Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (September 10, 2005):
I have had a very joyous Bachian experience and want to share the information. Aryeh's supersite lists:
St. Matthew Passion
Matthäus-Passion BWV 244
The Bach Choir / The Jacques Orchestra
Soprano: Elsie Suddaby; Contralto: Kathleen Ferrier; Tenor: Eric Greene; Bass [Jesus]: Henry Cummings; Bass [Arias]: William Parsons; Bass [Judas, Peter]: Gordon Clinton
Richmond / Decca
3-CD / TT:
Omits Nos. 11, 21, 65, 66; Abridged Nos. 10, 12. The work is revised by Elgar & Atkins, sung in English, and the translation was done by Troutbeck & Johnson. A CD transfer from this recording includes 15 Arias & Choruses
Actually the complete recording as originally issued on Decca/ Richmond which I long enjoyed and still have the LPs of (don't play them) was in 1999 reissued on Dutton together with on CD 3, a previously unpublished take of "If my tears be unavailing" (which runs 10:02) + the recording with Ferrier and soprano Joan Taylor of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater conducted by Roy Henderson. It is amazing that this 1999 issue is out of print. I finally found a copy of it, seeming new. It also seems to me that Aryeh's site shows a photo of the Dutton issue.
Douglas Cowling wrote (September 10, 2005):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] This was my first encounter with the St. Matthew Passion as an eight-year old choirboy. I still get chills up and down my spine when I think of the effect it had on me. I keep the old LPs even though they are unplayable now from my constant listening. Kathleen Ferrier's singing, although totally unfashionable now, is beautiful -- a real contralto. Elsie Suddaby had a lovely clear soprano decades before Emma Kirkby became a star. There's a wonderful old recording of Mendelssohn's "Elijah" (Beecham)? where she sings the part of the boy who spies the cloud appearing in heaven in the sacrifice scene -- an absolute delight.