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 of us raised on the full chorus monumental direction from the likes of Richter and Klemperer…
…Not only does Quasthoff perform with his by now customary strength and elegance, but Quasthoff interprets with his by now customary warmth and compassion. Quasthoff knows full well the depths of doom and gloom in Bach's texts, but he also knows that despite it all, life is good and his singing projects a love of life that few other performers can match. The choral singing by members of the RIAS-Kammerchor is subtle and strong and the orchestral playing of the Berliner Barock Solisten is nuanced and sensitive. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is clear and detailed.
Since 1727, JS Bach's "Great Passion" has gripped the hearts and uplifted the minds of audiences all over the globe. Nearly three centuries after its premiere, the work has lost none of its power to evoke feelings of compassion for all those who suffer. Its mix of urgent story-telling, meditative arias and mighty choruses sets St Matthew's account of Christ's betrayal, trial and execution eloquently and emotionally.
"This is the 6th instalment of PentaTone’s successful Wagner Edition. It is the first time in the recording history that a label records all major Wagner opera’s with the same orchestra, choir and conductor. This makes the PentaTone Wagner Edition a great collector’s item. All operas are recorded live in the Philharmonie in Berlin. The first five recordings were awarded with “Editor’s Choice” (Gramophone), Recording of the Month and Opera Choice of the Month (BBC Music Magazine), CD of the week (Sunday Times). Based on the reviews of the concert we expect high scores for the Tannhäuser recording as well." ~prestoclassical
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.
Thankfully, a large part of Popol Vuh's discography has come back into print the last few years- I bought this on iTunes, and I'm glad I did. By the 1980s, the spiritual side of Florian Fricke's vision had come to the forefront.