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St Matthew Passion Import, Original recording reissued

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording reissued, June 10, 2003
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Product Details

  • Performer: Barbara Schlick, Howard Crook, Rene Jacobs, Peter Kooy, Ulrich Cold
  • Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (June 10, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Import, Original recording reissued
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B00008MJ9Q
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,963 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. 1 Chorus I & II
2. 2 Evangelista, Jesus
3. 3 Choral
4. 4a Evangelista/4b Chorus I & II/4c Evangelista/4d Chorus I/4e Evangelista, Jesus
5. 5 Recitativo (Alt)
6. 6 Aria (Alt)
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. 24 Evangelista, Jesus
2. 25 Choral
3. 26 Evangelista, Jesus, Judas
4. 27a Aria A Doi Cori (Sopran, Alt)/27b Chorus I & II
5. 28 Evangelista, Jesus
6. 29 Choral
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. 48 Recitativo (Sopran)
2. 49 Aria (Sopran)
3. 50a Evangelista/50b Chorus I & II/50c Evangelista, Pilatus/50d Chorus I & II/50e Evangelista
4. 51 Recitativo (Alt)
5. 52 Aria (Alt)
6. 53a Evangelista/53b Chorus I & II/53c Evangelista
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By R. Gerard on June 13, 2003
Philippe Herreweghe seems to be taking the path of his mentor Mr. Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Both are very reputable conductors of early music ensembles, and both seem to release a new interpretation of J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion every decade or so.

Harmonia Mundi's 1999 release of Herreweghe's new reading of the St. Matthew Passion was met with unanimously excellent reviews (see how overjoyed I was in my review of Herreweghe's 1999 release) and to this day it still drawing much attention. There is much to be loved about it: Ian Bostridge's Evangelist, the Collegium Vocale's excellent and uniform singing, the list goes on.

It's hard to believe that Herreweghe also recorded St. Matthew Passion in 1985, this time with Barbara Schlick, Rene Jacobs, and Howard Crook as evangelist. Much of Herreweghe's interpretation has changed during these years. His first stab at the "Great Passion" is re-released here.

When I first heard that the 1985 recording would be re-released and re-packaged I was overjoyed since my original set (which I acquired in 1985 after the original release) was so old and scratched up that it was unusable in a CD player. So I had not listened to this, one of my favorite renditions, in seventeen or eighteen years.

The choirs in the 1985 recording is much larger. Herreweghe even summons his other choir, La Chapelle Royale, to take the part of the first choir while the Collegium Vocale is assigned to the second choir. The sound is rather large in this 1985 recording, which, I guess, is a minus in the light of more recent musicological research favoring smaller choruses (even one-voice-per-part choruses. And remember how small the choruses in the 1999 version are-- smaller choruses are more praised nowadays in performing Bach).
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark Hennicke VINE VOICE on March 24, 2008
Whenever I listen to the present recording of Bach's St. Matthaus Passion, directed by Philippe Herreweghe, I am reminded of a quote by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, about beautiful music:

"I am convinced that music really is the universal language of beauty which can bring together all people of good will on earth and get them to lift their gaze on high and open themselves to the Absolute Good and Beauty whose ultimate source is God Himself."

Herreweghe and his musicians & vocalists give marvelously reverent performances of a score that is among the most beautiful we will ever hear. The Harmonia Mundi sound is sharp & focused, adding brilliantly to an exceptional listening experience. There is no shortage of fine recordings of this choral masterpiece by J.S. Bach, but this one is very special; like prayer, it is a wonderful example of what proper sacred music making should be: a chance to lift our hearts & minds in love and respect to Almighty God.
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