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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 Philippe Herreweghe

V-6

J.S. Bach: Matthäus Passion

 

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Philippe Herreweghe

Ensemble Vocale de La Chapelle Royale (Chorus One), Collegium Vocale Gent (Chorus Two) & Cœur D'enfants 'In Dulci Jubilo' (Chorus Master Godfried van de Vyvere) / La Chapelle Royale Orchestra

Tenor [Evangelist]: Howard Crook; Bass [Jesus]: Ulrik Cold; Soprano [Arias, Pilate's Wife, 1st Maid]: Barbara Schlick; Alto [Arias, 1st Witness]: René Jacobs; Tenor [Arias, 2nd Witness]: Hans Peter Blochwitz; Bass [Arias, Pilate, High Priest, 2nd Priest]: Peter Kooy; Soprano [2nd Maid]: Catherine Bignalet; Baritone [Petrus, 1st Priest]: Marc Meersman; Baritone [Judas]: Renaud Machart

Harmonia Mundi France

Sep 1984

3-CD / TT: 170:32

Recorded at l'Église St Gilles, Bruges, Belgium.
1st recording of Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 by P. Herreweghe.
Buy this album at:
3-CD: Amazon.com | Amazon.com

V-7

J.S. Bach: Matthaüs Passion

 

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Philippe Herreweghe

Chœr et Orchestre de Collegium Vocale Gent / Schola Cantorum Cantate Domino (Director: Michäel Ghljs)

Tenor [Evangelist]: Ian Bostridge; Bass [Jesus]: Franz-Josef Selig; Soprano [arias, Pilatus' wife]: Sibylla Rubens; Alto: Andreas Scholl; Tenor: Werner Güra; Bass: Dietrich Henschel; Bass [Pilatus]: Dietrich Henschel; Baritone [Judas & Priest 1]: Frits Vanhulle; Bass [Petrus & Priest 2]: Dominik Wörner; Alto [Witness]: Andreas Scholl; Tenor [Witness]: Werner Güra; Sopranos [Maids]: Elisabeth Hermans & Susan Hamilton

Harmonia Mundi France

Aug 1998

3-CD / TT: 161:22 + CD-ROM

Recorded at Arsenal de Metz - La Grande Salle.
2nd recording of Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 by P. Herreweghe.
CD-4 is a interactive Windows-CD-ROM: An intercative journey to the birth of Saint Matthew Passion.
Buy this album at:
3-CD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

V-8

J.S. Bach: Matthäuspassion BWV 244

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 - Fassung von 1736

Philippe Herreweghe

Freiburger Domsingknaben, Freiburger Barockorchester, Chor und Orchester des Collegium Vocale Gent

Soprano: Joanne Lunn; Alto: Ingeborg Danz; Tenor: Andreas Karasiak; Tenor: Jan Kobow; Bass: Peter Kooy; Bass: Sebastian Noack

Unknown Label

Feb 28, 2002

2-CD / TT: 167:52

Recorded at Konzerthaus Freiburg, Germany.
3rd recording of Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 by P. Herreweghe.

V-9

J.S. Bach: Mathäus-Passion

 

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Philippe Herreweghe

Collegium Vocale Gent

Tenor [Evangelist]: Christoph Prégardien; Bass [Christusworte]: Tobias Berndt; Sopranos: Dorothee Mields, Hana Blažíková; Altos (Counter-tenors): Damien Guillon, Robin Blaze; Tenors: Colin Balzer, Hans Jörg Mammel; Basses: Matthew Brook, Stephan MacLeod.

3Sat Broadcast

Apr 2, 2010

Video / TT: 163:18

A live broadcast from the Kölner Philharmonie, Germany.. The video file that is available is a satellite rip.
4th recording of Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 by P. Herreweghe.

Magnificat and St. Matthew - Herreweghe was here...

Tormod Carstens (April 23, 1998):
As I'm writing this, Peter Kooy is singing "quia fecit mihi magna" with the same beautiful, warm, soothing bass with which he first convinced me that he really did want to bury Jesus in the Matthew Passion. He is my favourite for those low notes, and although I have heard Emma Kirkby do things I know for a fact are humanly impossible (I mean that as a compliment...), I like Barbara Schlick's soprano as well. Subtract René Jacobs slightly nasal (IMHO) counter-tenor, and I would recommend the Herreweghe Passion without hesitation. I have heard "Erbarme Dich" from the Karajan recording, and I'd trade René for whoever's singing on that recording any day. It's the difference between a frown and tears-in-your-eyes-goosebumps-all-over... But I'd give that stick to mr. Herreweghe, 'cause I don't think much of the marching band tempos of Gardiner either, or the Karajan Wiener-Classical approach... Oh yes - now the flutes opening the "Esurientes". Gorgeous, In my Humble opinion...

Now for a couple of questions for you knowledgeable people:

1. Hasn't Emma Kirkby done the Motets? What's the name & number of that recording?
2. Did Glenn Gould ever record the chromatic fantasy and fugue? Name & number, please! I have a (rather rotten) norwegian recording that sounds like the pianist never understood how the melodies went at all, and just hammered away at the chords... I would love to hear Glenn Gould's interpretation of that one! He was the one who won me over to Bach in the first place; bless him! :)
3. Have you all heard of David Cope's EMI software? He let his computer compose some music - hear the "Bach" invention or the "Chopin" mazurka at http://arts.ucsc.edu/faculty/cope/emi-rmf.html hehe - I kind of like it... who would give a Macintosh that much credit?

 

SMP by Philippe Herreweghe (New Version)

Ryan Michero wrote (November 5, 1999):
Hey, everybody. I found a pretty good deal on CDNow on the upHerreweghe St. Matthew Passion. It's on sale for $37.08, and if you follow the link below, you get $10 off. That's about $30 US shipped!
http://www.cdnow.com/from=sr-2038554

I'm not connected to CDNow in any way, BTW. In fact, they probably wouldn't like me to pass along info of such a discount. Oh well!

Samuel Frederick wrote (November 5, 1999):
(To Ryan Michero) Thanks for this, Ryan. But I noticed that at CDNow the recording is set to be released November 16, not November 9, as was originally planned. Is this just CDNow or has the release been postponed by a week?

Is the representative from Harmonia Mundi still on the list?

Ryan Michero wrote (November 5, 1999):
(To Samuel Frederick) I think November 16 is the correct date, actually. I went to Tower Records today, and there's a whole slew of Harmonia Mundi Bach Edition discs coming out on that day, including all of the box sets. I guess they were postponed, or else online stores were given incorrect release date info.

Piotr Stanislawski wrote (November 5, 1999):
In the box of 6 CD's with my favorite Herreweghe I received one week ago was also included a catalog with upcoming new releases of Harmonia Mundi France. It informs about three versions of new Herreweghe St. Matthew Passion recording:
1. Limited Edition
HML 5901676.78 + 1 CD-ROM PC (+ Special Booklet?)
2. HMC 951676.78 + 1 CD-ROM PC
3. HMC 901676.78

On CD-ROM:
* Hypermedia biography of the composer.
* History of the Passion. Passions in musical history, the Lutheran context, sources, conditions to the first performance.
* The Text.
* The music (the cast, they key, the spatial arrangement, etc.) Zooming on to the various protagonist/micro & macro structures.
* A voyage into the heart of the work. Libretto: access number by number, to the sub-divisions and to every cue in the narratives.
* Interview with Philippe Herreweghe: audio & video interview on the interpretation of the Passion.
System requirements: PC Multimedia Pentium Processor 133 MHz,
Windows 95, Sound card 16 bits compatible SoundBlaster, 32 RAM,
CD-ROM 6x, video card 800x600 pix. 256 colors display.

Make sure which version you order.

Wim Huisjes wrote (November 5, 1999):
This morning I received the new Herreweghe performance of the SMP on HMF. I'll get back on the recording, but for now: I can't get the CD-ROM at work. I'm using Windows 98 and all audio programs that come with it. Anybody knows on how to get the CD-ROM working?

P.S.: I'm completely lost on HMF's scheduling of their "short Bach Edition".

Luis Villalba wrote (November 5, 1999):
(To Wim Huisjes)
< Piotr wrote that there are three choices for Herreweghe's SMP:
1. Limited Edition HML 5901676.78 + 1 CD-ROM PC (+ Special Booklet?)
2. HMC 951676.78 + 1 CD-ROM PC
3. HMC 901676.78 >
Would you be so kind as to tell us which one of them you got? I have been to the MF site and to Amazon and CDNow, but they are not clear on this.

Thanks and luck with your CD-ROM.

Wim Huisjes wrote (November 5, 1999):
(To Luis Villalba) As far as I could find out: there are indeed three versions and the list above is right.

I bought the most "luxurious" one: # 1 on the above list, with CD-ROM and special book (the whole thing has the size of a book). Strangely enough: the price of # 1 & 2 were the same. I had to sign up (= make a reservation) for # 1 (limited edition), but it was delivered within a week!

Ryan Michero wrote (November 5, 1999):
(To Piotr Stanislawski) Yikes! Thank you for reminding me about this. I don't know which version I ordered, and I'll need to look into it more. Sorry if I mislead anyone.

