Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Wilfried Jochens, Klaus Mertens, Lena Susanne Norin|
Bach: St. Matthew Passion
Jeremy D Vosburgh | West Sand Lake, NY United States | 04/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very professionally performed HIP matthew passion. Hermann Max conducts and his tempos almost exactly mimic the likes of Herreweghe. He uses woman sopranos and a 50/50 mix for the altos. Forces are rather small; 3-5 to a part. He is dynamic and does not conduct too wooden like. There is the exception of the chorales. They are way too fast. Same fault as Herreweghe. The audience should be meditating on them; instead they are left trying to keep up with the frenetic pace just to comprehend the words.Soloists range from good to superb, with the woman alto soloist (Lena Susanne Norin) being the superb (as good if not better than Scholl) and the rest being good. Pregardien is excellent as an evangelist; however, his same fault as Bostridge lies in his inability to be believable. Equiluz (Harnoncourt 1972?) and Cuenod (Scherchen 1953) remain the only two I've ever heard which were believable. And even Equiluz not totally so. Very beautiful and dramatic was Pregardien, but you could almost see him staring at the score as you listened. Of course, most singers these days seem to have this "impersonal" problem.Virtuosity of all singers involved is almost unparalleled. The choir was very precise and had some feeling. Everyone and everything blended very well. Which is why I say this was very professional. I really wonder why not many people seem to know about it. It is a wonderful recording at a lower price. It also fits on 2 cds which makes it easier to listen to. Liner notes are very good (very thick!) and the case comes in a carboard cover to protect it from being scratched. My 4 star rating means that I recommend it as being one of the fifteen best recordings out there at this piece."
Best Overall Matthew Passion
denti alligator | SC, United States | 03/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've listened to lots of Matthew Passions and this recording is by far my favorite. Considering you can get it for about 10 bucks, this is a no-brainer for Bach fans.
Max's original-instrument orchestra sounds wonderful, and his pacing is just right. Christoph Pregardien is the best evangelist I've ever heard. I find him totally 'believable' and, most importantly, his diction is impeccable (a serious flaw in many a would-be excellent evangelist). The women soloists are surprisingly top-notch. I say suprisingly, because I am partial to minimal vibrato, and counter tenors are usually better at cutting back the vibrato than mezzos. The mezzo on this recording is one of the finest Bach soloists I've ever heard! She'll make you weep.
The only flaw of this recording is the tenor soloist. Unfortunately, he's unlistenable. You'll have to make a compilation CD with your favorite tenor soloist from another recording. I wouldn't take away a star for this tenor, however, since the rest of the recording is so close to perfect, which is way more than can be said for a dozen other recordings out there."