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Bach: St Matthew Passion Bwv 245 [Christina Landshamer; Stefan Kahle; Wolfram Lattke; St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig; Gewandhausorchester Leipzig; St. Thomas Cantor Georg Christoph Biller] [Accentus: ACC10256] [Blu-ray] [2012][Region Free]

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Christina Landshamer, Stefan Kahle, Wolfram Lattke, Martin Lattke, Klaus Mertens
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: French, English, German, Korean
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Accentus
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Sept. 2012
  • Run Time: 164 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008P76VP8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,442 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

Review

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<br \><br \>'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

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just as the Harnoncourt St John Passion with the Tölzer Boys Choir is the definitive Bach St John Passion on DVD to date, so this must surely be the definitive St Matthew on DVD. Biller and the Thomanerchor show us why Bach was the unsurpassable genius he was. This is a truly moving performance. One's only regret is that Biller, unlike Harnoncourt, couldn't trust that he had a boy singer capable of performing the soprano arias. His recordings of the cantatas suggest that here he was mistaken. Otherwise all the soloists are amazing - the evangelist and the alto soloist particularly are truly moving in both the skill of their singing and the emotional power of their interpretation. One hopes Bach had such talent to interpret his work - what an experience it must have been for the St Thomas congregation! Thanks to Biller's musicianship and his profound dedication to the task of being a worthy successor of the great Thomaskantor we can sense a good deal of that. Buy this DVD and be moved.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I really like this great Passion and I do not abhor barroque music played on modern instruments, so I'm enjoying this blu-ray a lot.

The boys choir (the Thomanerchor Leipzig) is not perfect technically speaking (I think few boys choirs are perfect), but this choir has some kind of magic for me and I can't forget that J.S.Bach was its Kantor when he wrote this great Passion (and probably this Passion was first performed in the church where this recording has been made, the Thomaskirche in Leipzig).

The vocal soloists are really nice, specially the wonderful bass-baritone Klaus Mertens (who did an incredible work recording the complete Bach Cantatas with Ton Koopman), singing here as Jesus. The countertenor (Stefan Kahle) does a great work too. He's very young and I think he has a great potential.

The conductor is Georg Christoph Biller (who is the Thomaskantor at present). I think he does a nice work, though some tempi are too fast for me.

Both audio and video are superb.

Please excuse my English, English is not my mother tongue.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x975774bc) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96d52060) out of 5 stars Great Performance from Leipzig 21 Jan. 2013
By Alan M. Shearer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The St. Mathew Passion by J.S. Bach could easily rank as one of the most awesome works of music ever written--2 hours and 40 minutes of great music by not 1 but 2 orchestras and chorus creating quite a spectacle.
The new BluRay DVD by the St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig, an 800 year old institution that Bach himself graduated from, is both daring and eloquent and yet very true to the style of the period.
One bold departure from the traditional voicing of the work is the performance of Stefan Kahle, a male alto singing a part traditionally sung by a woman. A highly disciplined performer, Kahle renders every solo with an eloquence and beauty I have never heard in any previous performances. This is especially true in the exquisite duo for violin and alto: Erbarme dich, mein gott. Backed by a superb violinist, this aria is breathtaking. I highly recommend this.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9744387c) out of 5 stars JSB would have enjoyed this! 8 Sept. 2014
By Ken Suetterlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hearing this performance on YouTube encouraged me to search for the DVD. I have both the St. Matthew, and the B Minor Mass by the Thomanerchor, as well as the documentary DVD on the choir. After watching the documentary, I listened to this performance and better understood how Maestro Biller and his colleagues work with the boys/ young men to achieve the precise and exciting reading of Bach's music. The Thomanerchor's sound is, of course, different in character from the English and American choirs, but that does not detract at all from the wonderful sound. I realize that in most cases, I'm biased toward the boy choir sound, but that's my principal preference. There is a lightness and a dancing quality to these performances that is not easily duplicated by adult singers.....and I readily acknowledge that other choirs may perform this music just as well. However the large-group massed adult sound doesn't always do justice to either Handel, Haydn or Bach. I look forward to future recordings from Liepzig. Thanks so much.
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97443780) out of 5 stars Not the only one 23 Nov. 2012
By Peter T. Sipos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
In all fairness, I need to correct the earlier review. This is NOT the only recording on blu-ray. I already own the Peter Sellers production from Berlin, conducted by Simon Rattle. And no - you don't have to pay $333. Just shop around with some other internet retailers like Presto Classical. It's available in both DVD and Blu-Ray, just make sure to order the NTSC version (not PAL). I don't want to take attention away from this Leipzig Recording , which is probably also great (in fact, I ordered a copy for myself) - but it's NOT the only option on blu-ray. And the Sellers/Rattle production is a real gem in its own right - very innovative and moving.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x978165dc) out of 5 stars The best 26 Dec. 2013
By Midwesterner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Outstanding performances by all participants. Outstanding direction, photography, choreography. Great Blu ray picture and sound. Can't say enough good things. Purchase and enjoy!
17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x976a9abc) out of 5 stars St Matthew Passion 16 Oct. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is THE only blu-ray of St. Matthew Passion in the U.S. market. So I took a chance to purchase without waiting for its review on major music magazines such as BBC Music or Gramophone. The image is sharp of course. But it is also well played and sung without making a fuss of comparing it to the die hard reference audio recordings such as Richter, etc., I have those. But life moves on that I need new experience in sight and sound if the performances are still strong enough.

That said, I enjoy this blu-ray expecting repeated watching and listening.
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