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Bach, J.S.: Johannes-Passion (2 CDs)
 
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Bach, J.S.: Johannes-Passion (2 CDs)

14 Mar 1995 | Format: MP3

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
30
1
10:00
30
2
2:58
30
3
1:08
30
4
1:16
30
5
0:55
30
6
0:49
30
7
5:33
30
8
0:18
30
9
4:00
30
10
3:37
30
11
1:29
30
12
2:37
30
13
3:39
30
14
1:31
30
15
1:04
30
16
4:53
30
17
1:59
30
18
2:23
30
19
3:06
30
20
9:26
Disc 2
30
1
7:01
30
2
1:14
30
3
4:40
30
4
5:05
30
5
2:33
30
6
1:03
30
7
4:27
30
8
1:25
30
9
1:49
30
10
6:49
30
11
5:51
30
12
0:30
30
13
1:03
30
14
7:06
30
15
2:23
30
16
1:09
30
17
3:10
30
18
7:49
30
19
2:27


Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 April 2007
  • Release Date: 3 April 2007
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.
  • Copyright: (C) 1995 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:10:15
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LQJGZ2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,378 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By "quia-nihil-sum" on 10 April 2001
Format: Audio CD
If you are approaching Bach's wonderful Passion settings for the first time,you could not do yourself a bigger favour than to start your voyage of exploration with this quite lovely English language performance of the St.John.Almost nothing is lost in the translation from the German,and indeed this version was so carefully honed through successive performances,that at times it almost seems as though Bach had our native tongue in mind from the very start.
The Decca sound is well up to the standard of the period (1971) and aside from some bumps and thumps in the long opening chorus,it's almost ideally warm and full-bodied.
The musical forces involved are beyond my criticism:Benjamin Britten conducts with the authority and innate genius you would naturally expect,whilst the vocal soloists compete with each other to see who can most astound and beguile your ears next.Highlights include Heather Harper's stunning,"I'll follow thee also";Alfreda Hodgson's tear-jerking,"To release me from this prison";Robert Tear's tragic depiction of Peter's remorse after the denial of his friend,master and God,"Ah! take flight away from Human sight" and the magical,"Look yonder,O my soul" from the Bass John Shirley-Quirk.This last aria is Bach's meditiation on the supreme awfulness of the scourging of Jesus,and there are few more poignant or heart-rending moments in all music.J.S-Q gives it his most tender treatment and the ECO give him spine-tinglingly reverential support.
The crucial Choral element is in the safe collective hands of the assured Wandsworth School Boys' Choir under Russell Burgess.They are suitably indignantly incandescent in,"Ah! who would dare to smite thee ?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Crowe on 17 Sep 2013
Format: Audio CD
This recording was highly praised when it first appeared, but it hasn't worn too well. It all sounds a bit staid, and the sound is thick. The chorus is warm, but their sound too is heavy, and the chorales are sluggish. The soloists are fine; Gwynne Howell is a big-voiced Jesus, and Heather Harper, a great singer, is secure, although she sings her big aria rather straight -- is it possible that these singers might have been more familiar expressively with a German text? The major drawback, though, is Pears's Evangelist. He's sweet and expressive, but the voice is very uneven, and the sustained notes wobble distinctly. Compared with Anthony Rolfe Johnson on Gardiner's set (or even Haefliger, on the old Richter set), Pears does not seem particularly effective. The Chorus and the Evangelist are the heart of the St. John Passion, and it's the limitations with both that make this set perhaps less than it could have been. Britten's conducting -- in the days before the period instrument movement really took off -- is certainly efficient, but it doesn't seem all that interesting to me. I have to admit, though, that I don't much like another much-praised set: the Klemperer St. Matthew.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 July 2001
Format: Audio CD
In so-justifiably handing out plaudits for this vigorous, vivid, utterly involving performance of Bach's St John Passion, the previous reviewer unaccountably fails to single out the soloist of whom we hear most in it, namely, Peter Pears (arguably the greatest English tenor of the twentieth century).
Let it be noted, therefore, that the control, variety and seemingly-effortless expressiveness that Pears brings to the singing of the Narrator warrants the utmost praise. It is difficult to imagine that it has ever been done as well, or will ever be done better.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Tommy on 13 Jan 2007
Format: Audio CD
The Penguin guide accords this set a Rosette, and previous reviewers on amazon have been very positive. However, I would counsel caution before buying. I agree with the reviewer who mentions intonation problems with the boys choir. More generally, with the reverberant acoustic and large forces, in many contrapuntal choral passages the different musical lines become obscured and muddied - it becomes impossible to hear even a distinct pitch, let alone words, when there are fast semi-quaver's etc.

Peter Pears, of course, divides tastes - a love or loathe kind of tenor. Personally I'm a fan, and his contribution is strong. The biggest problem with this set is the other solo tenor, Robert Tear. Tear has the worst kind of wobbly wide-vibratoed tone - totally unsuited to Bach and a huge minus point for this recording.

If you are keen to hear the St John Passion in english there is much to like about this recording. Britten's conducting is lively, as in his Brandenburg concerti, and Heather Harper sings beautifully though in an "inauthentic", operatic style. But I would definitely advise against buying this as one's first/only recording of the work. Gardiner's or Suzuki's performances are both in German and on "period instruments", but it is not for those reasons that they are far preferable to Britten. They are both musically/artistically far superior - the choral work is cleanly articulated, precise and IN TUNE, the soloists are all much easier on the ear, and the overall effect is both more exciting and more sonically beautiful, not to mention better recorded.
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