WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bach: St Matthew Passion / Butt, Dunedin Consort


Release Date: 03/01/2008 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 313   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ali DarraghRoderick BryceMichael WallaceMatthew Brook,   ... 
Conductor:  John Butt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dunedin ConsortDunedin Players
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 2 Hours 41 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

This wonderful new recording of the St Matthew Passion is the first to adopt Bach’s final revisions to the score as performed in 1742. Most casual listeners may not be able to identify the departure in scoring from the most commonly performed 1736 version: which amounts to the replacement of organ with harpsichord in the second orchestra, and an additional viola da gamba in a recitative and aria. However, where this recording really stands out is in the size of the vocal forces. A total of eight singers are employed, therefore providing just four voices for each of the two choirs. This arrangement clearly has potential disadvantages for those
Read more of us raised on the full chorus monumental direction from the likes of Richter and Klemperer. On the other hand, and as John Butt points out in his informative essay, there might be an aesthetic advantage in hearing the voices ‘as individuals constituting a group rather than simply as a crowd’.

John Butt is one of our foremost authorities on Bach and historically informed performance more generally, and a great deal of intellectual vigour has undoubtedly been applied to this project. However, whether one agrees on principle with the veracity of one-to-a-part performance practice adopted here (I don’t), on purely aesthetic terms it simply doesn’t matter. The performance is a triumph from start to finish, immeasurably assisted by the usual superb, spacious and crystal clear engineering by Linn Records.

The most obvious comparison recording is that of Paul McCreesh with the Gabrieli Consort [DG Archiv 474 200-2], which also adopted the one-to-a-part approach. That important recording was graced with several highly regarded and established soloists, including Magdalena Kozena, James Gilchrist and Mark Padmore. Overall, Butt’s vocal forces cannot quite compete at the same technical level – yet, somehow this doesn’t matter. The total experience transcends the sum of its parts, and if the individual peaks cannot match the likes of Dietrich Henschel in Mache dich, mein Herze, rein under Harnoncourt or Michael Chance in Erbarme dich, mein Gott under Gardiner, they come very close. In particular, Nicholas Mulroy shows outstanding emotional flexibility as the Evangelist and Clare Wilkinson’s contribution is also highly expressive throughout.

The smaller forces employed in this performance provide a level of intimacy and immediacy that I don’t think exists in any other available recording - including McCreesh. Butt’s pacing is beautifully judged, never seeming rushed; to my ears, many ‘historically informed’ recordings suffer from overly swift tempos. The Dunedin Consort also plays magnificently, supporting the drama of the Passion with clean and colourful expression which is constantly involving.

There is no single recording of the Matthew Passion to rate above all others, but this one is very special indeed – and an essential alternative to the large-scale, full chorus offerings of the past.

-- Peter Bright, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ali Darragh (Soprano), Roderick Bryce (Voice), Michael Wallace (Voice),
Matthew Brook (Bass Baritone), Nicholas Mulroy (Tenor), Annie Gill (Alto),
Brian Bannatyne-Scott (Bass), Cecilia Osmond (Soprano), Malcolm Bennett (Tenor),
Clare Wilkinson (Alto), Susan Hamilton (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Butt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dunedin Consort,  Dunedin Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: Circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: September, 2007 
Venue:  Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Final performing version, c. 1742 

Sound Samples

St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Kommt, ihr Tochter, helft mir klagen (Chorus) - O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Da Jesus diese Rede vollendet hatte (Evangelist, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Chorale: Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Da versammleten sich die Hohenpriester (Evangelist, Chorus, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Ja nicht auf das Fest (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Da nun Jesus war zu Bethanien, im Hause Simonis des Aussatzigen (Evangelist)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Wozu dienet dieser Unrat? (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Da das Jesus merkete, sprach er zu ihnen (Evangelist, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Du lieber Heiland du (Alto)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Aria: Buss und Reu (Alto)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Da ging hin der Zwolfen einer (Evangelist, Judas)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Blute nur, du liebes Herz (Soprano)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative and Chorus: Aber am ersten Tage der sussen Brot (Evangelist, Chorus, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Wo willst du, dass wir dir bereiten (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Er sprach (Evangelist) - Gehet hin di die Stadt (Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Und sie wurden sehr betrubt und huben an (Evangelist)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Herr, bin ich's? (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Chorale: Ich bin's, ich sollte bussen (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Er antwortete und sprach (Evangelist, Jesus, Judas)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Wiewohl mein Herz in Tranen schwimmt (Soprano)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Aria: Ich will dir mein Herze schenken (Soprano)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Und da sie den Lobgesang gesprochen hatten (Evangelist, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Chorale: Erkenne mich, mein Huter (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Petrus aber antwortete (Evangelist, Jesus, Petrus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Chorale: Ich will hier bei dir stehen (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Da kam Jesus mit ihnen zu einem Hofe (Evangelist, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative and Chorale: O Schmerz, hier zittert das gequalte Herz (Evangelist, Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Aria and Chorus: Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen (Evangelist, Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Und ging hin ein wenig (Evangelist, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Der Heiland fallt vor seinem Vater nieder (Bass)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Aria: Gerne will ich mich bequemen (Bass)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Und er kam zu seinen Jungern (Evangelist, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Chorale: Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Und er kam und fand sie aber schlafend (Evangelist, Jesus, Judas)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Aria and Chorus: So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen (Alto, Soprano, Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Sind Blitze, sind Donner in Wolken verschwunden? (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Recitative: Und siehe, einer aus denen (Evangelist, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part I: Chorale: O Mensch, bewein dein Sunde gross (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Aria and Chorus: Ach! Nun ist mein Jesus hin (Alto, Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Die aber Jesum gegriffen hatten (Evangelist)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Chorale: Mir hat die Welt truglich gericht' (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Und wiewohl viel falsche Zeugen herzutraten (Evangelist, Testis, Pontifex)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Mein Jesus schweigt zu falschen Lugen stille (Tenor)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Aria: Geduld! Geduld! (Tenor)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und der Hohepriester antwortete (Evangelist, Jesus, Pontifex)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Er ist des Todes schuldig! (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Da spieten sie aus in sein Angesicht und schlugen ihn mit Fausten (Evangelist)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Weissage uns, Christe, wer its's, der dich schlug? (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Chorale: Wer hat dich so geschlagen (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Petrus aber sass draussen im Palast (Evangelist, Petrus, Ancilla, Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Wahrlich, du bist auch einer von denen (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Da hub er an, sich zu verfluchen und zu schworen (Evangelist)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Aria: Erbarme dich (Alto)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Chorale: Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Des Morgens aber hielten alle Hohepriester (Evangelist, Judas, Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Was gehet uns das an? Da siehe du zu! (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Und er warf die Silberlinge in den Tempel, hub sich davon (Evangelist)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Aria: Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder (Bass)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Sie hielten aber einen Rat (Evangelist, Pilatus, Jesus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Chorale: Befiehl du deine Wege (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Auf das Fest aber hatte der Landpfleger (Evangelist, Pilatus, Uxor Pilati, Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Lass ihn kreuzigen! (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Chorale: Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Der Landpfleger sagte (Evangelist, Pilatus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Er hat uns allen wohlgetan (Soprano)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Aria: Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben (Soprano)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Sie schrieen aber noch mehr (Evangelist, Chorus, Pilatus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Da aber Pilatus sahe, dass er nichts schaffete (Evangelist)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Sein Blut komme uber uns und unstre Kinder (Chorus)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Da gab er ihnen Barrabam los (Evangelist)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Recitative: Erbarm es Gott (Alto)
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Part II: Aria: Konnen Tranen meiner Wangen (Evangelist)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In