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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

Johannes-Passsion BWV 245
Conducted by Hermann Max

V-5

J.S. Bach: Passio Secundum Johannem 1749

Johannes-Passion BWV 245 - 1749 Version

Hermann Max

Rheinische Kantorei / Das Kleine Konzert

Tenor [Evangelist]: Christoph Prégardien, Bass [Jesus]: Hans-Georg Wimmer; Sopranos: Martina Lins, Dorothea Röschmann; Alto: Ralf Popken; Tenor [Arias]: Markus Brutscher; Bass [Arias]: Gotthold Schwarz

Capriccio 60023-2

Mar 26-29, 1990

2-CD / TT: 107:04

Recorded at Immanuelkirche, Wuppertal-Barmen, Germany.
1st recording of the 1749 Version.
1st recording of Johannes-Passion BWV 245 by H. Max.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

V-6

J.S. Bach / Arr. Robert Schumann: Johannes-Passion

Johannes-Passion BWV 245 - 1851 Version by Robert Schumann

Hermann Max

Rheinische Kantorei / Das Kleine Konzert

Soprano: Veronika Winter; Soprano: Elisabeth Scholl, Contralto: Gerhild Romberger; Tenor: Jan Kobow; Bass: Ekkehard Abele; Bass: Clemens Heidrich

CPO

Sep 19-21, 2006

2-CD / TT: 103:24

Recorded at Basilika Knechtsteden, Germany.
2nd recording of Johannes-Passion BWV 245 by H. Max.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

Johannespassion-Max's recording

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 5, 2004):
I realize this is SLIGHTLY off-topic, but I must say it anyways.

I have recently purchased a copy of the recording of the Rheinische Kantorei and Das kleine Konzert under the conductorship of Hermann Max performing the 1749 version of the Johannespassion BWV 245 (BC D02e), and I standy by my statements in favor of it, but must confess to two trouble areas with the recording.

1.) The Choir-4 singers per each part. This to me is not in keeping with standard practices in Bach's day, which was to have 10 singers per part.

2.) There are 10 Violinist and 2 Violin soloists. The problem I have with this is that this, too, is not in keeping with practices of Bach's day, which was to have *only* two violinists, which would also perform the solo parts (hence the concept of Violin I and Violin II). They also have 3 Violists and 2 Cellists instead of one of each.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (October 5, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] If the assertion that Bach's standard parctice was 10 singers per part correct, one to a part strings as suugested in 2) might present a few balance problems!

Doug Cowling wrote (October 5, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
< 1.) The Choir-4 singers per each part. This to me is not in keeping with standard practices in Bach's day, which was to have 10 singers per part. >
Given the general scholarly assertion of one voice to a part in Bach's choir, what is the evidence for 10 to a part?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 6, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson]In Bach's day, the Orchestra (average) was only 14 players. There would have been balance issues anyways. The violins followed the lines, not the number. And besides, only Violin I was usually in the Soprano line anyways, whilst Violin II was in the Alto.

Besides, I don't believe in applying 20th-21st century standards to Baroque music. That is also why I favor performances on original (or as close to it) instruments rather than the improved versions.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 6, 2004):
[To Doug Cowling] Doug, that only applies to instrumental parts. For Choirs, it was very customary in Evangelical Germany to have 10 people for Soprano, 10 for Alto, 10 for Tenor, and 10 for Bass. The ratio (especially with a good-sized Orchestra) was almost exactly 2-1. For every 1 instrument in Soprano range, there were almost exactly 2 singers. As there were about 5 instruments that commonly took the Soprano line (Flute, Oboe, Trumpet, Violin I, Horn), there would have been 10 Soprano singers. However, even with a small Orchestra, the total number of singers per part did not change. The only (and I do mean only) exception would have been in the situation of an extremely poor congregation (such as that at the Agnuskirche in Köthen, which was very poorly funded, since the ruling family was Calvinist). This would have been true for everywhere Bach went.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (October 6, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Where on earth do you get this from?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 6, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Firstly, from Bach's critique (1730) on the state of Church Music in Germany.

Secondly, from any scholarly (note I said scholarly) critical reports on Bach's music.

Thirdly, from German Practice guides and theoretical publications of the time.

The list goes on..................................

 

SJP arranged by R. Schumann

Riccardo Nughes wrote (March 26, 2007):
I've just saw this: http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/hnum/6391959/rk/cpo/rsk/theme/tname/cposhop_home
Anybody knows something about Schumann's intervention on the score?

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 26, 2007):
Riccardo Nughes wrote:
>>Anybody knows something about Schumann's intervention on the score?<<
There is a 23-page article on this subject (pp. 156-179) in "Vom Klang der Zeit" (Wiesbaden/Leipzig/Paris, 2004, by Matthias Wendt.

