Discussion:
Bach, St Matthew Passion - McCreesh (CD review)
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Johan van Veen
2003-09-13 13:29:57 UTC
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Johan van Veen
Utrecht (Netherlands)
***@wanadoo.nl

musica Dei donum
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Thomas Wood
2003-09-14 21:29:08 UTC
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I can't bring myself to read anything more about this performance -
suffice it
to say that I find it comprehensively dreadful. I know it's popular, so I
guess
a dissenting voice might give some perspective to the issue.
Strange, most of the input I've heard about McCreesh's St. Matthew Passion
(more like a Miff or a Chagrin the way McCreesh does it) has been very
negative.

Tom Wood
Simon Roberts
2003-09-15 01:12:04 UTC
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In article <E459b.139042$***@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>,
Thomas Wood says...
Post by Thomas Wood
I can't bring myself to read anything more about this performance -
suffice it
to say that I find it comprehensively dreadful. I know it's popular, so I
guess
a dissenting voice might give some perspective to the issue.
Strange, most of the input I've heard about McCreesh's St. Matthew Passion
(more like a Miff or a Chagrin the way McCreesh does it) has been very
negative.
Yes; and I think even I expressed some relative disappointment at the recording,
which I think is nowhere near as good as the live performance I attended. I'm
not sure to what extent I agree with this review, but it's well argued.

Simon
Feuillade
2003-09-15 06:08:31 UTC
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Absolutely. The problem here isn't
too few singers, or even really the
quality of those singers. It's McCreesh.
I'm convinced he simply doesn't
understand Bach. Rhythmically
and rhetorically, McCreesh's Passion
is blank, flat, sterile -- just as
unsatisfying as his Magnificat.
Let me ask a question, then -- given that McCreesh's Matthew Passion has not
gotten very good reviews and is considered a dud...

Are there any recent (post-1990) Matthew Passions that are universally
considered excellent (not including Herrweghe's remake, which I just assume is
good)?

What are the best of the recent Bach choral recordings (Matthew Passion, John
Passion, B Minor Mass)?


Tom Moran

"The people can always be brought to the bidding
of the leaders...All you have to do is to tell them
they are being attacked, and denounce the
pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the
country to danger."

Hermann Goering
Simon Roberts
2003-09-15 14:27:47 UTC
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Post by Feuillade
Let me ask a question, then -- given that McCreesh's Matthew Passion has not
gotten very good reviews and is considered a dud...
Are there any recent (post-1990) Matthew Passions that are universally
considered excellent (not including Herrweghe's remake, which I just assume is
good)?
Since most recent SMPs are HIP or HIP-influenced (the lest HIP is probably
Ozawa's, but it isn't entirely free from HIP influences), and since there are
some virulent anti-HIPsters around, the answer to that one is fairly easy: no!
Herreweghe II and Harnoncourt III have both received generally favorable
responses, however. Of other post-1990 SMPs I would give priority to Leonhardt
(if that's post-1990; I can't remember), Koopman, Rilling II (or III or whatever
his Haenssler recording is) and Max. There's little of interest (to me, anyway)
in Vermeulen's, Cleobury's (? I think he's the conductor; anyway, the Vanguard
recording with Kirkby et al.) Ericson's, Suzuki's, Thomas's (rather to my
surprise) or Goodwin's, while Brueggen's is rather a mixed bag (for many the
voice of his Evangelist is an insuperable obstacle). I'm probably forgetting
one or two.

Simon
Mazzolata
2003-09-15 19:05:47 UTC
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Post by Feuillade
What are the best of the recent Bach choral recordings (Matthew Passion, John
Passion, B Minor Mass)?
I really like Leonhardt's B Minor Mass.
Samir Golescu
2003-09-16 06:24:56 UTC
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I remember saving up my scant student dollars for a used copy of Klemperer's
5 (5! It was THAT slow!) -LP set of the St. Matthew Passion which was for
sale in a shop on the Banks of the Boneyard Lo! many years ago -- and
feeling abysmally horribly betrayed by Otto's sorry sanctimonious sludge
(tho actually the opening chorus was pretty effective).
Not only in the opening chorus -- also in the final chorus -- who did it
better? -- or in the extraordinarily dramatic fugato dealing with "his
blood be on our hands" (Sind Blitze sind Donner ... )

... but yes -- the Klemperer version is painfully draggy in places
(at least I think so). Jesus Christ's last hours of life weren't a quick
walk either but I am not sure that can explain it away entirely.
But just like McCreesh, Klemperer had no real grasp of the piece.
"Just like"?? Nice try -- comparing a grandeur-kissed-by giant who could
sometimes be -- for intermittent, not permanent medical reasons! -- in
soporific mood with all those jolly HIP dwarfs who rush happily their way
through an absurdly revised "J. S. Bach"'s -- "A Valentine's Day Shopping
Spree With Jesus Christ".

regards,
SG
(who thinks one get a better gesheft getting Klemperer's SMP on 7 CDs at
full price than HHMcC's parodies together on 3 CDs on the
"Salvation Army"'s "Give-a-nickel-get-a-passion" label)

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