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Bach: St. John Passion / Kozena, Padmore, Rattle

Release Date: 09/30/2014 
Label:  Berlin Philharmonic   Catalog #: 140031  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Roderick WilliamsCamilla TillingMagdalena KozenáTopi Lehtipuu,   ... 
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraBerlin Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 3 
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DVD:  $59.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This set contains 2 DVDs, 1 Blu-ray Video Disc, and a 7-day Digital Concert Hall pass.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle was one of the outstanding events of the past season.

As before with the St. Matthew Passion, star director Peter Sellars succeeded in creating a staging which made the spiritual and dramatic content of the Passion story even more intensive. The New York Times also praised the “brilliant and energetic” playing of the orchestra, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the “haunting, almost unsurpassable singing of all those involved.”

The top-class ensemble of singers was led by Mark Padmore, one of the leading Evangelist
Read more interpreters of our day.

The edition features both a DVD and a Blu-ray version, making it playable on all popular video players. Added to this, it is exclusively presented with a linen hardcover, a comprehensive booklet and numerous photos. The extensive bonus material includes an interview with Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars, an introduction to the work by chorus master Simon Halsey, and a voucher for the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall.

"The follow-up [to the St. Matthew Passion], Mr. Sellars’s “St. John Passion,” has been eagerly anticipated. Granted a luxurious amount of rehearsal and a nearly intact cast from the “Matthew” performances … the simmering performance lives up to the high expectations. ... The Philharmonic was lucky to have once more the tenor Mark Padmore, one of the great Evangelists of our time, and superb here." – The New York Times

2 DVDs [NTSC 16:9 / PCM Stereo • DTS 5.1]

Blu-ray Disc in high definition video [1080i Full HD 16:9 / 2.0 PCM Stereo • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1]

Playing time - Concert: 135 mins • Bonus: 52 mins

Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean

Region: 0 (All region)

7- day pass to the BPO's Digital Concert Hall video streaming service
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Works on This Recording

Saint John Passion, BWV 245 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Roderick Williams (Baritone), Camilla Tilling (Soprano), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano),
Topi Lehtipuu (Tenor), Mark Padmore (Tenor), Christian Gerhaher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Awfull packaging May 25, 2017 By V R. (Collingwood, Victoria) See All My Reviews "The actual dvds were everything I hoped for in terms of performance and quality of recording, but I was appalled by the pretentious packaging. Firstly, the shape of it made it incompatible with the shelving where other dvds are stored. Secondly, it lacked the usual information that comes in booklets accompanying performance cds or dvds, -- information about the composer, the work, the performers, plus the text and translations. Having it on the dvd itself is NO SUBSTITUTE for a paper hard copy, being removed from immediate accessibility by the need to unpack the discs, select the right one, go through the process of playing/selecting the right place, all of which TAKES TIME and requires one to be near the appropriate player. I was extremely disappointed. Such a shame, when the performance and its recording were so brilliant." Report Abuse
 A Passion for our time: November 26, 2014 By M. Makman (New Rochelle, NY) See All My Reviews "We have found this St. John Passion not only to be a remarkable performance but a stunning life experience. Of course the music is glorious and all soloists vocal and instrumental are unparalleled. The partnership among Simon Rattle, Peter Sellars and Simon Halsey clearly inspired chorus, orchestra and soloists to reach beyond themselves, to create, as Peter Sellars suggested in his interview, a work for all time, contrasting human capacity for violence with human capacity for peace. The mixture of period and modern instruments works remarkably well. We plan to re-watch both this and the St. Matthew, with similar cast and direction, regularly for inspiration as well as musical pleasure." Report Abuse
 Overkill by Sellars November 15, 2014 By Donald C. Bauder (Salida, CO) See All My Reviews "The St. Matthew Passion by Rattle and Sellars may be the best DVD ever made. The second attempt falls far short. First, musically, the St. John Passion can't match the St. Matthew Passion, although there is some incredibly beautiful music in it. Second, Sellars overdoes the theatrics, especially in the opening chorus, in which choreographed finger and hand manipulations actually detract from the music and are wholly unnecessary. The orchestra, chorus, soloists, and Rattle are wonderful -- pretty much the same cast as in the St. Matthew Passion, alas, without Quasthoff, who had retired. Still, I can't fault his replacement. The bottom line is that Sellars had less to work with in the St. John Passion, and tried to overcompensate. Nonetheless, it gets a 4 rating." Report Abuse
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