Harry Steinman wrote (November 5, 1999):
(To Wim Huisjes) I've been having similar problems just trying to figure out how the heck to order their CD's and what the prices are. Only way I've found (other than calling them on the phone and getting different answers with each of two calls) is to go to the web site (a painful task as the pages load so VERY s-l-o-w-l-y and then one has to elect to buy a CD, register with the site, click again on the product in which one is interested and practically go to a shopping cart...just to find other the gosh-durn price. I called Tom Moy, of the US office of H-M and he states that the Bach series CD's are $12.98 each-but that's about the only way to find that out.

H-M makes great recordings with very very attractive packaging. But it is too much trouble trying to do business with them. Between their god-awful Website (one of the worst I've ever encountered) and their product literature which is entirely devoid of pricing and ordering info, I feel like I'm in customer hell every time I go to do business with them.

I've been listening to bits of the various Bach compilations; I really like what I heard on the H-M sampler, but I doubt I'd ever do any serious business with a company that hates its customers so!

Well, I got THAT off my chest! ("Come on, Harry...tell us how you REALLY feel!")

PS I just got Dmitry Sitkovetsky's GV's (Nonesuch79341-2) from Amazon; the version with the New European Strings. Credits in the liner notes reference violins, violas, cello, double bass and harpsichord. Soon as I get my CD player fired up I'll give you all my two-cent's worth.

Matthew Westphal wrote (November 6, 1999):
(To Ryan Michero) I've seen the CD-ROM and I urge anyone who has the a CD-ROM player to get it. It has loads of interesting stuff - I'd tell you more, but for me a lot of the fun was going exploring to see what was there. I will tell you that all the info is there in English, French and German. Very, very worthwhile.

Armagan Ekici wrote (November 6, 1999):
So how is the music like in the new version then? I understand the CD-ROM is somewhat "controversial".

Matthew Westphal wrote (November 7, 1999):
(To Armagan Ekici) Controversial? How so?

As for the performance -- well, I got to attend one recording session, and as a result of that, I had expected this would become my very favorite St. Matthew. It isn't my FAVORITE, although it's very good. Those who like solo voices that sound a bit closer to conventional classical singers than is often the case with HIP recordings will probably adore it. (The soloists aren't heavy by any means, but except for Scholl, they all allow their vibratos on occasion to spread too wide for my taste. I don't object to vibrato on principle, but with HIP instruments in particular, I think the "band" of pitch a singer's vibrato covers must be narrow.) The chorus and orchestra are magnificent: warm, sweet sounding, capable of raising quite a racket in the crowd scenes and making meltingly beautiful sounds where appropriate. The vibrato bit aside, Bostridge is a sensitive, dramatic, thoroughly committed Evangelist.

My favorite St. Matthews are Otto on Capriccio and Brüggen on Philips. Now if Brüggen had done a one-on-a-part St. Matthew with his same set of soloists, I think it would have been a knockout!

Samuel Frederick wrote (November 7, 1999):
< My favorite St. Matthews are Otto on Capriccio and Brüggen on Philips. Now if Brüggen had done a one-on-a-part St. Matthew with his same set of soloists, I think it would have been a knockout! >

Could you tell us a bit more about these recordings: Soloists? What years were they recorded? Etc? Are they still in print?

Wim Huisjes wrote (November 7, 1999):
(To Samuel Frederick, regarding SMP by Brüggen and Otto) Not that I need yet another performance of SMP (I bought the Herreweghe, mainly because of the CD-ROM, which still doesn't work; with thanks to those who wrote me privately about that, I'll practice this weekend and will get back to you: there must be a solution), but I enjoy knowing about these things:

Which Otto on Capriccio would that be?
It's not listed in the German Bielefelder Katalog.

About Brüggen: I only heard a few parts on radio. More than excellent. Don't know the year, but it's relatively recent (DDD, if that matters to you, and very much HIP):

Frans Brüggen
Nico van der Meel, Maria Christina Kiehr, Claudio Schubert, Ian Bostridge, Peter Kooy, Kristin Sigmudsson, Mona Julsrud, Wilke te Brummestoete, Toby Spence, Harry van der Kamp.
Netherlands Chamber Choir
Boys Choir of St. Bavo Cathedral (Haarlem, The Netherlands)
Orchestra of the 18th Century
PHILIPS 454 434-2 (3 CD's)

Don't forget his SJP, also on Philips!

Samuel Frederick wrote (November 7, 1999):
(To Wim Huisjes, regarding SMP by Brüggen) Wonderful! Kiehr is one of my favorite sopranos. Now if only I could find this CD. Doesn't seem to be available in the US. Is it readily available in Europe?

Matthew Westphal wrote (November 7, 2000):
(To Samuel Frederick, regarding Kiehr performance in SMP by Brüggen) She's a knockout here! So is Schubert, who sounds a lot like the young Anne Sofie von Otter.

(Availability in Europe) It was on the market briefly in the US as a Philips special import. I believe it's still available in Europe. (I haven't checked European Web sites for it, but I certainly saw it in stores in Europe in September.)

Piotr Stanislawski wrote (November 7, 1999):
I hope their vibratos used occasionally in this new Herreweghe's recording will not turn out too wide for my taste. I remember two recordings of Herreweghe (Ascension Oratorio (BWV 11) and BWV 21, BWV 42 Cantatas) I have to sold because of too much vibrato in soprano voice of Barbara Schlick. I was not able to listen to her. Everything instead her voice was excellent. In other Herreweghe recordings were she sings her less vibrato is not so disturbing. Andreas Scholl's singing in Herreweghe's B-Mass (BWV 232) is wonderful and very moving.

Wim Huisjes wrote (November 7, 1999):
I found the whole performance disappointing. If you can't stand Schlick: better skip this one. The choral and orchestral parts are wonderful (though in some parts, i.g the opening chorus too fast to my taste with the stereo effect overdone: in a concert hall it simply can't sound that way).

All soloists (Bostridge included) AND choir: a lot of mannerisms, in a futile attempt to bring drama into the story. As another extreme: Klemperer does better. Undoubtedly everybody has a lot of objections, but at least he's honest. Herreweghe isn't in this one. Quite a few of his cantata recordings & Lutheran Masses are a lot better.

Enrico Bortolazzi wrote (November 8, 1999):
(To Wim Huisjes) What do you mean with 'honest'?

Kirk McElhearn wrote (November 8, 1999):
(To Ryan Michero) Apparently the date is Nov 10 here in France. This was confirmed in a HM store the other day. I guess the difference is the time to get them to the US.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (November 8, 1999):
(To Harry Steinman) That's quite a shame. Here in France, it is obviously easy to find their CD's in stores, and they even have their own chain of stores in small cities. Their CD's are almost always excellent, both in recording quality and in interpretation.

Wim Huisjes wrote (November 8, 1999):
(To Enrico Bortolazzi) True drama/religious meaning, whichever you prefer. IMHO, in several parts Herreweghe sounds fake, like a bad actor.

Enrico Bortolazzi wrote (November 8, 1999):
(To Wim Huisjes) I haven't the Herreweghe SMP so I cannot agree or not with you. I have a lot of cantatas by him. IMHO Herreweghe is not less or more 'honest' than Koopman or Suzuki. But is not a question of 'honesty': it's another way of reading and a question of taste.

I vote for Richter and his SMP.

Steven Langley Guy wrote (November 8, 1999):
< As another extreme: Klemperer does better. Undoubtedly everybody has a lot of objections, but at least he's honest. Herreweghe isn't in this one. >
Huh? What's with this 'honest' stuff? I've heard the Klemperer and it is moving, has good soloists and involved in the music but only in as much as was possible at the time (1962) of its recording. I love what Herreweghe does with music (except his first B Minor Mass (BWV 232)) and although he probably has spent more time recently on HIP Romantic repertoire (his new Beethoven 9th Symphony is splendid), he is still a master of baroque music. I think that the modern approach to Bach is not making it so obviously emotional as earlier recordings. I just don't understand what 'honesty' means in this case? Forgive me?

Wim Huisjes wrote (November 8, 1999):
Steven Langley Guy wrote:
< As another extreme: Klemperer does better. Undoubtedly everybody has a lot of objections, but at least he's honest. Herreweghe isn't in this one.
Huh? What's with this 'honest' stuff? I think that the modern approach to Bach is not making it so obviously emotional as earlier recordings. I just don't understand what 'honesty' means in this case? Forgive me? >
Yes, you are forgiven. Maybe the word "honest" was an unfortunate choice (I try hard in English though).

As much as I admire Herreweghe in other recordings, in the new SMP: you found the right words. He is "too obviously emotional". He tries very hard to make it sound that way and (sorry enough): it has an opposite, irritating effect to my ears, unlike Klemperer. Even the "thunder and lightning" sounds fake. I'm overdoing things here: it's not all that bad. But on average: mediocre actors in a great Shakespeare play.

Luis Villalba wrote (November 9, 1999):
I think we must be flexible on language matters. I fully understand what Wim means when he refers to honesty (certainly nobody thinks Herreweghe is a crook who steals Bach's treasures). As I read it Wim feels Herreweghe is forcing the music to fit a model which he has imposed himself, and the result does not flow as naturally.

I honestly stand to be corrected by all involved.

