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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this item. Your item will be previously owned but still in great condition. The disc will play perfectly without interruption and the case, inlay notes and sleeve may show limited signs of wear.
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Bach: St. Matthew Passion / Matthaus-Passion Enhanced, Live, Box set

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (19 Mar. 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Enhanced, Live, Box set
  • Label: Teldec
  • ASIN: B000050KFT
  • Other Editions: DVD Audio  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 192,691 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

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Amazon.co.uk

First the presentation points: this recording of Bach's St Matthew Passion comes in the form of a small but perfectly formed hardback book with pockets for the discs--which are "enhanced" with images of the original score, should you care to feed them into a computer. As for the performance, it makes an issue of using a separate continuo group to accompany each of the two choirs. But what really counts is the quality of the singing which, in the case of the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, is devotional, sincere, devoid of affectation, and with an attractive, cushioned warmth of tone--a feature of the instrumental playing too, recorded in the spacious resonance of a Viennese church. In fact the sound is so rich that you might think Harnoncourt indulges it with slow speeds. But the one trump card this version plays is that among the soloists (Christoph Prégardien, Christine Schäfer, Bernarda Fink et al) is the boldly three-dimensional Christus of Matthias Goerne relishing the text and striking the fear of God, quite literally, into moments like the warning that his betrayer would be better off never to have been born. He brings the intensity of the Romantic song cycle to the words of the Lutheran church, and its emotionally bracing stuff: a world away from pious declamation and the lectern. --Michael White

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
...both the music, that is, and the superb booklet-form presentation package containing this 3-CD version of Bach's musical masterpiece - possibly the greatest musical work in the past or in any millennium.
Harnoncourt's tempi may seem a trifle brisk for many listeners who are used to hearing sombre, slow and monumental versions of Bach sacred and choral music. I must say I did baulk at the tempo Harnoncourt takes, right from the opening bars.
However, one ends with the impression that the tempi are perfect. The soloists are all splendid, too, without having to pick one out, and both choirs have a sweet and mellow sound. (I didn't realise that the wonderful Schubert lieder exponent Ian Bostridge sings in the the role of Evangelist on another comparable recording of this work, but I really have no quibbles with this sound of this excellent performance).
The CD booklet in which the CDs come is really a class act, using medieval images that depict the Passiona and crucifixion of Christ, and presenting the excellent liner notes and words in a stylish and very sturdy package that almost resembles a hardback book.
Finally.... the CD ROM facility means one can pop a CD into a computer, which when presents images of the original score (with zoom-in facility). It's only slightly interesting - a word that emphatically does NOT apply to Bach's sublime music. But no doubt multimedia CDs like this will be the norm soon.
Verdict: a truly worthwhile addition to your CD collection, especially if you're a Bach worshipper.
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Format: DVD Audio Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: DVD Audio
This is a great disc, and, by the way, it is a single DVD-Audio. The DVD-A is easy to remove and is well packaged, I assure you. And what a bargain, - the entire Matthew Passion for £14 or less!!
The performance is wonderful and will shake all previous allegiances. Harnoncourt manages to give us a human Christ and human emotions, in a tense emotional drama very much of this world but which also embraces the sublime, both philosophically and in terms of the rapture of the choral singing.
The hi-res sound is equally splendid, - Bach's beloved music soars, touches and burns within a believable acoustic in which all singers and instrumentalists can make a meaningful contribution.
For your own sake, ignore the codswallop from musicfan about the packaging of the redbook cds, and the absurd star ratings that go with it, and buy this wonderful disc for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
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Format: MP3 Download
I have lived with this recording for nearly ten years (it was a Christmas present in 2001, I notice) and, after many attempts to like and enjoy it, I have decided to put my cards on the table, if only because I can't believe that I am the only person who finds this performance problematic. I have long admired Harnoncourt's first ('quirky') recording of the great Bach masterpiece since it first came out some forty years ago, and, like all lovers of Bach, I have my favourites which include both old devotional performances (Klemperer and Richter first) and more recent period performances (Gardiner and the very inexpensive and extremely beautiful one by Stephen Cleobury). I simply do not understand all the accolades that have been heaped on this recording. The magnificent evangelist of Christoph Pregardien remain in a class of his own among contemporary tenors attempting this part, but I find so much of the rest contrived and hard pressed. Starting with the breathless violin in the great alto aria 'Erbarme dich'(tr. 'Have mercy on me') which turns this incredible piece into an anxiety-provoking struggle to the tenor's marvellous 'Geduld' (tr. "Patience") which becomes a dreadful cavalcade, I found this recording rather devoid of spiritual quality; I am not a religious man, but expect Bach great religious works to communicate the grandeur, mystery (as well as the horror) of the sufferings of Christ - what I find here is the horror (frequently expressed in ugly singing - try the denunciations of the two witnesses which are truly grotesque) that overshadows everything else. I am not impressed by the solo singing either - the alto's low notes are tentative to put it mildly, the bass arias sound to me consistently off pitch.Read more ›
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