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DVD Audio at it's best....,
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This review is from: St. Matthew Passion (Harnoncourt) [DVD AUDIO] (DVD Audio)
Firstly a note to clarify the packaging. The DVD comes in a DVD jewel case (slightly bigger than a CD jewel case) with a booklet. It has none of the apparent problems that the CD box set had.
Now onto the music.
The Passion According to St Matthew (to give the work its full title) is one of the greatest choral works ever written. It takes you from sublime exctasy to great, powerful passages. It is two and three quarter hours of pure genius.
And it is a stunning performance. Harnoncourt paces the work impeccably, brings out hair raising performances from the soloists and delivers a full blooded and geniunly inspired choral performance. Nor should the orchestra accompaniment be ignored. It is just perfect, providing wonderful support for the choir and soloists.
I have a few versions of this work, but I would rate this one as the best. The others are more or less redundant now, not least because this one allows me to listen to the whole thing in one go, without distracting disc changes.
The surround sound is simply impeccable.
The booklet is excellent with a history and discussion of the work.
This is one of all to few DVD Audio discs that really take advantage of the new format.
I would love to see more multi CD works presented in this fashion.
To conclude, this is one of the best DVD Audio discs that I know of and I recommend it unreservedly.