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Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Conducted by Diego Fasolis

Recording

V-3

Bach: Passione secondo Matteo

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Diego Fasolis

Coro della Radio Svizzera & Gruppo Vocale Cantemus / Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana

Tenors: Andrew King, Paul Robinson; Soprano: Lynda Russell; Mezzo-soprano: Gloria Banditelli, Tenor: Axel Everaert; Bass: Andreas Scheibner

The Classic Voice Magazine / Rete Due Radio Svizerra

Apr 1995

2-CD / TT: 126:32

In the version that Mendelssohn directed in Leipzig in 1841. Recorded live at the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Lugano, Switzerland.
Buy this album at:

St. Matthew Passion (1841)

Enrico Bortolazzi wrote (March 23, 2001):
Next month the italian magazine 'The Classic Voice' (yes, the title is in english but the articles are in italian language), has two CDís with the SMP in the Mendelsshon version dated 1841. The conductor is Fasolis (I can check soloists and ensemble), and the publicity says 'first world recording'. Other few notes says 'recitative with piano' and 'some choruses and chorals changed'. What about this version? It's indeed the first recording?

Aryeh Oron wrote (March 23, 2001):
(To Enrico Bortolazzi) Mendelssohn's 1841 version of SMP has already been recorded, by Christoph Spering for Opus 111. The details of this recording and some interesting discussions about it are available in the Bach Cantatas Website in the following address: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Spering.htm

Is there any way to get the Fasolis' recording of SMP? AFAIK he has not recorded any other version of SMP and I Like all his other (and very few) recordings of Bach's vocal works (a list of them is available in the following page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Fasolis.htm). The combination of Fasolis' vitality and subtlety with Bach's music is iressistable.

Enrico Bortolazzi wrote (March 23, 2001):
(To Aryeh Oron) Thanks. I missed the discussion, I don't know why. Thanks to your work I can read it.

< Is there any way to get the Fasolis' recording of SMP? >
It seems that the magazine has no internet site. I can check in this month number (with Sophie-Mutter playing Mozart and Bach) if there's an address and a phone. I will let you know if they can send abroad or if they will release the CDs with a commercial label.

< AFAIK he has not recorded any other version of SMP and I Like all his other (and very few) recordings of Bach's vocal works (a list of them is available in the following page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Fasolis.htm). The combination of Fasolis' vitality and subtlety with Bach's music is iressistable. >

I too like very much Fasolis. But I cannot figure how he will deal with piano. Let's wait.

Riccardo Nughes wrote (March 23, 2001):
(To Enrico Bortolazzi) Mendellssohn directed twice the MP : the first in 1829, the second in 1841. These 2 versions are different : in 1829 the recitative were accompanied by piano only played by Mendelssohn himself, in 1841 he choose 2 "cellos playing in double-stopping and a double-bass". Furthermore there are other differences between these 2 performances. So when we talk about "Mendelssohn-MP" we must know that they are...2 not 1 only. Maybe Fasolis has recorded the 1829 version..I think it will be really interesting to hear Bach recitatives accompanied by a piano only even if this reminds me "Così fan tutte" as recorded by René Jacobs...

P.S: Enrico can you tell us ensemble and soloists?

Matthew Westphal wrote (March 23, 2001):
(To Enrico Bortolazzi) Aa Aryeh points out, Spering has already recorded Mendelssohn's version of the St. Matthew Passion.

I think the clue to the claim "first recording" lies in the note about recitative with piano. Mendelssohn accompanied the recitatives with pianoforte in the 1829 performance; in 1841 he used 2 cellos and a double bass instead, and it's that practice which Spering follows.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 24, 2001):
(To Enrico Bortolazzi) As one who has very much enjoyed the Spering recording of the 1841 revision and thereunto the excellent notes supplied with this set, I would find it of much interest to hear the first attempt by Felix M. at his Bach Revival for which we are all so grateful to him. Enrico, can you tell us what this "business" of including the CDís with a magazine is about and can you perhaps find out how others may obtain this? This will be of much interest to many of us.