The 1st performance was April 13, 1851 in Düsseldorf, but Schumann had been rehearsing parts of the SJP going back to April 5, 1848 in Dresden where he kept rehearsing and performing partially publicly (for members of a musical society) certain portions extracted from the score.

Some Details on the Schumann Performance:

Schumann did not like the 'thinness' of some of the Evangelists recitatives with only continuo (he cut some of them). To replace some of these, Schumann inserted rather extensive replacements of his own composition with thicker orchestration. Some substantial arias were cut (not because any deficiencies on the part of the solo vocalists who were present. The problem with the recitatives was that they appeared after choral numbers (remember the large number of singers involved at that time) and appeared to be thin and sickly in comparison (not grandiose enough). Instead of viola d'amour or lute, Schumann used muted 1st and 2nd violins, viola and clarinet. Schumann also used a Bassethorn. In the mvt. "Der Held aus Juda siegt mit Macht", Schumann introduces actual trumpets which were only implied in the Bach original. In the last (non-repeated) section of Da capo arias, Bach usually thins out the orchestration, but Schumann feels this as a void and adds clarinets to overcome the perceived lack of orchestral fullness.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 26, 2007):
As Schumann did to Bach, even so Mahler did to Schumann.
Comments below.

Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Some substantial arias were cut (not because any deficiencies on the part of the solo vocalists who were present. The problem with the recitatives was that they appeared after choral numbers (remember the large number of singers inat that time) and appeared to be thin and sickly in comparison (not grandiose enough). >
I am missing something, perhaps owing to the use of the parentheses? You say that some substantial arias were cut but then your proceed to tell us again about the recitatives. I also assume that you intended (perhaps?) some brackets within parentheses.

< Instead of viola d'amour or lute, Schumann used muted 1st and 2nd violins, viola and clarinet. Schumann also used a Bassethorn. In the mvt. "Der Held aus Juda siegt mit Macht", Schumann introduces actual trumpets which were only implied in the Bach original. >
Are you referring to the section between "Es ist vollbracht" and the da capo of the same and, if so, why do you call it a mvt.? Much thanks to Riccardo (who always calls arcane recordings to our attention) and thank to Thomas for offering some information.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 26, 2007):
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
>>I am missing something, perhaps owing to the use of the parentheses? You say that some substantial arias were cut but then your proceed to tell us again about the recitatives. I also assume that you intended perhaps?) some brackets within parentheses.<<
I was trying to glance at 23 pages for only a few minutes and extract some important points which were entirely new to me. It was more important to get the information to answer the question quickly, than to give the entire list (as complicated and as unclear as some of them are) of omissions and/or expansions.

>>Are you referring to the section between "Es ist vollbracht" and the da capo of the same and, if so, why do you call it a mvt.?<<
Yes, this is the alto aria "Es ist vollbracht" listed as mvt./section 30 in the NBA edition, scored by Bach for strings and continuo with the viola obbligato. The middle section "vivace" in Bach's version has the other strings added to the viola and continuo, but Schumann has orchestrated this as a trumpet fanfare with 3 trumpets (a startling wake-up call in contrast to Bach's original - trumpets were not used during Holy Week and possibly all the way through Lent when figural music with orchestra was practically non-existent in figural music during Bach's time.

I will need to reread this article more carefully to find out what else is contained therein.

Robert Sherman wrote (March 26, 2007):
[To Thomas Braatz] While I'm not an advocate of so-called historical instruments, the Schumann version thus described sounds positively disgusting.

I can, however, see a case to be made for trumpets in "Der Held aus Juda seigt mit Macht." But unless the trumpet parts are confined to what we normally think of as 3rd trumpet range - that is, notes within the treble staff - it would be bad practice to require the trumpeters to play cold after such a long period of non-playing. Intonation and attacks would be at risk.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 27, 2007):
Robert Sherman wrote:
>>I can, however, see a case to be made for trumpets in "Der Held aus Juda siegt mit Macht." But unless the trumpet parts are confined to what we normally think of as 3rd trumpet range - that is, notes within the treble staff - it would be bad practice to require the trumpeters to play cold after such a long period of non-playing. Intonation and attacks would be at risk.<<
It appears that Schumann has only two trumpets playing in unison in the low register. Beginning right after the 1st measure of the "vivace" section where the alto has sung "Der Held aus Juda siegt mit Macht" with "Macht" as the first note in m 2, the trumpets enter with a 'forte' middle C (as notated in the treble clef). This measure for the trumpets begins with an eighth rest. The 1st C played is a quarter note followed by 2 16th notes and then 2 eighth notes, all on the same note. The next measure begins with a 'piano' G above middle C. The same pattern repeats a measure later but ends on an E above middle C. The same pattern repeats a measure later after that and stays on the middle C for a measure and then the two trumpets split with one staying on the low C and the other jumping up an octave. Later there is a similar pattern with octaves being played (2nd trumpet on the G below middle C, 1st trumpet on the G above it). There are some long held notes (over 3 measures long) where this split octave G is sustained. Finally the initial pattern appears with both trumpets playing 'fortissimo' a d2 (4th line up on the treble clef).