Wim Huisjes wrote (November 9, 1999):
(To Luis Villalba) Amen! And from now on I'll shut up on the word "honest" (at least in contexts like these). I thought the meaning would be very clear...

 

SJP / SMP in the Concertgebouw

Armagan Ekici wrote (November 10, 1999):
< years, so we'll have Koopman, Herreweghe , Jos van Veldhoven ??? During my student years in Amsterdam, Jochum and Harnoncourt were >
This year the SJP in the Concertgebouw will be conducted by Herreweghe on April 16th afternoon (so another not-so-common sighting of Herreweghe with modern instruments). According to the annual program there will be a SMP too, in the evening, but the performers are "to be announced".

Matthew Westphal wrote (November 11, 1999):
(To Armagan Ekici) Those sightings are common enough. Remember, he's principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders, which uses modern instruments. He does prefer late-19th-and-20th-century music to Baroque music when conducting that group, but it IS a modern instrument group.

Wim Huisjes wrote (November 11, 1999):
(To Matthew Westphal) With due respect to all musicians involved : Belgium (& France, Spain, Italy and a lot of other countries) don't have orchestras in the same league as the "European big bands" : Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam and possibly London.

The Flanders orchestra is rather unknown and hardly moves around. So Herreweghe conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra will be a very un-common event.

Gonna try to get tickets for this one :
Herreweghe with: Ian Bostridge , Kristin Sigmuddson, Deborah York, Birgit Remmert, Christoph Genz; Netherlands Chamber Choir, Concertgebouw Orchestra.

The concert on Sunday night probably (at a guess) will be by an amateur choir. Again at a guess: similar to any other SMP performance that can be found in any town, number of inhabitants 20.000 and up (sometimes with two choirs competing).

Luis Villalba wrote (November 11, 1999):
(To Wim Huisjes) Keep us informed if you go. Please pay careful attention to Deborah York, she sang here in Buenos Aires 2 weeks ago (Händel with the Freiburg Barockorchester), and was superb.

 

A Major Recording Event

Donald Satz wrote (November 21, 1999):
Record companies sometimes announce "major recording events"; they do so to profits whether there is really anything major going on or not from a musical perspective. To me, a major recording event is in the mind of an individual listener - all it takes is for the listener to possess great anticipation about an upcoming recording.

This listener considers the new and second recording of Bach's St. Matthew Passion from Philippe Herreweghe and Harmonia Mundi to be one of the major recording events of the decade. Why? First, it's a large undertaking with the Passion requiring a host of large forces. Second, Herreweghe's first recording, over 10 years ago, set a standard for the work which has not been equaled in recorded history, although one element of the set needed improvement.

There is the notion advanced by some that additional recordings of a particular work from the same conductor provide low marginal returns: How different could the new recording be? It's a poor use of everyone's time and effort. I've never agreed with that premise. For those who love Furtwaengler's Beethoven, multiple interpretations are treasured. That's how I feel about Herreweghe conducting Bach, particularly the St. Matthew Passion.

The new recording is packaged in an extravagant manner, including the huge box which easily could have been reduced in size significantly. But, it does fit in my entertainment center. The box comes with a cd-rom disc which contains most everything but the "kitchen sink". It has seven chapters, and a person could spend all day on that cd soaking up the insights and information included.

What made Herreweghe's first recording so good? Primarily, it was Herreweghe and his choral forces. From the outset, it's clear that this is a special recording. The opening chorus is performed superbly with a high degree of drama and foreboding, strings stand out from the fabric with a pugency that hits home, and the chorus is thrilling with a great separation of sound. All elements of the work proceed as in the initial chorus with one exception that I hinted at above. I didn't care for the quality of Barbara Schlick's voice, although her expressiveness was never in doubt.

The new recording does not represent a strong departure from the previous one. Herreweghe provides us what he did before, although in a somewhat smoother manner. Recorded sound is better now. In fact, I would say it can not be bettered given current technology.

The major performance advantage of the new recording is the change of soprano from Schlick to Sibylla Rubens. Ms. Rubens is sensational - she brings all the expressiveness of Schlick but with a voice that could melt the hardest soul. Having Andreas Scholl instead of René Jacobs is a small advantage also in favor of the new recording.

Is the new set worth having if you already own the first? Yes. That's because of Rubens, better sound, and the cd-rom. Will I ever listen again to Herreweghe's first set? Definitely. There's a freshness and more primitive quality to it which I will always find irresistable.

I heard from one source that the first set has been deleted by Harmonia Mundi. Perhaps, but I noticed it's still listed on CDNOW. I think that for those who love the work, particularly on period instruments, both sets are essential to one's collection. Although Gardiner's version got some rave reviews and a Gramophone award, his performance did not come close to penetrating me compared to either Herreweghe version; in this case, Gardiner tends to skim the surface, and his theatrical approach to Bach is not appropriate to the work (just my view).

Don's Conclusions -
Original Herreweghe - Must Buy.
New Herreweghe -------Must Buy.
Gardiner Version -----Sample First.

 

Matthew Passion - Herrewghe or Klemperer travesty?

Donald Satz wrote (December 5, 2000):
Charles Francis wrote:
< (snip) I do have the Scherchen recording and can understand the tension you refer too. However, for me, this opening chorus is spoilt by the massive choir (a similar fault to Mengelberg). However, I still prefer Scherchen to the faster Gardiner (1989), Herreweghe (1999) and Rilling (1994) recordings. I find the 1994 Rilling vacuous and the Herreweghe a travesty of the subject matter. (snip) >
Why is the Herreweghe reading of the opening chorus a travesty? Does this also apply to the earlier Herreweghe recording as well?

Charles Francis wrote (December 6, 2000):
(To Donald Satz) I can't comment on the earlier recording as I don't own it, but do keep in mind the text "Come you daughters, help me lament/mourn ...See the bridegroom as if a lamb...Watch the patience...Look, look at our guilt....Look at him out of love and mercy, wood from the cross himself carrying".

I believe Herreweghe completely ignores the above text and to illustrate why, here's a review from a satisfied Amazon.com customer:

"A monument in Bach recording history: Finally, a recording of the Passion that dances! Herreweghe's recording should now be the benchmark by which all Bach recordings should be compared. No longer shall the continual argument of authenticity and performance practice limit the performance of Bach's music to mere scholastic rhetoric. Herreweghe most graciously remembers that all baroque music was some form of dance (try dancing to Klemperer's recording and you'll see what I mean) and that the rhythmic impulse in Bach's music is just as important as any harmony, melody or counterpoint. You will be hard pressed to find a more alive, soulful recording of Bach anywhere else. Imagine the intense drama and rich sonority of great conductors such as Fürtwangler and Klemperer, but without the suffocating and brutal self-flagellation. Herreweghe has found a way in which Bach can both breathe and explode at the same time. This recording is now the highlight of my extensive collection, and looks to be for a long time. - Paulo Carminati"

Given the text, I don't see any reason to dance and at least one Amazon.com customer agrees:

"Good, but minor disappointments: The acme of Johann Sebastian Bach's choral works, the "St. Matthew Passion", is generally well-performed on this CD. I am not at all happy, however, with the overly fast tempi of some of the choruses and many of the arias. The opening chorus, highly "caffeineated", should have set a more serious tone for the succeeding body of music. Instead, it is glossed over as if it were a jig - Jon Hunt"

Note well, the reference to a "jig" and contrast this with a negative review of the Klemperer performance:

"Dark, depressive and sloooooooooooooow: Klemperer makes Bach sounds like Bruckner or Wagner. Being so dark, depressive and dramatic, it's very difficult to listen to the 3 CDs in sequence. This album is not a first choice (I cast my vote on the Gardiner version), neither an essential recording, but a curiosity: how would Bach compose if he lived in late 19th century? - Adriano Brandao"

Well for me, the subject matter is "dark and depressive". Some other reviews of Klemperer:

"My personal favorite: As my other reviews indicate, Bach's St. Matthew Passion is an accomplishment which cannot be overstated, and is an essential component of any CD collection. But having said that, this recording of the work conducted by Otto von Klemperer is not a good choice for first exposure to the St. Matthew Passion. Why? Well, the approach taken is definitely not one of drama. The emphasis here is on contemplation, and even worship in a way. The main reflections of this spirit are: 1. slow tempi and 2. subtlety of emotional inflection. This recording tips the scales at close to 4 hours - more than an hour longer than most recordings. The opening chorus is twice as long as on most other recordings, as are the chorales. The advantage of this approach, in my mind, is that it gives the music time to unfold, gives the listener a chance to keep pace. The disadvantage is that even to the experienced listener the music can seem to lack a sense of movement (which it doesn't, I assure you - it just firmly maintains its own unique senof movement, one which has evidently gone out of style). As to the subtlety of inflection, I think that approach is essential to this music, which should be an introspective and devotional experience. Another interpretational decision is the use of modern instruments - I much prefer the richness of sound. I personally happen to think that the reasoning behind the "authentic" movement is fallacious... but that's only my opinion. Your choice of which recording to buy will undoubtedly depend on your opinion as it relates to the instrumental approach, so remember that this one does not use period instruments. The choir is large, which adds a sense of power to the music. The soloists are all of high quality. Highly recommended. -Guy Cutting"

