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J.S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion (Amsterdam 2012) (Iván Fischer, Mark Padmore, Peter Harvey) (Arthaus: 101676) [DVD] [NTSC] 
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LIVE RECORDING FROM THE ROYAL CONCERTGEBOUW
Tenor Evangelist MARK PADMORE
Bass Christ PETER HARVEY
Soprano MARIA ESPADA
Mezzo Soprano /Alto INGEBORG DANZ
Soprano RENATE ARENDS
Mezzo Soprano /Alto BARBARA KOZELJ
Tenor PETER GIJSBERTSEN
Bass HENK NEVEN
ROYAL CONCERTGEBOUW ORCHESTRA AMSTERDAM
NETHERLANDS RADIO CHOIR & NATIONAL CHILDRENS CHOIR
Conductor IVÁN FISCHER
This 2012 recording of the most influential and wide spread oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach features the Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer, a visionary in his field, with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. The double choir is the essential musical aspect on which Iván Fischers interpretation of Bachs St. Matthew Passion is based. Only by consistently seizing on that duality will all the complementary layers stand out as they should. He describes this essential fundamental aspect as follows: You cant do the St. Matthew in an unreligious way. The only approach is from a deep, universally religious feeling.
The internationally renowned tenor Mark Padmore is brilliant as the Evangelist, Peter Harvey gives a moving interpretation of Christ. Together with Ingeborg Danz, Renate Arends, Maria Espada, Barbara Kozelj, Peter Gijsbertsen and Henk Neven and the Netherlands Radio Choir they carry the audience through an affecting performance of this masterwork.
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.0 (DVD), PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master
Picture Format: 16:9, 1080i FULL HD
Format: 2 x DVD 9 / NTSC, 50 GB (Dual Layer)
Subtitle Languages: DE (Original Language), GB, FR, ES, JP
Running Time: 174 mins
Region Code: 0 (DVD)
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Top Customer Reviews
Perhaps some people would prefer the bass parts to be sung by a bass rather than a baritone, but that said, the interpretation is good. The booklet could well have more detail on the performers. I would have found that more interesting than who created the make-up for instance.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
About the musical execution, I have two (small) regrets :
(1) the various parts follow each other too closely ; in my view, there should be some "breathing intervals", as was the case in the first version I ever heard (Hermann Scherchen's) eons ago as a kid, a version which must have been some twenty minutes longer, although this was also due to some very very slow tempi.
(2) I persist in thinking that the harpsichord and its pearly sound is a better instrument to accompany the evangelist than the organ. This was the case in the older executions I listened to some 50 years ago.
A small note : in my opinion the best evangelist ever was Hughes Cuénod. Does anyone concur ?
PS. Sorry for the poor English : my mother tongue is French (or Swiss French).