Riccardo Nughes wrote (March 24, 2001):
(To Yoël L. Arbeitman) In Italy there classical music magazines who are usually sold in newspaper'kiosk and that contains CD. Often they are reprinting of available music, sometimes they are new editions, later reissued on "normal" labels (that was for Fasolis'Bach Mass who was distribuited with a magazine before it was printed on ARTS label). So "The Classical voice" magazine costs 18.000 italian lire: 9,30 euro-about 9 USD-about 5,5 GBP. As far I know the magazine is sold in italian newspapers' kiosk only. Yoel, if you're interested in it please write me off-list. The same for other people who could be interested in it. Ehm...I have no business at all with my newspapers kiosk!!! ;-)

Matthew Westphal wrote (March 24, 2001):
(To Yoël L. Arbeitman) You should be able to find these at the Ricordi or Rizzoli bookstores in Manhattan.

Yoël L. Arbeiman wrote (March 24, 2001):
(To Enrico Bortolazzi, Riccardo Nughes & Matthew Westphal) Good, I will first investigate Matthew's suggestion and, if that is not possible, only then will I write Riccardo. This is a very nice service on lists that we can help one another with. I appreciate it and, IMVHO, this is the same kind of help that Pieter was trying to do on the BachCantatas list. Good listening to all.

Enrico Bortolazzi wrote (March 26, 2001):
Good news. In the week-end I read again the last number of classic voice saying 'in next number we will give Bach-Mendelssohn 1841 Passion....recitative with piano....first recording only for our reader', and so on. But I was sure that members of this list are well informed so there sould be something wrong in the magazine. Coming to work I saw in a kiosk the new 'Classic Voice' number and I bought it. So I have the two CDs with me and I can give you the details.

The version is that of 1841, as directed and scored by Mendelssohn at Leipzig. So there's no piano, quod erat demostrandum :-). It's a DDD live recording dated April 14th, 1995 (Lugano) with these artists:
Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana
Coro della Radio Svizzera
Gruppo vocale Cantemus
dir: Diego Fasolis
soloists: Andrew King, Paul Robinson, Lynda Russel, Gloria Banditelli, Axel Everaert, Andreas Scheibner.
Booklet very simple: german text and italian traslation (by Quirino Principe) with few notes regarding the differences between this version and the Bach original score. I haven't found who sings what, but I will check better this evening.

I haven't yet read the article inside the magazine so I cannot say more. And of course I haven't yet listen to the CDs, please wait few days.However the price is very low (18.000, ~9$).

I searched all the last number for a www site but they have only an e-mail: voice@wwsedition.it

You should ask if they send copies to countries other than Italy, or if the CDís will be released in a near future.


Fasolisí Mendelssohn MP

Riccardo Nughes wrote (March 24, 2001):
Well, finally I have in my hands this new recording. Some details :
Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Corodella Radio Svizzera, Gruppo vocale Cantemus directed by Diego Fasolis.
Soloists : Andrew King (Evangelist), Paul Robinson (Christ), Lynda Russel (soprano), Gloria Banditelli (contralto), Axel Everaert (tenore), Andreas Scheibner (basso).
Live recording : Lugano (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, 14-4-1995).
Total time : 62'35 (first part) + 63'57 (second part). DDD stereo.
Booklet in german-italian languages.

Fasolis used for this recording the 1841 score prepared by F.Mendellsohn, so this is another editon of the C.Spering world premiere. I've listened to it just once so here are my first impressions.

This is another fine Bach rendition by D. Fasolis, it's a high level interpretation, soloists here are, in my opinion, much more inspirated than the Spering ones, but, unfortunately in this live recording we miss much of the orchestral details we can hear better in the Opus 111 recording (ehm..where are the clarinets in the "tutti"?).