"Passion: I made the mistake of having this as my first recording of the St. Matthew's Passion. It is slow and powerful, which I often like, but for a piece of this length and emotional range, it is hard to hear it that way. But it grew on me slowly and now any other version I listen to seems trite in comparison. I keep coming back to this and like it more each time I hear it. I would recommend not getting this as your first recording so you can become familiar with the piece before becoming as emotionally attached to it as I am now with this recording. There is real passion here... - Jonathan Webster "

"Moving and Powerful, yet Difficult Recording : This recording of the St. Matthew Passion captures all the feeling and emotion present in the Biblical passages upon which it is based. It is an excellent recording to use for study due to its extremely slow tempo. The tempo, however, unfortunately makes it rather tedious if you do not love the piece before listening to this recording. The final chorus, "Wir setzen uns," is magnificently done, as is the opening chorus. The soloists are superb, and Klemperer certainly knows how to make one wait for a chord to resolve. All in all, it's simply
amazing. - E. Stadnik"

"Not authentic, but certainly a heartfelt expression of faith: Klemperer may not please the "authentic baroque" purists, but he brings a power dimension to Bach lacking in many "authentic" performances. The two choruses "kommt ihr Tochter" and "Sind Blitze sind Donner" both work very well with Klemperer's power style. More importantly, it is an expression of faith throughout, like the recitative "O Schmerz" where he gets Jesus trembling in the Garden of Gethsemane, as well as the chorale "Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden" (possibly a reflection on Klemperer's brush with death 2 years before that). If you want an exercise in authentic baroque, this may not be for you, but if you want an expression of faith, you would be hard pressed to beat this."

"Astonishing!: I used to be a period instrument, John Eliot Gardiner all-the-way purist. This recording has changed my mind. I'd heard so much about the over-the-top sound and the garishly gigantic orchestras and choruses. I tried to steer clear. Maestro Klemperer and his superstar soloists (each a personal favorite) got the better of my curiosity, so I tried them out. It's a decision I don't think I'll ever regret. This recording is not too far removed from the myriad of "authentic" performances out there. Yes, the tempi are often slow and the big choruses are, well, big. One must realize, however, that this is nothing less than holy scripture set to music, that it should be grandiose and majestic.

Most importantly, this recording does not sound like the late romantic Bruckner; it sounds like the Baroque JS Bach. All of the recitatives and many of the arias are accompanied by the traditional obbligati and continuo (complete with George Malcolm at the harpsichord) in which each individual player, under Klemperer's baton, can be distinguished from the others. Even with full orchestra, Bach's full polyphonic genius is entirely present. No strain of counterpoint disappears. There is no homogenous sound. No aria is exactly repeated da capo. The embellishments on the repeats are tasteful, perhaps devout is the best word. Klemperer reads across the entire score, bringing to the work a completeness, a grand-scale unity that so many "period instrument" conductors overlook. He takes things slowly, yes, at times, but quickly at others.

It is important to remember that JS Bach was known primarily in his lifetime as JS Bach the organist, not JS Bach the composer. In fact, as a composer, he was quite dissatisfied with his performers (well-documented in his own hand), as were his performers and audiences with his music. Part of the reason Bach's life is so interesting and his works are so varied is because he was fired from so many of his posts. I've come to realize that listening to Baroque only on period instruments and in period balance is much like seeing Shakespeare performed only with sixteenth century English pronunciation, in a Globe-like setting, with period costumes and minimalist Elizabethan sets. It may be interesting, illuminating, and fulfilling, but it is also quite limiting.

It is also important to remember that every name involved with this recording was a veteran performer and a musical intellectual. For those unfamiliar with the principle soloists, here is some information. Sir Peter Pears was the favorite tenor of the renowned composer Benjiman Britten. All of Britten's major operatic tenor roles (such as Peter Grimes) and songs were written for him. Dietrich-Fischer Dieskau is unanimously considered the best lieder singer on record, revolutionizing the genre with his pure, intellectual approach. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was the leading Mozart and Strauss soprano of her time. Her pure timbre crisp diction set her apart from her contemporaries. Christa Ludwig, equally comfortable with Wagner, Mozart, Puccini, and Strauss, was one of the most versatile mezzos of her time. Nicolai Gedda, an equally diverse musician, dominated the Mozart and Rossini roles and was the only noteworthy tenor in the Russian repertoire in his time. Walter Berry was one of the few basses capable of singing everything from Mozart's classical operas, through Wagner's romanticism, and into Berg's expressionism without lacking a thing. They went into this performance under the leadership of the veteran Otto Klemperer with the intention of presenting the work as best they could. What they produced is nothing short of miraculous. - Peter Mondelli"

Well to summarise my position, I consider the Herreweghe reading of the opening chorus a travesty because of its dance-like aspect which transcends the mere superficiality of Rilling's 1994 performance and become near-joyous. By contrast, the Klemperer reading is dark, depressive, moving, powerful, contemplative, and difficult to listen to - after all, the Matthew Passion was not meant to be elevator music!

Kirk McElhearn wrote (December 6, 2000):
Charles Francis wrote:
< Herreweghe most graciously remembers that all baroque music was some form of dance >
This comment, that was mentioned in one of the reviews you posted, is ridiculous. Saying that all baroque music was for dancing is just stupid.

While you can say this about dance movements, and, therefore, criticize the plodding romantic versions of, say, the orchestral suites, this has absolutely no bearing on choral or sacred music at all. You can't really imagine people dancing in churches, can you ....

Pieter Pannevis wrote (December 6, 2000):
(To Kirk McElhearn) I'm amazed at "the tone" of this message.
As we may differ in opinion it's correct if there is a disagreement to use the phrase: "I think" or "in my opinion". (snip)

Perhaps it is not a custom to dance in churches nowadays, bit the "swinging " is really there in certain "downsouth" regions. Apart from that it IS known that there were dancers in the temple in Jerusalem and were would the recommendations from psalm 149:3 ( Let them praise his Name with dancing, making melody to him with trimbrel and lyre) and Psalm 150.4 (Praise him with trimbrel and dance) be performed ....? If praising is for the Lord it would have be done in temple. See also the "dancing" Derwitzen. So " in my opinion" this statement may be open for correction !

Kirk McElhearn wrote (December 6, 2000):
(To Pieter Pannevis) Well, we are talking about Lutheran Germany. This is not southern Baptists...

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (December 6, 2000):
Isn't it possible for serious music lovers to have such discussions in a less ad hominem manner? This has been a worthy and informative discussion. I fear that both personal animosity and religious sentiments are creeping in and rearing their ugly heads. Let's remember that the respect for the text and the work is likely to be essential for any great musician who performs any work and all the more for one performing the passions. Let us also remember that Klemperer the Great was a Jew who converted for professional reasons to work in Vienna (like Mahler). Klemperer remained a Jew (neither being a Catholic, Lutheran, or a Southern Baptist) and eventually publically renounced his conversion. So, let us see where intolerance can lead to and try please to keep it off the list, a list from which I have profitted very much in a short time.

Donald Satz wrote (December 6, 2000):
(To Charles Francis) I thank Charles for his answers to my questions? I have not listened all that extensively to the newer Herreweghe, but I don't remember the opening chorus sounding as Charles does. I am intimately familiar with Herrewegh'e first set, and I consider it powerfully dark in concept. How about Gardiner? I recall his opening chorus being a walk in the park compared to the first Herreweghe.

Santu de Silva (Archimedes) wrote (December 6, 2000):
While I agree in broad terms with this writer's complaint about too fast performances of certain choruses of the SMP, I want to make it clear that dancing is not irreconcilable with grief and gravity.

The word "jig" is also problematic. I have to concede that I have, myself, used the fact that a movement has the broad "feel" of a jig (or gigue) to argue that it should have some of the rhythmic characteristics of a jig, and at least some of the rhythmic momentum of one. But the association of the word "jig" with joy and happiness is problematic here.

Does this first movement need to be rhythmic? I believe so. Does it need to be joyful? I am sure it shouldn't. Does "rhythmic" imply "joyful"? Well--should it, necesarily?

Personally I would think that my own mental concept of a gigue has to either be broadened to include more stately, more emotionally varied musical movements, such as the Kommt ihr Tochter (or whatever; I forget...) - - or I have to find a new idea that is a rhythmic jig-like dance that can still convey the confused bewilderment of that opening chorus.

The movement is NOT a simple jig. You can't have a jig with three shimering harmonies per pulse, such as we have in the chorus. Simple jigs have one, or at most two harmonies per pulse (or beat--I mean one of the four beats of the jig bar). For instance, in "Pop goes the Weasel", my favorite jig, the harmonic rhythm is four changes per bar or fewer. (Or perhaps a jig is in duple time, in which case we're talking two changes or fewer.)

But the jig is certainly at least the subconscious rhythmic inspiration for that movement, in a new, complex guise. Klemperer makes it so broad that it's difficult to hear a harmonic rhythm. Others take it so fast that we lose the feeling of confusion and loss that's so essential to the mood of that poetic chorus. It is one of the most wonderful choruses that Bach ever wrote (alongside Oh Mensch, bewein dein Sinde gross--sp?) and a delicate test of a conductor's sense of tempo and style. If it's done correctly there is a painful sensation of watching a situation spinning irretrievably out of control, heartburn, heartburn, heartburn. I have written about this chorus at other times and gotten very sentimental, but suffice it to say that in my opinion the SMP is such an emotionally and intellectually complex work that it boggles the mind. And the opening chorus is a huge part of the work's effect.

