The technically proficient guitar playing of John Petrucci elevated Dream Theater to the upper echelons of contemporary heavy metal. While its lineup has continuously evolved, the Long Island-based quintet has consistently delivered sharp-edged music…
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Hermann Max's recording of J. S. Bach: Matthaus Passion (Capriccio 60 046-2, rec 1995) with the Rheinische Kantorei and Das Kleine Konzert embodies current orthodoxy in most respects: two choirs of 16 voices each are partnered by two orchestras of comparable size, with period instruments sounding at low (Baroque) pitch; tempos are mostly quite sprightly and textures light; ornamentation is sparing and discreet, but cadential appoggiaturas in the recitatives are mostly in place (though the latest fashion seems to be increasingly to omit them). Christoph Pregardien and Klaus Mertens are ideally cast as the Evangelist and Jesus: precise in diction, judicious in expression. The other soloists are more variable. Hans-Georg Wimmer is dependable rather than inspiring in the bass arias. Veronika Winter brings a choirboy timbre to `Blute nur, da liebes Herz!', but there is also a hint of choirboy insecurity in her singing, which seems occasionally to affect also Monika Frimmer in the other soprano numbers. Some of the best solo singing comes from the alto Lena Susanne Norin and the tenor Wilfried Jochens.
The Russian pianist, Andrei [Andrej] Gavrilov, began his musical training with his mother, who stressed the need to search for emotional content in performance. By contrast, his second teacher, Tatiana Kestner, was a product of the German school and emphasized form and musical ideas rather than emotion.