Yoël L. Arbeiman wrote (March 24, 2001):
(To Riccardo Nughes) Two questions still. What is the precise date of the magazine issue? I need to know this to try the places Matthew recommended. And, then this is the 1841 revised Mendelssohn and not the 1829 with piano accompaniment? I think many of us would still want to hear this, but also we would look forward to someone performing the 1829 come scritto. That would be, if not HIP Bach, HIP Mendelssohn and an important part of the record.

Thank you so much for your reports on this!

Riccardo Nughes wrote (March 25, 2001):
(To Yoël L. Arbeitman) These 2 CDís are published with the April number of the italian magazine "The Classic Voice" published by W.W.S publishing Milano, Italy. In my opinion this magazine is not available abroad, for more info try at voice@wwsedition.it (no web site, sorry!).

I was a little disappointed when I discovered that this is another rending of 1841 version, it would be very interesting to listen to Bach recitativi with a piano solo! But I repeat this is the same score used by Mendelssohn in 1841 and "re-discovered" by C. Spering for his recording on Opus 111. Honestly the CDís cover don't say "first world recording" or similar, our friend Enrico has been betrayed by an inaccurate advert. However this is a live recording from april 1995...almost 6 years ago! D. Fasolis is under contract with ARTS records and Naxos (a great Cherubini's Requiem was just published some weeks ago).In an interview last year he told that his next records would be the "Vespro per la Beata Vergine" (Monteverdi-published) and the Bach rending of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater (not released yet). So, I think that this MP won't be published in another way, but it's just a my opinion.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 25, 2001):
(To Riccardo Nughes) It's very easy to be deceived by false advertising. The Monteverdi is one of the greatest things there is and I have three recordings of it and still not the one I want. The Bach Psalm 51 (adaptation of Pergelosi) is also something to look forward to. Much thanks,

Donald Satz wrote (March 25, 2001):
(To Riccardo Nughes) Another difference between the 1829 and 1841 revivals is that four of the arias cut from the 1829 version were restored for the 1841 performance. Mendelssohn had cut well over half of the arias for the 1829 revival.

Enrico Bortolazzi wrote (March 26, 2001):
< Riccardo Nughes wrote: Honestly the cds cover don't say "first world recording" or similar, our friend Enrico has been betrayed by an inaccurate advert. >
Yes, I want to write them because the advert is on their March magazine. Who wrote the advert? But I am sure that the members of this list are the best informed so when they told me the differences between 1829 and 1841 versions, and I saw on the CDs '1841 version' I had no doubt: the advert was wrong!

< However this is a live recording from april 1995...almost 6 years ago! D. Fasolis is under contract with ARTS records and Naxos (a great Cherubini's Requiem was just published some weeks ago).In an interview last year he told that his next records would be the "Vespro per la Beata Vergine" (Monteverdi-published) and the Bach rending of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater (not released yet). So I think that this MP won't be published in another way, but it's just a my opinion. >
I'm not sure of this. Probably the magazine has a license for few months as already happened at least in Italy. Let's wait.


Pasolisí SMP?

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 16, 2004):
Anybody here have a copy of Diego Fasolis' recording of the SMP (Mendelssohn arrangement), and a reaction to it? I found the Gramophone review at: http://www.gramophone.co.uk/gramofilereview.asp?reviewID=200209658 and it looks attractive to me, as a fan of other Fasolis recordings.

I already have the Spering recording of this arrangement; but this sentence from the Fasolis review sparks me especially: "Diego Fasolis and his Swiss-Italian forces (in this performance from 1995) achieve a far greater emotional range than Spering, whose alluring élan is too obediently restricted to the least imaginative wing of contemporary 'period' practice." I agree, the Spering is rather bland in impact, clean and pretty where I'd prefer something of wider-ranging drama....