Gönnenwein's evangelist does leave much to be desired, but he (Gönnenwein) does this chorus well. So does Harnoncourt (the 1970's version). Gardiner is OK. (He uses a ripieno choir of girls and boys, an interesting variation that I'm not unhappy with. At least with the mixed-chorus versions there is a contrast between the ripieno trebles and the main choruses--with the all-male choirs of Harnoncourt the ripieno trebles do not stand out as much as I like them to.

The other minor miracle in the SMP is the closing chorus! Is it just me or does this chorus sound incredibly modern? I mean, it could easily be Brahms! My skin crawls at the range of expression that Bach achieves in this single work.

I'm dying to hear the new Herreweghe version; how much of a travesty is it, really? I must find out! I must start saving the $50 I need for this one!

Santu de Silva (Archimedes) wrote (December 6, 2000):
Kirk McElhearn wrote:
< Herreweghe most graciously remembers that all baroque music was some form of dance
This comment, that was mentioned in one of the reviews you posted, is ridiculous. Saying that all baroque music was for dancing is just stupid.
While you can say this about dance movements, and, therefore, criticize the plodding romantic versions of, say, the orchestral suites, this has absolutely no bearing on choral or sacred music at all. You can't really imagine people dancing in churches, can you .... >
I have to disagree. Dance music absolutely does have a bearing on choral music in Bach. Admittedly the relationship is subtle, but it most definitely exists. Many of the choruses ARE gigues, and the opening chorus of the SMP is arguably at the very least a not-so-distant cousin to the gigue.

What is "bearing"? What is "dance"? What is "sacred"? What is "stupid" ?!!!! If we can discern degrees of meaning and truth, somewhere in the dogma there might be some useful understanding.

 

Bach’s SMP

John Welch wrote (May 17, 2001):
Can anyone tell me if the CD of Bach's SMP by Herreweghe II, as reviewed by Donald on 8-5-01, is still available and if so, what is the CD No. and label. After reading all of your very informative reviews I think this is the one to buy.

Riccardo Nughes wrpte (May 17, 2001):
[To John Welch] here it is: Amazon.co.uk

Please note that there are 2 version of this release : the "simple" one and a 4 cd-box set where the fourth cd is a cd-rom dedicated to the SMP.

William D. Kasimer wrote (May 17, 2001):
[To John Welch] It's Harmonia Mundi HMC 951676/8, and since it was issued in 1999, I'm pretty confident that it's still available.

 

OT: Herreweghe SMP in Budapest!!!

Ferenc Riesz wrote (January 23, 2002):
Sorry for the OT message but I am so overjoyed:Herreweghe and his team will perform SMP in Budapest in February (...and I managed to buy a ticket)!!!

Performers are not exactly as on the HM disc. Besides Collegium Vocale, Freibuerger Barock Orchestra will play and the soloists are: Jan Kobow, Peter Kooij, Sebastian Noack, Joanne Lunn, Ingeborg Danz, Andreas Karasiak, Dominik Worner, Frits Vanhulle, Elisabeth Hermana, Cecile Kempanaers.

Piotr Jaworski wrote (January 23, 2002):
[To Ferenc Riesz] There is no message more ON TOPIC than yours! :-) And this is not only because PhH just after Budapest will visit .. Warsaw as well ;-) I'm somehow surprised by the orchestra and soloists, but will definitely attend this concert.By the way, do you have his last SJP, like it?

Ferenc Riesz wrote (January 23, 2002):
< There is no message more ON TOPIC than yours! :-) >
OK, I think this is a "recordings" list. :)

< And this is not only because PhH just after Budapest will visit .. Warsaw as well ;-) I'm somehow surprised by the orchestra and soloists, but will definitely attend this concert. >
Do you (or anybody else) have any comments on the soloists? Most of them are unfamiliar for me.

< By the way, do you have his last SJP, likeit? >
No I don't have it. I have his first which I find satisfactory.

Johan van Veen wrote (January 23, 2002):
[To Ferenc Riesz] I don't. But this recording is not just a remake (with other singers, of course), but it is a recording of the second version of 1725, which is different in many respects from the first version Herreweghe recorded earlier.

 

"Yesterday evening?" SMP in Warsaw

Piotr Jaworski wrote (February 26, 2002):
Ferenc Riesz wrote:
< I am very excited!!!! Could you write me some words about the yesterday event...? >
As most of you probably know - Philippe Herreweghe is on tour nowadays, with his choir and orchestra - Collegium Vocale Gent, and with the Freiburger Barockorchester. They perform JSB's SMP. Soloists: Jan Kobow - Evangelist, Peter Kooij - Jesus, Joanne Lunn - soprano parts, Ingeborg Danz - the alto ones, Andreas Karasiak - tenor and Sebastian Noack - bass parts.

Two orchestras on the stage - CVG on the left, FB on the right, choirs divided - behind the orchestras; and .... and the Warsaw Boys Choir as the additional force in the two great choruses - opening and closing the firs part of the Passion. The last one will definitely not be in Budapest - I can only wonder if that was one-timer idea, or Herreweghe will use local choirs in similar way. The result was astonishing and wonderful. I think that even our maestro was surprised!) Some other quasi-solo parts (sopranos and basses) were taken by the choristers. Very good!

First "overall impression" - great, great and deeply moving performance. Wonderful on every account (Ferenc: "on every account!", believe me). The very young Kobow was a very good Evangelist - definitely great talent. Kooij and Danz belong to the 'elite' from years - they were both terrific. Joanne Lunn is absolutely another rising star - a huge pleasure to listen and to see! {Kirk and many others will have to reconsider his Kozena Affection! ;-)} "Blute nur, des liebes Herz!' ...
.... no comments!

Karasiak and Noack were really good as well - Noack (Pilatus) needs to be separately mentioned - great performance, well ... this part - IMO - is somehow more interesting than the Jesus one. More dramatic, more complex .. but, again, IMO only.

Choir - as usual with this one - great and unforgettable. CVG have "that thing" that "live" they leave better impression than other choirs in - objectively - even better recorded performances. They are totally convincing, captivating on every account. And that matters in SMP. Hmm, we have an "active topic" on choruses, arias and recitatives ....

Orchestras ..... Yeah! Here we have the real thread! Two wonderfully competing great baroque orchestras!! Among five or eight of the best "period" orchestras in Europe.

Ferenc! Look for Marcel Ponseele and Taka Kitazato in all arias with oboes! Pure delight!!! Mesmerizing. In tenor aria "Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen" or in the great alto recitative and aria "Ach Golgota..." and "Sehet, Jesus hat die Hand" ...... heavenly music.

Sirkka-Liisa Kakkinen (now Pilch also) took almost all the attention from Ingeborg Danz in "Erbarme dich...". I've never heard such violin playing in this aria. That was the perfect dialogue, moving me almost to tears .... and that was the violin influence in this case. All the CVG strings - frankly - were really lovely.

The whole 'continuo' group from CVG was stunning - especially Ageet Zweistra on cello; unfortunately rare contributions (basso "Komm, susses Kreuz...") from gambist Philippe Pierlot were first rate as well.

Freiburgers were slightly (but only very slightly!) less impressive - but maybe because most of the 'attractive' arias were accompanied by players from CVG ... But this is - no doubts - very good orchestra! FBO's cellist, just for instance - Mercedes Ruiz - was extraordinary in tenor "Geduld! Wenn mich falsche Zungen stechen...". The whole string section was marvellous in the basso aria "Gebt mir meinem Jesum wieder". Wonderful playing - one of the best I've ever heard!

Ufff...... enough, for today, and enough 'cause you will be late, Ferenc, for the concert! ;-) I'm sure, that starting from tomorrow on, we will have lot's of to discuss...

All the best, and have lot's of, lot's of pleasure and satisfaction this evening. That will be the Great Evening! Enjoy!!

 

SMP in Budapest

Ferenc Riesz wrote (February 27, 2002):
[To Piotr Jaworski] I have an easy task now since Piotr was so kind to post an excellent review so I have only to comment. (my comments are usually "I agree" :)

Piotr Jaworski wrote:
< As most of you probably know - Philippe Herreweghe is on tour nowadays, with his choir and orchestra - Collegium Vocale Gent, and with the Freiburger Barockorchester. They perform JSB's SMP. Soloists: Jan Kobow - Evangelist, Peter Kooij - Jesus, Joanne Lunn - soprano parts, Ingeborg Danz - the alto ones, Andreas Karasiak - tenor and Sebastian Noack - bass parts.
Two orchestras on the stage - CVG on the left, FB on the right, choirs divided - behind the orchestras; and .... and the Warsaw Boys Choir as the additional force in the two great choruses - opening and closing the firs part of the Passion. The last one will definitely not be in Budapest - I can only wonder if that was one-timer idea, or Herreweghe will use local choirs in similar way. The result was astonishing and wonderful. I think that even our maestro was surprised!) >
In Budapest there was a boys choir also, composed of three local boys' choirs. I regard this an excellent idea to reinforce the performance with local forces thus providing some link with the 'genius loci'...

