself enjoying this St. Matthew more and more. What became clearer to me now is that Bernstein's personal commitment and (forgive me) passion lifts the performance, and while this is by no means a purist's version, it is a long way from the plodding and mannered performances of the old German school. This is a hard performance to recommend without reservation; if you are retentive about period performance practices or unable to live without the missing arias, this is not the CD for you. If, you are a Bernstein fan or just prefer Bach sung in English, this is a good purchase.
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St Matthew Passion
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