The renowned St. Thomas Boys Choir of Leipzig
, which boasts J. S. Bach as a former cantor, celebrates its 800th anniversary with an extraordinary interpretation of the St. Matthew Passion. The Guardian
praised how the harmonic lines interwove with a transcendence that can only be achieved through living, eating and working together
This Accentus Music production is the only audio-visual release of Bachs St. Matthew Passion, performed by the choir for which it was written, in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, where the composer worked and is buried.
'It is for the chorales that the performance is to be savoured, as well as for the atmosphere and acoustic of the St. Thomas church. ' --Andrew Clark, Financial Times
'Biller's direction exudes profound integrity and commitment, the chorales in particular shaped by a deeply-felt inevitability, and the ethereal alto purity of recent Thomasschule graduate Stefan Kahle is deeply moving alongside the noble Christus of veteran Klaus Mertens and Christina Landshamer's radiant soprano... this is a moving testament to a choir celebrating 800 years and probably stronger than ever.' --Paul Riley, BBC Music Magazine - Dec.'12
An impressive evolution of the narrative is achieved largely by a judicious choice of tempi and the ringing reportage of Wolfram Lattke… Klaus Mertens is a seasoned and eloquent Christus, the pick of the crop, but with soprano Christina Landshamer also delivering consistently well, most notably in 'Aus Liebe'. There is much else to admire in this production in toto, with its coherent and visual values. --Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Gramophone
There is a dedicated simplicity about this performance, totally in keeping with the circumstances under which it would have first been performed, that I found deeply affecting. Rather than having its greatness thrust upon you, Biller allows the music to unwind gently with disarming naturalness, something that if anything increases its profound emotional impact. --Julian Haylock, International Record Review