We have owned the LPs of this performance for nearly 50 years, and now own the CDs. It is a recording we have brought out nearly every year during Holy Week. It is magnificent, prayerful and emotional. It is old, it has coughing, it has charm, but it is shattering. The choruses and chorales have never been sung with such intensity. It is pre-war, and all the performers must now be dead. No other performance or recording is like it. We cannot speak or write more highly of it.
I challenge any conductor, or any choir, or any soloist to attempt a similar performance using modern recording techniques. Klemperer's version is in the same tradition, but comes nowhere near it in intensity; other "authentic", modern versions seem merely melodramatic.
This is a churchman's drama. Listen to it on your knees!