< First "overall impression" - great, great and deeply moving performance. Wonderful on every account (Ferenc: "on every account!", believe me). The very young Kobow was a very good Evangelist - definitely great talent. Kooij and Danz belong to the 'elite' from years - they were both terrific. Joanne Lunn is absolutely another rising star - a huge pleasure to listen and to see! {Kirk and many others will have to reconsider his Kozena Affection! ;-)} "Blute nur, des liebes Herz!' ...
.... no comments! >
Yes, I agree. Kobow was really amazing (is he of some Polish origin...?)! He pushed forward the drama. Kooij was excellent as expected... I was pleasantly surprised by Joanne Lunn: she has a very lovely voice, rather straight, but full of expresssion!

My little problem was that the solosists were placed behind the orchestra: sometimes I found their voices too weak (especially the women's), and their view was obscured. (Maybe it was because I sat in the 5th row...)

< Choir - as usual with this one - great and unforgettable. CVG have "that thing" that "live" they leave better impression than other choirs in - objectively - even better recorded performances. They are totally convincing, captivating on every account. And that matters in SMP. >
Oh yes... the turbae sounded frenetic!

< Orchestras ..... Yeah! Here we have the real thread! Two wonderfully competing great baroque orchestras!! Among five or eight of the best "period" orchestras in Europe.

Sirkka-Liisa Kakkinen (now Pilch also) took almost all the attention from Ingeborg Danz in "Erbarme dich...". I've never heard such violin playing in this aria. That was the perfect dialogue, moving me almost to tears .... and that was the violin influence in this case. All the CVG >
Like in Budapest...

< strings - frankly - were really lovely.

Freiburgers were slightly (but only very slightly!) less impressive - but maybe because most of the 'attractive' arias were accompanied by players from CVG ... But this is - no doubts - very good orchestra! >
It was also my impression. They didn't have that warm, velvet tone color that CVG had... but it wasn't bad at all!!

I should also add finally that the level was uniform through the whole performance, all the performers as well as Mr. Herreweghe successfully managed to keep the interest high. It was a clever, convincing performance.

It was one of my greatest concert experiences of my life.

Piotr Jaworski wrote (February 27, 2002):
[To Ferenc Riesz] Too good to be true ..... ;-)

Ferenc Riesz wrote:
< I have an easy task now since Piowas so kind to post an excellent review so I have only to comment. (my comments are usually "I agree" :)

Yes, I agree. Kobow was really amazing (is he of some Polish origin...?)! He pushed forward the drama. Kooij was excellent as expected... I was pleasantly surprised by Joanne Lunn: she has a very lovely voice, rather straight, but full of expresssion!

My little problem was that the solosists were placed behind the orchestra: sometimes I found their voices too weak (especially the women's), and their view was obscured. (Maybe it was because I sat in the 5th row...) >
I was sitting in the eleventh in the 'amphiteatre', so rather with a nice distance from the stage. Generally had no problem with soloists - Lunn has such a stron voice that even double orchestra would not drown her out ...

No, unfortunately, Kobow has no Polish roots ....; and even our reviewers noticed that Kooij had to be a liitle "tired" that evening. Glad that he recovered in Budapest! (No surprise, such a place...)

< It was one of my greatest concert experiences of my life. >
Indeed... I hope that some other BRL subscribers will soon join us in our enthusiasm.

Przemyslaw Kowalski wrote (February 28, 2002):
[To Piotr Jaworski] I was also on the concert in Monday in Warsaw, and I agree with Piotr (and Ferenc, of course).

[...] < My little problem was that the soloists were placed behind the orchestra: sometimes I found their voices too weak (especially the women's), and their view was obscured. (Maybe it was because I sat in the 5th row...) >
I have booked the ticket too late, and I sat in the 1st row... So, I understand Ferenc very well. (1st row has also some advantages -- I have heard Mr. Herreweghe singing :) ).

For me the voices were not too weak; although I have problems with "balance", because Freiburg Barockorchester and chorus of "Belivers" was closer to me, than CVG (and chorus of "Sion" and soloists...).

Piotr Jaworski wrote (February 28, 2002):
[To Przemyslaw Kowalski] Welcome officially on Board!!! I'd urge The List to encourage Przemek to post his reviews on this forum. He writes terrific reviews, thorough and witty. Unfortunately ... in private camera still ;-)

Ferenc Riesz wrote (February 28, 2002):
[To Przemyslaw Kowalski] WOW! Another bratanek from Poland!!! :)))

Przemyslaw Kowalski wrote (February 28, 2002):
About Mr. Herreweghe voice:
< And... what voice has he got? :) >
For me whisper is whisper :)
It was not very loudly, but audible from seven-eight meters.

 

SMP - Tour Herreweghe

Sylvia Merknixle wrote (February 28, 2002):
I'm of the lurker variety, BUT....this got me going.

Reading those wonderful reviews and having heard Jan Kobov already on two previous occasions (Bach: Christmas Oratorio/Herreweghe and at a Mozart-evening with the Freiburger Barock Orchester) singing in such an outstanding way, that I was most dissappointed when he was not able to record the SMP with Herreweghe, as planned (health problems) and was replaced. I very much wished I could have been there. Envy!!!

It nearly knocked me over when I realized a few minutes ago, , that I will hear/see it this evening!!!

It's part of my Abo of the Freiburger Barockorchester, which explains why I was not much aware which performance it was, I had tickets for. They are mostely all excellent, so I only have a look shortly before going. (And yes, this is one of the most accomplished early music orchestras IMHO, and I hear them for years now nearly every month, so I think the opinion is resting on a good foundation. My favorite player is the violonist Kathrin Schreiber, such a passionate, deep playing.).

They are performing in Freiburg, their home-town. Your rised my expectations to the highest level. I hope, they are not too tired already !!

Ferenc Riesz wrote (February 28, 2002):
[To Sylvia Merknixle] Have a nice evening, and we are looking forward to read your review!

Piotr Jaworski wrote (February 28, 2002):
[To Sylvia Merknixle] How good to see you here! Hopefuly this lurkedom period is finally over! ;-)

< I'm of the lurker variety, BUT....this got me going.
Reading those wonderful reviews and having heard Jan Kobov already on two previous occasions (Bach: Christmas Oratorio/Herreweghe and at a Mozart-evening with the Freiburger Barock Orchester) singing in such an outstanding way, that I was most dissappointed when he was not able to record the SMP with Herreweghe, as planned (health problems) and was replaced. I very much wished I could have been there. Envy!!! >
Yes, this is quite surprising that Kobow is still such unknown artist ... while searching the Gramophone reviews database, I've found only ONE recording, where he sings!!! He - but of course with soprano Joanne Lunn! - was the brightest star of this SMP evening in Warsaw .. and it's already obvious that not only here ... Great talent to keep a really close watch on...

< They are performing in Freiburg, their home-town. Your rised my expectations to the highest level. I hope, they are not too tired already !! >
This is a great ensemble. I can only hope that rating them slightly lower (but really only a bit lower!) than Collegium Vocale in my review, I was not that much unjust! But - frankly - who will stand in the competition with CVG? I know that there is a new recording of FBO - with early symphonies of Haydn - from sampler I expect terrific music, and I'll certainly rush to buy this CD as soon as it will be available here. (Harmonia Mundi, HMC 901767).

Have a good and memorable evening then!

 

Herreweghe SMP-Tour/What drives us?

Sylvia Merknixle wrote (March 1, 2002):
As those who have experienced previous performances have shown interest in yet another review (Pjotr!?) , I'll try to put my impressions in words.

Sitting in row 7 was clearly a disadvantage here. Exposition to the joined and separated forces of two orchestras and 3 choirs was at least visually as overwhelming as sitting very close to an enormous movie-screen. Found myself often simply closing my eyes. And then suffering from not seeing the passionate players and singers. Opening eyes again and going into tennis-court motions. Closing again...etc. It's obious now, they recrute the additonal boys-choir out of local forces at each venue. Here it was the Freiburger Domsingknaben, who added an extra colour.

I don´t need to loose many words on the quality of the performance, I think. One can only stand in awe before the Choir of the Collegium Vocale . A sheer an deep delight from beginning to end. Perfection. Same goes to the Orchestra of course. A most stimulating experience it was, to hear two orchestras in a same performances, seated opposit to one another, with such a different appraoch and sound. OF COURSE the CVG made it instantly into ones heart, with its sumptious colours and warm sound and those well-known Herreweghian rhythmics. Basking in Bach emotionally!!

In contrast the FBO sounded almost "fleshless" at first, with its much slimmer sound and giving its expression more to shadings of light than colouring. More soul/spirit than feelings, in my ear. The partly surprising dynamics gave a more unusual view of the parts they played; whereas the CVG played as expected, but that in the most definitve of ways.So they are aiming at very different inner areas. And looking at them, when the partner-orchestra played, you could see, that they had very much interest and pleasure listening to what those others were doing respectively. I haven't listened to a complete FBO - SMP, but certainly will, after that evening. It will be nothing like the CVG's that's for sure.