The parts are not very high and appear to be very easy to play. Schumann gradually works them up to the highest notes which are then played 'fortissimo' in unison.

Robert Sherman wrote (March 27, 2007):
[To Thomas Braatz] Thomas is right - playing that low is very easy and doing it cold would not be a problem.

But two trumpets in unison? Yuck!

 

When Schumann straightened Bach's orchestration out

Yoël L. Arbietman wrote (June 19, 2009):
In the event that anyone's interested (as I am), for those in USA (at least) Broinc is stocking the 2006 recording of Schumann's improved Johannes-Passion. I read the archives before ordering and there is a worthy discussion between Bob Sherman and Thomas Braatz, esp. concerning the use of trumpets in "Es ist vollbracht". Now, how could one not be tempted by such improvements as that and others like it?

Bob's response was Yuck and Yuck, Yuck.

I look forward to hearing this.

Meidad Zaharia wrote (June 20, 2009):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman]
I know this recording: Amazon.com

And IMHO it's a fantastic interpretation.
AFAIK Schumann added also grand piano to it and it's refreshing.

I also love the Mendelssohn 1841 Leipzig Matthäus-Passion: Amazon.com

These later re writings are not instead the original of course but they are pure joy IMHO.

Yoël L. Arbietman wrote (June 21, 2009):
[To Meidad Zaharia] I am glad you enjoy them as certainly both Mendelssohn and Schumann intended them only to make bach more accessible to (elite) music-listeners of their time.

In a way I see a cycle: Mahler in my opinion destroyed Schumann and every other composer prior to his own time by re-doing them. He was convinced that he could do all prior composers better, far better and he was not totally alone amongst the Late Romantics. Schumann apparently both here and in the solo violin sonatas and partitas and in at least some of the cello suites felt he could improve Bach.

I shall see: Generally in reality I prefer the nearest we can to the composer's own world of reality: Schumann as Schumann and not a Mahler, Bach as Bach and not as Schumann, etc.

I thank you for responding to me as that rarely happens with any of my questions, serious questions on this list. I guess people feel my cantata questions intrude here but our esteemed moderator has made the other list a place that I cannot feel comfortable at and so I decided about a year ago not to ever even to look at it.

If I cannot post about cantatas here, one can always enjoy bach in

 

Johannes-Passion BWV 245: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Sung in English | Individual Movements
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6
Systematic Discussions:
Part 1: Mvts. 1-7 | Part 2: Mvts. 6-14 | Part 3: Mvts. 15-20 | Part 4: Mvts. 21-26 | Part 5: Mvts. 27-32 | Part 6: Mvts. 36-40 | Part 7: Summary
Individual Recordings:
BWV 245 - F. Brüggen | BWV 245 - S. Cleobury | BWV 245 - P. Dombrecht | BWV 245 - D, Fasolis | BWV 245 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 245 - E.z. Guttenberg | BWV 245 - N. Harnoncourt-H. Gillesberger | BWV 245 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 245 - E. Higginbottom | BWV 245 - E. Jochum | BWV 245 - E. Kleiber | BWV 245 - P.J. Leusink | BWV 245 - H. Max | BWV 245 - P. McCreesh | BWV 245 - H. Münch | BWV 245 - P. Neumann | BWV 245 - A. Parrott | BWV 245 - P. Pickett | BWV 245 - K. Richter | BWV 245 - H. Rilling | BWV 245 - P. Schreier | BWV 245 - R. Shaw | BWV 245 - K. Slowik | BWV 245 - M. Suzuki | BWV 245 - J.v. Veldhoven
Articles:
Saint John Passion, BWV 245 [T.N. Towe] | The Passion of Saint John, BWV 245 [M. Steinberg] | St. John Passion [A. Wong & N. Proctor] | The St. John Passion on stage [U. Golomb] | Literary Origins of Bach’s St. John Passion: 1704-1717 [W. Hoffman] | Bach’s Passion Pursuit [W. Hoffman]

Hermann Max: Short Biography | Rheinische Kantorei | Das Kleine Konzert | Recordings of Vocal Works | General Discussions
Individual Recordings:
BWV 244 - H. Max | BWV 245 - H. Max

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: ýJune 24, 2009 ý10:28:19