giovedì 11 agosto 2016

J.S.Bach, Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

3 CD - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 244 Mb

The St. Matthew Passion, Bach's monumental retelling of the story of the Last Supper and the arrest and execution of Jesus, typically runs from two-and-a-half to three hours. Yet this performance makes the time... well, not exactly fly past (consider the subject matter), but it's not tedious for even a second. Much of the credit for this goes to the marvelous Evangelist, Ian Bostridge. He's an outstanding narrator: the clear tone and diction, skillful timing, and intense involvement with words that made him a famous lieder singer are all in evidence; his part consists of nothing but recitative, yet he holds your interest unfailingly. Franz-Josef Selig gives a more dramatic reading of Jesus than you usually hear these days--he may be a bit too "operatic" for some listeners, but he really communicates his character's very human anguish and sorrow. Similarly, soprano Sibylla Rubens, tenor Werner Güra, and bass Dietrich Henschel sometimes unleash a bit too much vibrato for some tastes, but their singing is full-throated and attractive and they're very sensitive to the nuances in the text and music. Superstar countertenor Andreas Scholl is the standout--he combines unearthly purity with very earthly feeling and blends beautifully with the baroque instruments. The real stars of the record, however, are Philippe Herreweghe and his remarkable choir and orchestra. This conductor and his musicians (especially his radiant choir, Collegium Vocale) have always been superb at conveying warmth, devotion, and contemplation, but intense joy, anguish, or anger have sometimes seemed beyond them. Not here: they cover the full emotional range of this work--from reverent reflection to anguished remorse to churning fury--without ever crossing the line into melodrama or sacrificing clarity.

Tenor [Evangelist]: Ian Bostridge
Bass [Jesus]: Franz-Josef Selig
Soprano [arias, Pilatus' wife]: Sibylla Rubens
Alto: Andreas Scholl
Tenor: Werner Güra
Bass: Dietrich Henschel
Bass [Pilatus]: Dietrich Henschel
Baritone [Judas & Priest 1]: Frits Vanhulle
Bass [Petrus & Priest 2]: Dominik Wörner
Alto [Witness]: Andreas Scholl
Tenor [Witness]: Werner Güra
Sopranos [Maids]: Elisabeth Hermans & Susan Hamilton

Chœr et Orchestre de Collegium Vocale Gent
Schola Cantorum Cantate Domino (Director: Michäel Ghljs)
dir. Philippe Herreweghe

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