JS Bach - St John Passion | Harmonia Mundi HMC80223637

JS Bach - St John Passion

£23.36

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Label: Harmonia Mundi

Cat No: HMC80223637

Format: SACD + DVD

Number of Discs: 3

Release Date: 25th March 2016

Contents

Artists

Sunhae Im
Benno Schachtner
Sebastian Kohlhepp
Werner Gura
Johannes Weisser
Staats- und Domchor Berlin
RIAS Kammerchor
Akademie fur alte Musik Berlin

Conductor

Rene Jacobs

Works

Bach, Johann Sebastian

St John Passion, BWV245

Artists

Sunhae Im
Benno Schachtner
Sebastian Kohlhepp
Werner Gura
Johannes Weisser
Staats- und Domchor Berlin
RIAS Kammerchor
Akademie fur alte Musik Berlin

Conductor

Rene Jacobs

About

Versions II & IV - 1739, 1725 version in appendix + Download

Bach revised his Johannes-Passion regularly: he returned to it over a period of 26 years, from 1724 until his death. It is the version hallowed by tradition, established by the Kantor a year before his death, that is presented on these CDs.

However, the 1725 version, equally outstanding musically, has also been recorded complete and can be downloaded as a bonus in high-resolution sound. Comparison of the two versions reveals the underlying meaning of this matchless 'Passion'.

2 SACDS+DVD

DVD bonus: 'Making of' (56 minutes)

Reviews

The countertenor René Jacobs sang the alto solos in the revelatory Bach Passion performances of Leonhardt, Herreweghe and others. Now in a later generation of the period instrument revival he directs a powerful and individual reading of the 1724 St John Passion. He favours strongly profiled rhythms, chorales with end-of-line pauses, and full-throated singing from the RIAS Chamber Choir (16 singers, augmented for the chorales). The eloquent Werner Güra is a more operatic Evangelist than our choral scholar tradition might allow, and the soprano is too shrill; Benno Schachtner is a worthy successor to Jacobs’s alto. The recording layout favours wind over strings.  Nicholas Kenyon

 

The Observer 3 April 2016
Complete clarity of sound and purpose distinguish René Jacobs’s recording of the St John Passion, presented here in its 1724 version, with Bach’s 1725 revisions ... as an appendix. ... Two factors dominate this performance. First, how the musicians are deployed: woodwind are placed in front of the strings, allowing for exceptional detail in the turba choruses, while the RIAS Kammerchor is divided into two units of 16 singers. ... The second factor is conceptual, involving close study of Bach’s theology and poetic imagery. Jacobs’s tempos are fleet and the attack is clean and tender. Evangelist Werner Güra sings with authority.  Anna Picard (Choral & Song Choice)
BBC Music Magazine June 2016

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