St. John Passion Archive

BACH: St. John Passion – 3 Releases: Academy of Ancient Music/ Crouch End Festival Chorus & Bach Camerata / Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben – Naxos, MDG

BACH: St. John Passion – 3 Releases: Academy of Ancient Music/ Crouch End Festival Chorus & Bach Camerata / Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben – Naxos, MDG

BACH: St. John Passion – James Gilchrist (Evangelista)/ Neal Davies (Christus)/ Sophie Bevan (soprano)/ Iestyn Davies (Alto)/ Ed Lyon (Tenor)/ Rodererick Williams (Bass)/ Benedict Kearns (Petrus)/ Tony Ward (Servus)/ Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/ Academy of Ancient Music/ Stephen Cleobury – King’s College multichannel SACD KGS0018 (2 discs), 109:23 [Distr. by Naxos] *****: BACH: Johannes-Passion – Veronika Winter (soprano)/ Franz Vitzthum (countertenor)/ Andreas Post (tenor)/ Christoph Schweizer (baritone)/ Thomas Laske (baritone)/ Bernhard Spingler (bass)/ Stefan Weible (tenor)/ Lucian Eller (bass)/ Hille Perl (viola da gamba)/ Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben/ Handel’s Company/ Rainer Johannes Homburg – MDG multichannel SACD (2+2+2) MDG 9021985 (2 discs), 106:77 ****: BACH: St. John Passion (sung in English) – Sophie Bevan (soprano)/ Robin Blaze (countertenor)/, Benjamin Hulett (tenor)/ Robert Murray (Evangelist)/ Andrew Ashwin (Pilate, Peter)/ Neal Davies (bass-baritone)/ Ashley Riches (Jesus)/ Peter Jaekel (organ)/ Crouch End Festival Chorus & Bach Camerata/ David Temple – Chandos multichannel SACD (2 discs) CHSA5183, 109:77 [Distr. by Naxos] ****: Three terrific representations of this seminal work. Aside from the very close timings on each of these releases, there are a few other things in common. The use of a counter-tenor (unfortunate), period instruments (all three superb ensembles), and the use of Super […]

BACH: St. John Passion (A ritualisation by Peter Sellars) – DVDs & Blu-ray (2014/16)

BACH: St. John Passion (A ritualisation by Peter Sellars) – DVDs & Blu-ray (2014/16)

An unsettling visual version of questionable value, but high musical marks. BACH: St. John Passion (A ritualisation by Peter Sellars) – DVDs & Blu-ray (2014/16) Performers: Mark Padmore (Evangelist)/ Camilla Tilling (sop.)/ Magdalena Kožená (mezzo)/ Topi Lehtipuu (tenor)/ Christian Gerhaher (bari.)/ Roderick Williams (Jesus)/ Berliner Philharmoniker/ Rundfunkchor Berlin/ Simon Rattle Director: Peter Sellars Studio: Berliner Philharmoniker BPHR140031, 2014 (2 DVDs and Blu-ray disc) Video: 1080i Full HD for 16:9 (Blu-ray) Audio: PCM Stereo, DTS 5.1 (DVDs), 2.0 PCM, DTS-HD MA 5.1 (Blu-ray) Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean No Region Code Length: Concert: 135 mins, Extras: 52 mins. (in Hi-Def on Blu-ray) Digital Concert Hall: 7-Day Ticket for the Berliner Philharmoniker’s video streaming service Rating: *** This is the BPO’s second Sellars foray of this type into Bach, the first being the St. Matthew Passion a few years back. What type, you ask? Well, a dramatization of the passion. And I’m a long way from being convinced about it, despite the slobbering European press and other predictable quarters hailing it as “revelatory”. Perhaps I am simply being overly-religious in my sentiments; I have always found that the Bach passions speak very well for themselves, with a simplicity and directness […]

BACH: St. John Passion – Soloists/RIAS Ch. Choir/ Academy for Old Music Berlin/ Rene Jacobs – Harmonia mundi (2 discs)

BACH: St. John Passion – Soloists/RIAS Ch. Choir/ Academy for Old Music Berlin/ Rene Jacobs – Harmonia mundi (2 discs)

Outstanding in every facet, this could be, just maybe, the one to own. BACH: St. John Passion (1749 + 1725 Appendix) – Werner Gura, tenor/ Sumhae Im, sop/ Benno Schachtner, alto/ Sebastian Kohlhepp, tenor/ Johannes Weisser, bass/ RIAS Chamber Choir/ Academy for Old Music Berlin/ Rene Jacobs – Harmonia mundi multichannel SACD (2 discs) + DVD HMC 802236.37, 2:15:20 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi/PIAS] *****: This is the version completed right at the end of Bach’s life, with the powerful and familiarly haunting “Herr, Herr, Herr” in the opening chorus. I mention this because there is an appendix from the 1725 version that includes some numbers also rather popular but not in the regular performing version presented here, and the opening of that earlier edition is absent the aforementioned chorus. However, in a generous and wonderfully intelligent decision by Harmonia mundi, they have included three free downloads, one of the 1749 version given in toto here, and also the complete 1725 edition as well, both offered in a high def 24 bit FLAC file, about ten times the size of a normal 128kbps MP3 file. This is a great treat, and you can even give the third download to a friend […]

Audio News for April 24, 2015

PBS Subwoofer Mounts Any Way; Four-Screen Display for TVs; DTS Withdraws DTS:X from 3.0 Broadcast TV Standard Consideration; SMS Audio Teams Up with Marvel & Reebok; Five Classical Music Controversies