Since 1727, JS Bach's "Great Passion" has gripped the hearts and uplifted the minds of audiences all over the globe. Nearly three centuries after its premiere, the work has lost none of its power to evoke feelings of compassion for all those who suffer. Its mix of urgent story-telling, meditative arias and mighty choruses sets St Matthew's account of Christ's betrayal, trial and execution eloquently and emotionally.
It is no surprise that Sir Simon would one day tackle this most comprehensive of Bach’s compositions in view of his much applauded interpretation of the St. John Passion in 2006. The Berliner Morgenpost wrote at the time: “A performance of this musical calibre renders superfluous all questions about authenticity and historical performance practice. At the Philharmonie Sir Simon Rattle and his orchestra performed the St. John Passion […] with highly concentrated and flawless beauty devoid of any distorting indulgence.”
…Whatever other recordings you may have in your library, Veldhoven’s inspired reading, with its exceptional blend of committed musicianship and scholarship should definitely be auditioned by all who love this work. This is without doubt a top recommendation and anyone receiving this set, as an Easter gift, will surely be delighted.
…I greet this stunning performance as the way to hear this masterpiece. ~ J.F. Weber, Fanfare
In 2010, Maestro Riccardo Chailly records Johann Sebastian Bach for Decca for the very first time with 3 releases. Having conducted the illustrious Gewandhaus Orchestra since 1986, this esteemed conductor's association with Leipzig is but one year less than Bach's. Chailly's profound musicality illuminates three of Bach's large-scale masterpieces: The St. Matthew Passion, the Brandenburg Concertos and the Christmas Oratorio. The 2nd release from this triology, the St. Matthew Passion is both riveting and dynamic. Played on modern instruments, Chailly's Bach beautifully demonstrates that a vivid, stylistically aware performance is not the exclusive preserve of period instrument ensembles. Distinguished German vocal soloists, including acclaimed bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, rise gloriously to the challenges of Bach's exalted score.
The St Matthew Passion, BWV 244, (German: Matthäus-Passion), is a musical composition written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, with libretto by Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici). It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew to music, with interspersed chorales and arias. It is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of classical sacred music...