Ehud Shiloni wrote (March 17, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] I have it, and consider it a worthwhile version. The Fasolis "sound" is stupenduous in the choruses and chorals - a real joy. The negatives of this recordings are mainly with the generally not too exciting soloists. The evangelist does not excude the drama you are looking for, but as I said - overall it's a good one. Recommended.

Riccardo Nughes wrote (March 17, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] The "history" of this recording is here: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Fasolis.htm , the Gramophone review refers to a recent reissue on the small French label Assai. My opinions aren't changed in the meanwhile : I still prefer the Spering recording where you can clearly hear all the orchestral "differences"( I admit I really love the clarinets'sound ^__^).

I hope that someone will reissue the Cantatas recorded by Fasolis: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Fasolis.htm#RC , a really great set.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 18, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] I have heard samples of it on Amazopn.com. I thought the Spering version was slightly better, but still a good recording.

I was apalled at the rewriting Mendelssohn did for that performance. Why could he not have just presented note-for-note what the score showed?

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 18, 2004):
< I was apalled at the rewriting Mendelssohn did for that performance. Why could he not have just presented note-for-note what the score showed? >
Complaints about ghoulish rewriting? What's wrong with musicians of extraordinary talent reacting creatively to the spark of one another's work? Any objections to Bach's own arrangements of Vivaldi, Marcello, Reincken, et al?

I've been listening this week to Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde" arranged for chamber ensemble by Schoenberg and Riehn, the Herreweghe recording. Wow! And Schoenberg's arrangement of Strauss' "Kaiserwalzer" is a longtime favorite. And the Goossens arrangement of "Messiah" (Beecham 1959)!

Donald Satz wrote (March 18, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] I'm not apalled at what Mendelssohn did. Heck, he helped put Bach back on the musical radar screen. I think his reasoning for not offering the SMP "note for note" was that he felt that doing so would not get a good reception from the public. His motivation was pure.

John Pike wrote (March 18, 2004):
[To Donald Satz] Mendelssohn's performance of the SMP in Berlin was such a success that a second, unanticipated, performance had to be given the following evening. Gramophone magazine this month reviews all the recordings of the SMP. It compares 2 recordings of the Mendelssohn version: "This abridged version enjoys 2 corecordings which convey the unashamed early-century zeal for illuminating Bach's intense response to text; contrary to possible expectation, the overall effect is one of paring down rather than agrandissement. Spering's account is smooth and safe. Fasolis is emotionally more involved and free, if intermittently untidy."

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 19, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] Because, as a re-introduction of the work to the general populace, it should present itself as the original composer wrote it.

BTW, the analogy to transcriptions is irrelevant here. The transcriptions that Bach did were of already known works and mostly (if not only) for self-education purposes (as were those of Gottfried Walther). Neither Bach nor Walther (according to the evidence I have read) were familiar with Italian Concerto style, and thus wrote their transcriptions to educate themselves in this form.

Also, the part I found ghoulish about Mendelssohn's rewriting of the Matthäuspassion was that he changed a lot of areas in the original score. Instead of just either abbreviating or removing some of the Arien, he completely rewrote the work. One in particular is the first and second recitative movements in Part I of the work. It should be called the Mendelssohn Matthäuspassion, since (at least to me) there is more Mendelssohn than Bach in it, just as the reconstruction of the Markuspassion by Ton Koopman is more Koopman than Bach.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 19, 2004):
[To Donald Satz] How would he have known?

Remember, Bach's music had been out there since 1802, so he did not really re-introduce Bach to the general populace per se.

There had been many a musician since Bach's death that knew of his music. Mozart, for instance, when he heard a performance of "Singet den Herrn einen neuen Lied!" in rehearsal by the Thomanerchor Leipzig, he said (allegedly) "Here is something we could learn from!" A lot of Beethoven's early renown as a concert Pianist came from his interpretations of the Das Wohltemperierte Klavier. The Motteten and Orgel-and Klavierwerke were in print as early as the 1770s and 1780s and as late as 1802. Plus there is Nikolaus Forkel's biography of Bach (which was largely based on correspondence between him and the surviving children and students of Bach and somewhat by the obituary in 1754 by Emanuel Bach and Agricola).