As to the soloists, well...
I must admit that it was a bit of a mixed pleasure.Taking into consideration, that this was the 6th performance in a row, performing every day in a different town, from Antwerpen to Liège to Warsaw, to Budapest to Frankfurt to Freiburg, they might have been a bit worn out. And standing behind the orchestras did NOT help them either.

Kooy was good as usual, not in best form but "delivering".Always delightful to listen to his voice. Lunn’s wonderful, gleaming voice, heard for the first time, is certainly very promising and what's more: a truly one. A thoroughly "instrumental" singing ! She had a bit problems with control now and then, but came over very touching. The young tenor Karasiak's voice was very agreeable. He made a good and solid impression, perhaps a bit cautious overall.

As to Ingeborg Danz, I had at first serious problems to hear her at all. In the second half this was a bit better, and I got at least an impression of her voice and interpretation, but clearly she left a bit of a "hole" acoustically, all of the Alto-Arias and recitatives so muted. Will have to wait for the radio-broadcast of this perfomance at Easter to know how she sang. :-)

Noack, the bass has a really pleasing voice too, but seemed a bit limited in expressiv means.

And Kobow: Kobow, of whom I expected so much...... I'm still spellbound. Never heard something like that. Today I was listening closely to the Evangelists on my 5 versions of SMP. Schreier, Walter Ludwig, Rufus Müller, Gerd Türk and Ian Bostridge to get a better grip on my impressions. I'll go as far as saying that his was an ideal interpretation. The clarity of his voice, the numberless shades and colours, the endlessly vaying dynamical shiftings and variations, the subtlety and taste of his ideas notwithstanding, he was at the same time fully dramatic and utterly discreet. A narrator indeed. Everybody was hanging on his lips, at every word : not to hear the sound, but to hear the story, and to hear it told by him. Never ever I gave so much attention to those recitatives. I could have listened to him forever! After that, all other versions seem either overdone or lacking. This was magical.

WATCH THAT MAN !!

He got the applause he deserved.

An very memorable performance. A thoroughly satisfied and elevated audiance.A very funny and very tired Herreweghe, jumping around and snatching flowers from bouquets here and there to give them to musiciens and singers. He MUST have been pleased, too!

*******
Oh, and to try an answer to that still (?) pending question: what drives us ?

The answers I read till now all seem to say, we do it, because we love the music! This is the obvious thing, of course. Francine went further and told a bit, as to how she came to love it. But still not getting further into WHAT IT IS, that makes it so attractive, that the ones want to have all they can get and the others pursue an eternal chase to the possibly best version they can get.

OF course it is an individual thing, but part of it must hit a more generally human thing.For me it was the distinct feeling, that in all of Bachs music there exists a wonderful , PERFECT balance between consolation and loss, between trust and longing, what's more: "zwischen menschlicher und göttlicher Liebe", between deepest human feeling and highest elevation. How can you ever get enough of that ? It' s the heart of human experience and wishing and the eternal trial to overcome the gap in between. Its the human task itself, over and over again. His music conveys the solution we long for, a solution that has to be found again and again. Inner balance.

Well, ahemm. Sorry, if I reached a bit far.

Piotr Jaworski wrote (February 28, 2002):
[To Sylvia Merknixle] I'm sure that at least Ferenc and myself are speechless for the moment, and that we're again in our resprctive concert halls while SMP is performed ....

Beautiful posting!!! You've got my personal Award of the Month - no matter the just finished one or the new one! ;-)

< As those who have experienced previous performances have shown interest in yet another review (Pjotr!?) , I'll try to put my impressions in words. (snip) Lunn’s wonderful, gleaming voice, heard for the first time, is certainly very > promising and what's more: a truly individual one. A thoroughly "instrumental"singing ! She had a bit problems with control now and then, but came over very touching. (snip) >
I've already put Lunn's name into my agenda for years and recordings to come. I wish that Lunn takes that aria in BWV 144 from Suzuki's vol. 17 ... We're quite fortunate that she's already made couple of recordings. I'm sure - that as happened to Carolyn Sampson - she will soon be appreciated as she deserves.

< And Kobow: Kobow, of whom I expected so much...... I'm still spellbound. Never heard something like that. Today I was listening closely to the Evangelists on my 5 versions of SMP. Schreier, Walter Ludwig, Rufus Müller, Gerd Türk and Ian Bostridge to get a better grip on my impressions. I'll go as far as saying that his was an ideal interpretation. (...) >
This was magical.

< WATCH THAT MAN !! >
No comments. I cross my fingers. But who will record another SMP this or next year?

Sylvia, thanks, endless thanks for your mail.

Ferenc Riesz wrote (March 4, 2002):
Piotr Jaworski wrote:
< I'm sure that at least Ferenc and myself are speechless for the moment, and that we're again in our resprctive concert halls while SMP is performed >
Oh yes... :)

< Beautiful posting!!! You've got my personal Award of the Month - no matter the just finished one or the new one! ;-) >
I join Piotr and say THANK YOU SYLVIA for your excellent review.

 

Which SMP by Herreweghe

Juozas Rimas wrote (August 3, 2002):
1985 or 1998? I've read some short reviews online and they are equally laudatory. What is your comparison of the two renditions?

I'd pick the version where the oboist is Mauricio Ponseele (?) but I don't know which one it is.

Uri Golomb wrote (August 3, 2002):
[To Juozas Rimas] Marcel Ponseele appears in both of Herreweghe's versions of the SMP. He's second oboist in Orchestra 1 in 1985 (the first oboist is Michel Henry), and first oboist in Orchestra 1 in 1999. Presumably, this means that he only gets to play the obbligati (e.g. in "Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen") in the 1999 version.

Personally, I prefer the 1999 version (some better soloists in 1985 notwithstanding). I find the later version more cohesive and more dramatic, with a greater sense of continuity and momentum. I also find Ian Bostridge a more compelling and moving Evangelist than Howard Crook, good though the latter is. (See: http://homepages.kdsi.net/~sherman/matthauspassion2.htm for a similar view). However, I know that some critics prefer the earlier version.

Charles Francis wrote (August 3, 2002):
[To Juozas Rimas] I don't know Herreweghe's earlier effort, but do I have his 1998 performance. I call it "Herreweghe's Happy Passion" due to its dance-like opening chorus. Some have referred to it as "dancing on the grave", but others apparently like it.

 

Herreweghe SMP broadcast

Francis Browne wrote (April 14, 2003):
A performance of the SMP given at the BBC Proms by Herreweghe will be broadcast on Friday at 19.30 BST (18.30 GMT) on BBC Radio 3:
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3)

<A HREF="http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/classical/pon3.shtml">Performance On 3</A>

A pinnacle of Western music and one of the most original music dramas of any age in a deeply moving performance given in the 1998 Proms. Bach's account of the events leading up to the Crucifixion interweaves the narration of Christ's mission and his political fate with mankind's response in a sequence of impassioned and meditative arias and chorales.

Bach: St Matthew Passion

Evangelist ...... Ian Bostridge (tenor)
Christus ...... Franz-Josef Selig (bass)
Sibylla Rubens (soprano)
Andreas Scholl (counter-tenor)
Werner Güra (tenor)
Dietrich Henschel (baritone)
Chorus and Orchestra of Collegium Vocale, Ghent
Philippe Herreweghe (Conductor

Information about any other broa- particularly live performances - of cantatas or the passions would be much appreciated.

 

Herreweghe’s SMP

Farhad Saheli wrote (December 3, 2003):
Through some really unfortunate circumstances I've lost the 3rd CD of Herreweghe's SMP. I would have gladly bought the whole thing, only I can listen to it in the CDROM, so I'm very unwilling to pay 50 $ for the whole set. Does anyone have a suggestion? Is it possible to just get one CD through the record company? Or am I entitled to burn it for free since I've already paid???

Ehud Shiloni wrote (December 3, 2003):
[To Farhad Saheli] I would suggest writing to Harmonia Mundi direct. I once bought a CD from which the liner notes booklet was missing. I applied [by email] to Harmonia Mundi USA and they dealt with my problem swiftly and mailed me the missing booklet comlete with a most polite apology. You may find that they still maintain this high standard of customer service. Good luck.

 

Herreweghe SMPs

Jack Botelho wrote (February 19, 2004):
Carol wrote:
< I was wondering if someone might ask about audio systems, Jack, because I have discovered one (actually, the credit has to go to my rock'n'roll musician son, who is very up on these things) for only $150.00, that beats many very expensive systems I've heard, including the Sony we had, and the very much acclaimed Bose, in sound quality for the money. It's Cambridge Soundworks' "Microworks" speaker system (not their radio/CD player, which is comparable to the Bose wave product). We have one downstairs, attached to the DVD player, and the high ceiling adds to the effect. But I also got one for my computer upstairs. Although the speakers are smaller than the cheap ones that came with the computer, the effect is amazing. The system was invented by Henry Kloss; perhaps you've heard of him. The "subwoofer", about the size of a computer, sits on the floor against a wall, and provides the bass, and therein lies the magic, as I've been told. It's a little different than the wave system, but in what way, I don't know, exactly. I don't listen to any strictly organ music, except that in the Cantatas, so don't know how some of you would like it for that. Anyway, if you don't like it, you can return it, but no one I know has. I think they're only sold in the Boston and, I've heard, SanFrancisco, areas, but they do ship, and they're probably on line. (I have no relatives or friends connected with this operation.) Be that as it may.... if anyone objects to recommending one product over another, just pretend you didn't read this. I can hardly see why anyone would; we talk about likes and dislikes in recordings all the time. Another thing, if you have the Herrewaughe CD Roms included with the Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass (BWV 232), the experience is dramatic with these speakers. >
Thanks Carol! I noticed the c1999 Herreweghe St Matthew Passion with cd Roms in my local shop the other day. Sounds like a gas over the computer with the displays. I'll have to try it out one day (but need better speakers like you have for the computer). Also in the shop was the c1985 SMP by Herreweghe, again on the Harmonia Mundi France label: with 2003 catalogue, 3CDs for a mere 22 euros (equivalent). I have a soft spot for this director's work, and after losing my Richter and trading in the Peter Schrier[sic] version, and with lent around the corner, "a" SMP Herreweghe version will be my next Bach purchase (oh how dramatic, but I'm relatively strangled for money so it will be something to look forward to). My question: which of these recordings is preferable? I assume both are of performances of the revised and expanded 1736 version of this passion?

