4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2013
This is a really fine performance of the 1725 version of the St John Passion. (I heard one other recording of the 1725 version, it's by the King's College Choir and really good, but I have a slight preference for the Herreweghe recording.) I like most of the soloists, the choir and orchestra are excellent, the performance is very well-balanced in many respects, the recording is clear and detailed. Now and then a bit more passionate singing would have be appropriate, but this is still one of the best recordings of any version of the St John Passion.
In order to avoid confusion: as this Passion is performed generally, it's a mixture of the 1724 version and of a version that Bach started writing but neither completed, nor performed himself. The 1724 version (and the 1749 version as well) starts with "Herr, unser Herrscher", which has a repeated bass note G in the first bars. The 1725 version starts with "O Mensch, bewein' dein Sünde gross", which Bach moved to the conclusion of Part 1 of the St Matthew Passion in 1736.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2007
Just to clear this up: this 1725 version of the St John Passion shares some music with the St Matthew Passion, hence the comments below. You will get a bit more detail if you go to the Harmonia Mundi website and find this recording under Herreweghe's listing. Lovely music and playing, needless to say.
11 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2007
I'm surprised that anyone finds the review printed helpful. If your reviewer is hearing a "relentless E-pedal, full of brooding expectation" at the beginning of his version of "Saint John Passion" he should check the box he keeps it in as he will find that it says "Saint Matthew" on it.
13 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2003
Beware, lovers of Bach's St.John Passion. If you know and expect to hear the famous first chorus with its relentless E-pedal, full of brooding expectation, don't buy this recording. It presents a later, 1725 version in which, amongst other things, this chorus has been replaced. I would love to be able to write and say that Herreweghe and his superb team of artists had once again achieved a winner but, on finding out that it was a different version to the one I wanted to hear, I moved on.