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 19, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < Because, as a re-introduction of the work to the general populace, it should present itself as the original composer wrote it. >
That is over-simplifying things rather. For example, while Rimsky Korsakov's re-orchestration/re-writing of "Boris Godunov" turned it into a 'safer', less radical and interesting piece, it did at least keep the opera in the repertoire, and enabled countless people over the years to experience something of the glories of Mussorgsky's masterpiece. And it was done for the best of reasons - Rimsky recognised that there were great things in the work, but also believed that there were problems that needed 'correction'. Now, many people see those same 'problems' as virtues, and prefer to hear what Mussorgsky originally wrote. But Rimsky was probably right - the public at the time wasn't ready for Boris in its original state, and it probably wouldn't have had any kind of life at all without his reworkings. And even now, given the various versions of the opera Mussorgsky prepared, it is far from clear exactly what his intentions were, as far as the content of the opera goes.

Another example: Paul Wingfield has recently reconstructed the original version of Janacek's Glagolitic Mass (which has been recorded by Charles Mackerras). Janacek made various simplifications prior to the first performance, because it was deemed (probably correctly, at the time) to be too difficult. Were the tens of thousands of performances of that slightly easier and less extraordinary version of the piece that have been given over the years a mistake? If Janacek had stuck to his original thoughts, would the piece indeed have been performed at all?

These are just a couple of examples. It is easy to insist that a piece should be performed "as the original composer wrote it" (if indeed we can even be certain what exactly that means) but we live in very different times from Mendelssohn, Rimsky Korsakov or Janacek.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 19, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < Also, the part I found ghoulish about Mendelssohn's rewriting of the Matthäuspassion was that he changed a lot of areas in the original score. Instead of just either abbreviating or removing some of the Arien, he completely rewrote the work. >
Would it have been OK then if he'd only abbreviated and cut some arias? (And surely the word is arias, not Arien, as you're writing in English?!)

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 19, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] In the case of Mendelssohn, however, things were different than in the two cases you brought up.

In the case of Rimsy-Korsakov, it was a contemporaneous work, and he finished it (it was left unfinished by Moussorgsky's death) and reorchestrated it. It had been performed once, and Moussorgsky was working on a revision at the time of his death. I am not familiar with Janacek's work to make a comment about it.

In the case of Mendelssohn, however, it was different. Here the work had not been performed since 1742, but the parts and score(s?) for it was still extant.

Here I would like to make a comment before starting on my critique. It was not, as many people would have it, actually performed 100 years after its initial performance. The Leipzig performance was performed on the wrong date. Hence, it was actually performed earlier than the date of performance in 1729. Also, if modern scholarship is to be viewed as reliable, the true 100th anniversary of the first performance of the Matthäuspassion should have been performed in 1827. Also, unlike popular belief, the 1829 performace took place in Berlin. In 1830, it was repeated in the Thomaskirche zu Leipzig, whcih also saw the performance documented in teh Fasolis and Spering recordings.

Now to the critique.

The case of the 1829, 1830, and 1841 performances of the Matthäuspassion led by Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (held variously in Berlin and Leipzig) is totally different than the two abovementioned cases for the following reasons:

1.) The score (or scores, perhaps) and the parts of the Matthäuspassion (in possibly all three versions, but most definitely at least in the 1736 and 1742 version) were readilly available, but were not (at least not to me) used in the performances mentioned above.

