Bach: St. Matthew Passion Box set
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Gardiner's version is, that's sure, a very dramatic account of the work. Here some may prefer a more contemplative approach, and they would be well served by Suzuki's recent recording. But Gardiner's delivery of the narrative is much more gripping, with an exceptional Evangelist in the voice of Anthony Rolfe-Johnson and some of the most impressive crowd's scenes ever, enhanced by the superb singing of the Monteverdi Choir. Herreweghe's excelent new recording, which is also intensely dramatic (more so in the arias, actually), can't compare to Gardiner's in such moments as when the crowd shouts for the freedom of "Barrabam" and soon after demands Jesus's crucifixion.Read more ›
The great opening Chorus for double-chorus and a children's choir of trebles is a masterpiece within a masterpiece. (Gardiner uses a children's chorus containing girls, an unusual choice.)
However, there are problems.
Gardiner seems more concerned with the choral parts --sticking to the strengths of his ensemble-- than the solo movements. The choruses, chorales and turbae (the short choral statements where the chorus speaks for the crowd, e.g. "crucify him!") are done well and with energy, smoothness, ensemble, and beautiful chording. But Gardiner seems to hurry through the solos to get to the choruses.
In my humble opinion, the Passion has both a dramatic character as well as a reflective character. When you hear it for the first time, it's the drama that grabs you. On subsequent hearings (esp. if you subscribe to the religious and spiritual beliefs presented in this work) it is the reflection that appeals to one, certainly to me. And at the time of this recording, Gardiner seems not to have been sympathetic to the reflective character of the work. If you're preoccupied with "Let's not get sentimental about this," this is what you'd produce. May I be forgiven for imagining that this is British Stiff Upper-Lip taken a little too far?
The tempi are a tad too fast in general.
However, look on the bright side:
Gardiner emphasizes the drama beautifully. This is a good choice for young people exploring Bach for the first time.Read more ›
As for comparing and contrasting the styles of the two famous Bach performers in that of Herreweghe and Gardiner, the two are so much alike with their tempos that if one of them is criticized for taking a piece too fast then both of them should!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A faultless recording of that which is regarded as the greatest composition in the classical repertoire.Published 14 months ago by Geoff Fiddian
It is an important performance that must be left to future generations.Published on July 20, 2014 by Satoshi Takimoto
In this age when every early music conductor -- and many others for that matter -- attempt this Mount Everest of Bach's compositions. Read morePublished on June 24, 2013 by Colleen Fay
"Bahamas Air Control - can you hear me? We need assistance. Over."
"It's the Bahamas Air Control here. You're coming over loud and strong. Identify yourself! Read more
I sing tenor in a local community chorus. When we are about to begin rehearsals of a choral work I haven't done before, I get a recording of it. Read morePublished on May 3, 2011 by Tenor1744
Dispite this Matthäus Passion was recorded in 1989, the sound quality still is outstanding when compared with nowadays standards. Read morePublished on April 2, 2011 by Hans Sypkens
Maybe it's because to I came to Gardiner's recording straight from Suzuki's, oh so, poignant one but this was a severe disappointment for me - which surprised me because I really... Read morePublished on November 11, 2010 by Cort Johnson
If you are interested in this recording, you might want to know that for about $60 you can get Sacred Masterpieces / Cantatas, which includes this one, as well as many others by... Read morePublished on August 14, 2010 by Wyote