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Bach: Matthaus Passion / Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque


Release Date: 03/14/2006 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72232   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jörg DürmüllerEkkehard AbeleCornelia SamuelisBogna Bartosz,   ... 
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque OrchestraAmsterdam Baroque ChoirCappella Breda Boys
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

When it comes to the big Baroque choral works you can count on Ton Koopman to deliver an extraordinarily fine show--indeed, his 1983 live recording of Handel's Messiah for Erato remains one of that work's exemplars--and in this concert performance from the Netherlands in March, 2005, he again brings together his Amsterdam Baroque forces for what turns out to be a very respectable, thoroughly engaging, often scintillating, and, considering all the musical and dramatic variables in a work of this size and structure, remarkably smooth and cohesive St. Matthew Passion. Tempos and transitions, so crucial to a performance's success, are expertly managed, as the recitatives, arias, and choruses fairly zip along, never allowing us to even entertain Read more an idle thought.

But this enlivening pace also has its dramatic drawbacks--as in the rather expressionless "Erbarme dich" (where is the sensation of sadness? where are the tears?) and in the disappointingly unmoving moment when Jesus "gives up his spirit". Nevertheless, the bright and powerful moments are many--the solo singing is very fine (Koopman uses a female alto rather than countertenor), the chorus is glorious in the chorales, electrifying in the crowd scenes, and grand in the big opening and closing movements, and Koopman's orchestra is typically polished and stylistically articulate.

At first I was bothered by the sound, which seemed way too close, everyone on top of each other, the chorus overpowering the orchestra, the orchestra overpowering the chorus; but after 10 minutes or so, these concerns vanished into the excitement of the performance--and you really do feel the live, vibrant energy of the occasion, which adds to the attractiveness of this set. This is an easy recommendation, a worthy addition to any collection, and one that will stand up to repeated hearings and careful comparisons.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jörg Dürmüller (Tenor), Ekkehard Abele (Baritone), Cornelia Samuelis (Soprano),
Bogna Bartosz (Alto), Paul Agnew (Tenor), Klaus Mertens (Bass)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Choir,  Cappella Breda Boys
Period: Baroque 
Written: Circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Live  St. Joris Church, Amersfoort, Netherland 
Language: German 
Notes: St. Joris Church, Amersfoort, Netherlands (03/22/2005 - 03/23/2005) 

Sound Samples

Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da Jesus diese Rede vollendet hatte"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da versammleten sich die Hohenpriester"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Ja nicht auf das Fest"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da nun Jesus war zu Bethanien"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chorus I, "Wozu dienet dieser Unrat?"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da das Jesus merkete"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Du liever Heiland du"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Buss und Rue"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da ging hin der Zwölfen einer"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Blute nur, du liebes Herz!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Aber am ersten Tage der Süssen Brot"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chorus I, "Wo willst du, das wir dir bereiten"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo Er sprach, "Gehet hin in die Stadt"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und sie wurden"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chorus I, "Herr, ben ich's?"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Ich bin's, ich sollte büssen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Er antwortete und sprach"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Wiewohl mein Herz in Tränen schwimmt"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Ich will dir mein Herze schenken"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und da sie den Lobgesang"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Erkenne mich, mein Hüte"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Petrus aber antwortete"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Ich will hier bei dir stehen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da kam Jesus mit ihnen zu einem Hofe"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "O Schmerz!; Choral, "Was ist die Ursach"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und ging hin ein wenig"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Der heoland fällt vor seinem Vater nieder"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Gerne will ich mich bequenem"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und er kam zu seinem Jüngern"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und er kam und fand sie aber schlafend"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Sind Blitze, sind Donner in Wolken verschwunden?"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und siehe, einer aus denen4"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde gross"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Ach! nun ist mein Jesus hin!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Die aber Jesum gegriffen hatten"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Mir hat die Welt trüglich gericht'"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und wiewohl viel falsche Zeugen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Mein Jesus schweigt"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Geduld!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und der Hohepriester antwortete"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Er ist des Todes schuldig!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da speieten sie aus in sein Angesicht"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Weissage uns, Christe"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Wer hat dich so geschlagen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Petrus aber sass draussen im Palast"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chorus II, "Wahrlich, du bist auch einer von denen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da hub er an, sich zu verfluchen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Erbarme dich"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Bin ich gleich von der gewichen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Des morgens aber hielten"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Was gehet uns das an?"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und er warf die Silberlinge"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Sie hielten aber einen Rat"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Befiehl du deine Wege"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Auf das Fest aber"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Lass ihn kreuzigen!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Der Landphleger sagte"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Er hat uns allen wohlgetan"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Aus Liebe"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Sie schrieen aber noch mehr"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Lass ihn kreuzigen!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da abre Pilatus sahe"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Sein Blut komme über uns und unsere Kinder"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da gab er ihnen Barrabam los"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Erbarm es Gott!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Können Tränen meiner Wangen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Da nahmen die Kriegsknechte"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Gegrüsset seist du, Judenkönig!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und speieten ihn an"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und da sie ihn verspottet hatten"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Ja freilich will in uns das Fleisch un Blut"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Komm, süsses Kreuz"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und da sie an die Stätte kamen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Der du den Tempel Gottes zerbrichst"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Desgleichen auch die Hohenpriester"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Andern hat er geholfen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und da sie an die Stätte kamen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Ach Golgatha!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Sehet, Jesus Hat die Hand"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und von der sechsten Stunde an"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chorus I, "Der rufet dem Elias!"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und bald lief einer unter ihnen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chorus II, "Halt! lass sehen, on Elias komme und ihm helfe?"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und bald lief einer unter ihnen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Choral, "Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und siehe da, der Vorhang"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Wahlich, dieser ist Gottes Sohn gewesen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und es waren viel Weiber da"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Am Abend, da es kühle was"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Aria, "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Und Joseph nahm den Leib"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Herr, wir haben gedacht"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Pilatus sprach zu ihnen"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Recitativo, "Nun ist der Herr zur Ruh gebracht"
Matthäus Passion, BWV 244: Chori, "Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder"

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Koopman's St Mathew Passion by Bach September 24, 2013 By Richard T. (Auckland, New Zealand) See All My Reviews "I heard and saw a similar production on YouTube. I felt I should obtain a CD. I know people often 'get around this' but for various reasons this was what I wanted. Koopman and his fellow Dutch performers are clearly passionate, greatly talented, and highly experienced. This particular music can easily be ruined by a poor performance. I found the choral rendition in this music simply exquisite. I think I prefer the idea of this work to the St.John's Passion, but it seems that, while I was a teenager I preferred the dramatic and romantic power of Beethoven and other Romantics or Classical and also 'contemporary' music (while my father then about my age then) preferred Bach; nowadays for me the depth of Bach's choral music holds me. I also prefer NOT to know what the 'lyrics' (musicians rarely use good poetry) - but in any case it is the very fact I have no real idea (I have more now as an adult) seems to enhance the music's effect. Strange also, as from the view of a non-musician, it is difficult for me to see what is so 'great' about Bach. He was no innovator in overall style, in many ways (I agree in the main with Glenn Gould on this) he is fascinated not "in getting through to the end" but in the 'eternal flow' of the music. The effect, to myself, a poet, reminds me of the effect of the lines by T. S. Eliot of the Chinese jar that 'still moves perpetually in its own stillness'... (Or to that effect, I quote from memory.)" Report Abuse
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