2.) Unlike the case of Moussorgsky's "Boris Godunov", Mendelssohn did not do a mere reorchestration and completion,. He redid the entire work. Not only did he abridge some of the Arien and cut two (at least) out completely, but he totally reorchestrated and rewrote many of the other movements as well.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 19, 2004):
Gabriel Jackson wrote: < Would it have been OK then if he'd only abbreviated and cut some arias? (And surely the word is arias, not Arien, as you're writing in English?!) >
No, but at least that would have been less unsettling than what he actually did.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 19, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < In the case of Rimsky-Korsakov, it was a contemporaneous work, and he finished it (it was left unfinished by Moussorgsky's death) and reorchestrated it. >
It was already finished. Rimsky didn't just reorchestrate it, he rewrote it, in order to tone down aspects of the musical language that were thought too 'difficult' (and possibly the result of incompetence).

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 19, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < Unlike the case of Moussorgsky's "Boris Godunov", Mendelssohn did not do a mere reorchestration and completion,. He redid the entire work. Not only did he abridge some of the Arien and cut two (at least) out completely, but he totally reorchestrated and rewrote many of the other movements as well. >
No, like the case ofBoris. Rimsky did just the same.

Donald Satz wrote (March 19, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Why as originally wrote? Ethical considerations? Practical?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 20, 2004):
[To Donald Satz] Every reason possible.

Here is a scenario:

Say that Mozart wrote a work that has been unknown for over a century. As a rediscoverer of the work, one should present it as it is instead of how we would like it to be, especially if one has both score and parts available to one. Such was the case with Mendelssohn and the Matthäuspassion. He had available to him at the Berliner Singakademie both the scores and the parts of at least two of the three different versions of the Matthäuspassion (which the Singakademie acquired from the estates of Emanuel Bach and Altnikol). So what does he do when he decides to present it again? He rewrites the entire work. Instead of letting Bach's music stand and speak for itself, he pulls a stunt akin to Koopman's reconstruction of the Markuspassion. And then he passes it off as Bach's music. Instead of being honest enough to admit to his actions, he passes it off as Bach's music. It makes me wonder how much of the works he performed on the Thomaskirche organ in his famous 1843 concert organized to raise funds to erect a Bach Monument at the Thomaskirche was actually Bach, or if Mendelssohn made his own arrangements of Bach's works and passed them off as being by Bach.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 20, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < Instead of letting Bach's music stand and speak for itself, he pulls a stunt akin to Koopman's reconstruction of the Markuspassion. And then he passes it off as Bach's music. Instead of being honest enough to admit to his actions, he passes it off as Bach's music. >
Why are you so concerned about what Mendelssohn did over 150 years ago anyway?

Donald Satz wrote (March 20, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] The premise that "one should present it as is" is an opinion without any justification offered. To say "every reason possible" doesn't really say anything.

I don't care for Mendelssohn's music, but the man did revive Bach's music. I say Bach's music, because much of it is in Mendelssohn's arrangement. Better something than nothing. Seems to me that Mr. Lebut wants everything, and he's rarely getting it.

John Pike wrote (March 21, 2004):
[To Donald Satz] I haven't heard the Mendelssohn arrangement but he is one of my favourite composers and I look forward to getting the Fasolis recording. Many composers make arrangements of other composers' works, including Bach himself. Anther notable example is Mozart's arrangement of "Messiah". The music is not sacred. There is absolutely no reason for not making arrangements of it. The end result will fall or stand on its own merits. It often helps to make the basic piece available to a wider audience. If it "gives pleasure to the soul" or "gives glory to God", who can object? In the case of Mendelssohn's arrangement of the SMP, it was a great success and it is largely thanks to him that we can hear the work at all.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 21, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Because I have the same concern about Koopman's actions only a few years ago. The point is that neither owned up (at least in advertizing) to the amount of material they used that was actual, genuine Bach and how much of it was their own. And the really sad part is that for the better part of a half-century, Mendelssohn's version was thought of as genuine.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 21, 2004):
[To Donald Satz] Actually, he didn't.

Case in point: Beethoven's early career as a Concert Pianist was primarly based on his interpretations of the Das Wohltemperierte Klavier. Bach's Keyboard, Organ, and Motets were all in print as late as 1802. Forkel wrote his biography of Bach in the early 1800s.