Donald Satz wrote (February 19, 2004):
[To Jack Botelho] It's not easy to choose between the two Herreweghe versions. The earlier one has a raw quality I like, but many would prefer the richer sounds of the newer version.

Sw Amadgyan wrote (February 19, 2004):
[To Donald Satz] I've been reading the recent messages but never had an opportunity to add something to it, now I shall even though you may consider it without much meat around the bones !

It's buying the 'beginning' of a hi-fi system that made me 'discover' the beauty of classical music, i.e. strings and choirs as in Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Renaissance and the Bach Cantatas ...

So. I have tid bits of non-vocal music by Bach but I haven't been infatuated with it yet. My available Goldberg Variations is the Glenn Gould '81 recording. As for Keith Jarrett on piano, I have the Sacred Hymns from G.I. Gurdjieff but I digress ;-)

I've been accustoming myself to different versions of the SMP I can listen to. Funny that today it is Herreweghe II' s turn to be listened to. Don nailed it right in the introduction to this post. It might boiled down to Jack's wish to have the CD-Rom or a bargain with the Harmonia Mundi choices.

Yesterday I indulged myself with the purchase of the Kathleen Ferrier Bach Arias on the Italian Urania record label; her live bits in the Vienna '50 concerts of the SMP and the MBM with van Karajan. I need those tender moments that just make me melt such as the aria "Erbarme Dich, mein Gott" in BWV 244 and the "Agnus Dei" in BWV 232. Now that you read this, maybe you can point me towards a cantata that had you moved in such a way, utterly touched ...

While not far off from mentioning the B minor Mass (BWV 232), I have seen a recording by La Petite Bande and Sigiswald Kuijken at the record shop. It seems to be a single CD, with excerpts of the whole oeuvre; if I remember correctly, the 'Agnus Dei' aria was not even listed. I'm gonna stay away from it. I'm not so much into chopped versions, Kathleen Ferrier was the welcome exception.Anyone has seen this new release ?

It has been almost a year I've joined the BCR list because I had picked up McCreesh's SMP and wanted to read comments about it. I have been so stunned with the latest MBM with Cantus Cölln that I went on a journey to familiarize myself with the OVPP with Parrott and Rifkin. It's only yesterday that it was the turn for the SMP on Deutsche Grammophon to be played and ... well, the ear-training for preferences and discrimination is actually taking shape and I have something to compare it with ...

When it comes to the SMP, I was really taken by the Harnoncourt III and I acknowledge having a soft spot for Brüggen (both Passions and B minor Mass (BWV 232)).

Back to reading and listening.

Carol wrote (February 19, 2004):
[To Jack Botelho] Jack, Yes, the 1998(9) version with the CD Rom is the revised and expanded 1736 version, but according to the Bach Cantata Website, the 1985 is the same, as it's ten minutes longer. The CD Rom is more than fun; it's an education for me, as it includes not just a history of the Passion, but the musical layout, the exact instrumentation (analysis) of each of the 67 pieces, and listening to the whole thing with the libretto, in English or German, etc. Also, I'm sure you know that Bach used choruses written by other people, including Hans Leo Hasslier (that famous "rock" melody - but I don't want to get into that) - but were all of the choruses written by other people? I know Bach's harmony and ornamentation is what made them brilliant, but what do you know about the rest? I'm kind of confused by all the names, as to which people were poets who wrote the words, and which wrote the melodies. And I'm not talking about Picander, who wrote the text. I think when I listen more closely, I'll probably understand better. Anyway, a whole lot of research and technical mastery went into this CD Rom.

Jack Botelho wrote (February 20, 2004):
[To Carol] Sounds very impressive (also as presented in the HM record catalogue). One day I will have to check it out. Those programs I'm sure are doing much to promote a greater awareness of Bach's music.

 

Herrreweghe’s hands

Ehud Shiloni wrote (April 11, 2004):
With the permission of Thomas Radleff, I am forwarding his personal mesto me, in which he reports on the live concert of the SMP with Phillip Herreweghe in Vienna.

It is a short but very vivid report, and it made me envious for not being there myself!

Thomas Radleff wrote (April 11, 2004):
[To Ehud Shiloni] Since I´m mostly far away from my home computer for a few weeks, here´s a delayed little report about Herreweghe´s SMP performance in the Vienna Konzerthaus on march 27th.

I was very lucky to have a seat just above the stage ("Proszeniumsloge"), so I could observe the wonderful symbiosis of the soloists, the Collegium Vocale & their mentor, and this impression will remain for a lifetime.

It was impressive to watch the miraculous dance of Herreweghe´s hands that formed any possible emotion or nuance of the story, elegantly moving in Kandinskyan precision. A video recording of this concert would do with a permanent shot on his hands.

Although, there were actually two forces playing: since Herreweghe never directed the Evangelist´s & Jesus´ parts, these soloists and the excellent continuo group were carrying most of the responsability for the dramatic tension.

Christoph Pregardien´s Evangelist formed the fundament of the whole oratorio. His stunning pronounciation aside, he was completely inside of the story at any second, with a secure sensitivity for articulation and change of tempo. In my ears, he is a far better choice than the Evangelist´s in Herreweghe´s two SMP recordings. Pregardien gathers various qualities: the dramatic sense of an opera singer (but far more modest!), and the clarity of a Lieder and Alte Musik interpreter; his Evangelist is as vivid as Ian Honeyman in Paul Dombrecht´s SJP recording, but a bit more voluminous.

The Collegium Vocale´s instrumental soloists who accompanied the arias always seemed to be conscious of the fact that their part is absolutely equally important as the vocal line, and Herreweghe took very much care and attention to these duos, trios etc. Actually it is his love & respect for every single note of the score that warmed the whole evening.

The choir was simply great. Audibly high motivation, a compact organism. Since there were many people in the audience reading along in their own worn scores, at the end the choir gained most of the bravi. Comparing this concert with Herreweghes recent recordings, I suspect that he & his band might be better in concert than on disc.

Ehud - so far my impressions of a great concert. Hope everything is alright with you and the BRML (I intend to come back in summer...)

 

Herreweghe's Matthew

Peter Herwitz wrote (September 5, 2007):
I was thinking of getting the second Herreweghe Matthew Passion - the one with Bostridge, Scholl et. al. My experience of Herreweghe is that he is always good and very consistent especially in his Bach. Does anyone have this recording? Any opinions?

Donald Satz wrote (September 7, 2007):
Peter Herwitz writes:
< I was thinking of getting the second Herreweghe Matthew Passion - the one with Bostridge, Scholl et. al. My experience of Herreweghe is that he is alwa ys good and very consistent especially in his Bach. >
Agreed. Herreweghe is a Bach specialist, and I've never heard a less than excellent Bach recording from him.

< Does anyone have this recording? Any opinions? >
From my perspective, the second Herreweghe is the second most rewarding St. Matthew Passion on record. What's first? Herreweghe's first recording, also on Harmonia Mundi. It has a raw quality that I love and isn't found on the second. However, I have to admit that the vocalists are more effective in the second one.

Peter Herwitz wrote (September 10, 2007):
Donald Satz writes:
< From my perspective, the second Herreweghe is the second most rewarding St. Matthew Passion on record. What's first? Herreweghe's first recording, also on Harmonia Mundi. It has a raw quality that I love and isn't found on the second. However, I have to admit that the vocalists are more effective in the second one. >
Well Don, I just finished listening the the second Herreweghe and am simply floored. I think it's fantastic and definitely agree that the singers are better especially Bostridge and Scholl. But I agree on the merits of the first Herreweghe and wouldn't want to be without that one either. It will take some time familiarizing myself with both versions for me to make a judgement. As for now I am very happy that I have a great new Matthew in my collection.

 

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]

Philippe Herreweghe: Short Biography | La Chapelle Royale | Collegium Vocale Gent
Recordings of Vocal Works:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Individual Recordings:
Cantatas BWV 29, 119 & 120 - P. Herreweghe | Christmas Cantatas from Leipzig - P. Herreweghe | Weinen Klagen.. Cantata BWV 12, 38 & 75 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 232 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 244 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 245 - P. Herreweghe
Table of recordings by BWV Number

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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