Secondly, it was (as one should admit) more Mendelssohn than Bach. It was not a mere arrangement, it was a complete reworking of the music. The voice-leading is way different, many notes are different in the Continuo, etc.

Thirdly, he was advertizing it as a centenary performance. If so, then it should have been done on the exact date and in the same church. As it is, the 1729 performance was in Berlin practically weeks before the true centenial of the Matthäuspassion. And it shouldn't have been in 1829 if modern scholarship is to be believed, but in 1827.

While I do applaud his "rediscovery" of this work, if I were in charge, things would have been way different. I wonder where Zelter was in all this.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 21, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < Thirdly, he was advertizing it as a centenary performance. If so, then it should have been done on the exact date and in the same church. As it is, the 1729 performance was in Berlin practically weeks before the true centenial of the Matthäuspassion. And it shouldn't have been in 1829 if modern scholarship is to be believed, but in 1827. >
Goodness me, this is nitpicking! "It should have been done on the exact date" - why?!! And the last sentence is rather illogical - if it is modern scholarship that ascribes the date to 1827, how could Mendelssohn have known that?!

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 21, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < While I do applaud his "rediscovery" of this work, if I were in charge, things would have been way different. >
I wonder if they would have been, in 1829?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 23, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] The last sentence was stating that the cnetenary would have been in 1827, since modern scholarship places the first performance of the work in 1727.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 23, 2004):
Gabriel Jackson wrote: < I wonder if they would have been, in 1829? >
Yes.

Remember that they still had all the parts and complete scores for at least two if not all three versions of the work. If I were alive then and in charge of the production, I would have looked at and used the scores, not rewrite the entire work.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 23, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < The last sentence was stating that the cnetenary would have been in 1827, since modern scholarship places the first performance of the work in 1727. >
But Mendelssohn wouldn't have known that, so it hardly seems fair to chastise him for it, which was my point!

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 23, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < If I were alive then and in charge of the production, I would have looked at and used the scores, not rewrite the entire work. >
How can you be so sure?!

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 26, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < But Mendelssohn wouldn't have known that, so it hardly seems fair to chastise him for it, which was my point! >
He would have through Zelter. Not to mention the score of the 1727 performance was most likely still available then.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 26, 2004):
Gabriel Jackson wrote: < How can you be so sure?! >
Because I would.

If I am presenting a work by Bach, then by golly I will present a work by Bach, not my recomposition of a work by Bach.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 26, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] You might now, but you would not have been the same person in 1829, with the same ideas, the same knowledge, and the musical culture of 1829 was quite different from our own, with very different attitudes and ideas. It is quite pointless to say "if I were alive then I would have done this...." because there is no way of knowing.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 30, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Actually, I would beg to differ here. There was at that time (as in this time) a push towards performing the work of a certain composer as written. The same push and drive led to the establishment in 1850 of the Bach Gesellschaft. So your view of conditions is not 100% accurate.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 30, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Yes it is. The above does not contradict what I said - "you would not have been the same person in 1829, with the same ideas, the same knowledge, and the musical culture of 1829 was quite different from our own, with very diffattitudes and ideas."

And 1850 is not 1829...

John Pike wrote (March 30, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] There is a helpful account in "The New Bach Reader", edited by Wolff, at the end of the book, about the preparations for the first performance in Berlin 1829 of the SMP. it is written by the person who sang the part of Christ and who personally had to encourage Mendelssohn to perform the work. Mendelssohn was very reluctant at first, fearing an unfavourable reception from Zelter at the Singakademie, and the public at large. It may help to understand why he made so many changes to the work for performance.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (April 3, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Nor is 1802, but the printers were still printing Bach's music even then. The point is that there was then (even in 1829) a push towards performing a work by a certain composer as written. This was particularly true in Bach's case, especially since the scores and parts were available. I pointed out 1850 because that is when it reached its culmination: with the establishment of the Bach-Gesellschaft. In point of fact, it actually nhever ended; wed are still feeling its effects today. And it was this fascination with Bach and his times that led to our re-discovery of Schuetz, Telemann, Vivaldi, etc.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 3, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Neither does this doesn't contradict what I said earlier - "you would not have been the same person in 1829, with the same ideas, the same knowledge, and the musical culture of 1829 was quite different from our own, with very different attitudes and ideas." If you aren't able to understand that, so be it.


Matthäus-Passion BWV 244: Details
Recordings: 1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Individual Movements
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | BWV 244a | BWV 244b
Systemetic Discussions:
Part 1: Mvts. 1-8 | Part 2: Mvts. 9-20 | Part 3: Mvts. 21-29 | Part 4: Mvts. 30-40 | Part 5: Mvts. 41-50 | Part 6: Mvts. 51-57 | Part 7: Mvts. 58-63b | Part 8: Mvts. 63c-68 | Part 9: Role of the Evangelist
Individual Recordings:
BWV 244 - L. Bernstein | BWV 244 - F. Brüggen | BWV 244 - J. Butt | BWV 244 - R. Chailly | BWV 244 - S. Cleobury | BWV 244 - J. Daus | BWV 244 - D. Fasolis | BWV 244 - W. Furtwängler | BWV 244 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 244 - W. Gönnenwein | BWV 244 - P. Goodwin | BWV 244 - E.z. Guttenberg | BWV 244 - N. Harnoncourt | BWV 244 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 244 - R. Jacques | BWV 244 - H.v. Karajan | BWV 244 - O. Klemperer | BWV 244 - T. Koopman | BWV 244 - S. Koussevitzky | BWV 244 - S. Kuijken | BWV 244 - F. Lehmann | BWV 244 - G. Leonhardt | BWV 244 - P.J. Leusink | BWV 244 - E.&R. Mauersberger | BWV 244 - H. Max | BWV 244 - P. McCreesh | BWV 244 - W. Mengelberg | BWV 244 - K. Münchinger | BWV 244 - R. Norrington | BWV 244 - G. Oberfrank | BWV 244 - S. Ozawa | BWV 244 - A. Parrott | BWV 244 - G. Ramin | BWV 244 - S. Rattlr | BWV 244 - K. Richter | BWV 244 - H. Rilling | BWV 244 - H.J. Rotzsch | BWV 244 - H. Scherchen | BWV 244 - G. Solti | BWV 244 - C. Spering | BWV 244 - M. Suzuki | BWV 244 - J.v. Veldhoven | BWV 244 - B. Walter | BWV 244 - F. Werner | BWV 244 - M. Wöldike
Articles:
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244 [T.N. Towe] | Two Easter St. Matthew Passions (Plus One) [U. Golomb] | St. Matthew Passion from Harnoncourt [D. Satz] | The Passion according to Saint Matthew BWV 244 [J. Rifkin] | The Relationship between BWV 244a (Trauermusik) and BWV 244b (SMP Frühfassung) [T. Braatz] | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 - Early History (A Selective, Annotated Bibliography) [W. Hoffman] | Spiritual Sources of Bach's St. Matthew Passion [W. Hoffman] | Bach and the "Great Passion" [D.G. Lebut Jr.] | The Genesis of Bach's `Great Passion': 1724-29 [W. Hoffman] | Early Performances of Bach's SMP [T. Braatz]

Diego Fasolis: Short Biography | Coro della Radio Svizzera | I Barocchisti | Ensemble Vanitas
Recordings:
Part 1 | Part 2 | General Discussions
Individual Recordings:
Motets - Fasolis | BWV 232 - Fasolis | BWV 244 - Fasolis | BWV 245 - Fasolis

Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

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Last update: żFebruary 2, 2006 ż21:45:14