Bach - St. Matthew Passion (2011)

Bach

The Netherlands Bach Society

Jos Van Veldhoven

Tim Mead, Gerd Turk, Amaryllis Dieltiens, Julian Podger

Bach's St Matthew Passion is almost always described as a double-choir composition for two choirs and two orchestras. Two large ensembles play in dialogue, and the score presents a symmetrical structure. The scoring of the two groups of singers and players is identical, and each ensemble has four soloists for the arias. On the stage one often sees two equal groups of singers, and an orchestra likewise divided exactly into two. The Evangelist and Jesus are often the only exceptions to this impressive symmetry.

 There are reasons enough, however, to look at the score in another way. Firstly, there is the Bible story itself, which is told entirely in Coro I (Bach speaks of Coro, by which he means all the singers and players of one ensemble, not just the choir). In his score, Bach even distinguishes the Evangelist's part in Coro I by writing it in red ink. The role of Coro II, besides its contribution to the cries of the crowd in the story and to the chorales, is limited to delivering commentary. In the organisation of the score as well there are considerable distinctions: almost all the important arias are to be found in Coro I - and there are twice as many as in Coro II - and the composition technique reveals major differences. In contrast to the great wealth of instrumental solos in Coro I, the writing for Coro II is much simpler: the instruments often double other parts, and instrumental solos are almost entirely absent. The score as a whole gives a strong impression of hierarchy, rather than equality or symmetry. 
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The Netherlands Bach Society

Founded in 1921, The Netherlands Bach Society is the oldest Early Music ensemble in the Netherlands, and possibly in the whole world. Yet along with the musicians, its artistic director Jos van Veldhoven is still continually in search of contemporary ways of presenting this music, whether it be the traditional performances of the St. Matthew Passion in Naarden, other works by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) or music by his predecessors, successors, contemporaries and fellow spirits.

The programmes are often compiled in an original way and thus give a refreshing view of the various musical styles from Schütz/Monteverdi to Haydn/Mozart, as well as of the central composer Bach himself. The flexibility of the ensemble makes it possible to perform works from the secular and sacred repertoires in a great variety of combinations of musicians. In the concerts, top priority is given to beauty, emotion, quality and authentic experience.

For a long time now, the activities of The Netherlands Bach Society have not been restricted to Naarden or Het Gooi, in the Netherlands. They are attracting growing national and international attention from large concert halls and important music festivals, and the ensemble increasingly plays the honourable role of cultural ambassador.

Besides working with principal conductor Jos van Veldhoven, The Netherlands Bach Society also performs with leading early music specialists from the Netherlands and abroad, such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Peter Dijkstra, Richard Egarr, Gustav Leonhardt, Paul McCreesh, Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Masaaki Suzuki.

In order to reinforce the authentic experience, the concerts are supported where necessary by fringe programming, including introductions, workshops, exhibitions and book publications. Further emphasis is provided by the educational projects, which have also received several awards (e.g. Euro Media Award and the Classical Music Award from the Dutch Association of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD)).

The Netherlands Bach Society and Jos van Veldhoven have recorded several CDs for Channel Classics, including the Great Organ Mass with the organist Leo van Doeselaar and Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Illustrated editions of the Christmas Oratorio, the St. John Passion and the Mass in B minor have been published in collaboration with Museum Catharijneconvent.

Jos Van Veldhoven

Jos van Veldhoven studied musicology at Utrecht University, and choral and orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory in TheHague. He has been artistic director of TheNetherlands Bach Society since 1983, in which capacity he regularly directs performances at home and abroad of the major works of JohannSebastian Bach, his predecessors and contemporaries.Van Veldhoven also directs the UtrechtsBarok Consort, which he founded in 1976. With these ensembles he has made a great number of national and international radio, tv and cd The Netherlands Bach Society recordings, and has appeared in festivals in theNetherlands, Europe, the United States and Japan.Jos van Veldhoven is a frequent guest conductor with Dutch and foreign orchestras, including DasOrchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, The TokyoPhilharmonic Orchestra, the Robert Schumann Philharmonie, the Essener Philharmoniker, theBrabant Orchestra and the Limburg SymphonyOrchestra. Since 2001 he has collaborated with director Dietrich Hilsdorf on a cycle of stage dHandel oratorios at the opera houses of Bonn,Chemnitz and Essen.Jos van Veldhoven has attracted frequent attention with performances of newly discovered repertoire within the realm of early music, including noteworthy performances of oratorios by Telemann and Graun, Vespers by Gastoldi,reconstructions of Bach’s St Mark Passion, theso-called Köthener Trauer-Music and many unknown seventeenth-century dialogues. VanVeldhoven has conducted many contemporary premieres of Baroque operas by composers including Mattheson, Keiser, Andrea, Bononcini,Legrenzi, Conti and Scarlatti.Jos van Veldhoven is professor of choral conducting at the Amsterdam Conservatory and theRoyal Conservatory in The Hague. In 2007 he was appointed Knight of the Order of the NetherlandsLion for his pioneering services to early music.

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Bach - St. Matthew Passion (2011)

Bach

The Netherlands Bach Society

    Great! -

One of my personal favorites! Jonas

Jonas Sacks

    Audiophile Audition -

(...) Fortunately, this is not just an exciting performance from a conceptual standpoint, but it is also very well sung and played. (...) beautifully expressive throughout and captured in sound that is clear and truthful. (...) you have a listening experience that should please no matter how often you return to it. (...) Superb, and recommended unreservedly! Audiophile Audition 5*

Lee Passarella[read full review]

    SA-CD.net -

(...) a wonderful achievement in both musical and technical terms by all concerned. (...) Channel’s superb 5.0 DSD recording reproduces their sound with the richness and glow of a Rembrandt canvas, while at the same time capturing the lovely acoustic of the Grote Kerk, Naarden in the Netherlands. (...) Whatever other recordings you may have in your library, Veldhoven’s inspired reading, with its exceptional blend of committed musicianship and scholarship should definitely be auditioned by all who love this work. (...) This is without doubt a top recommendation and anyone receiving this set, as an Easter gift, will surely be delighted. SA-CD.net *FIVE stars

    Leeuwarder Courant

(...) misschien nog wel het grootste pluspunt: het grootse orkest, de welluidende solisten en de donderende koren zijn hier door van Veldhoven integraal op zijn kop gezet (...)

    De Telegraaf

Wij maken kennis met een rustig vertelde, overwegend milde maar doorleefde interpretatie van een dirigent die zich van nature meer bij beschouwelijkheid thuis voelt dan bij het dramatische.

    Katholiek Nieuwsblad

(...) Van Veldhoven is niet uit op effectbejag. Hij laat de Nederlandse Bachvereniging op hoog niveua musicieren.

    Hifi Video Test

(...) Het solisten-panel, het koor, en het orkest zingen en spelen op de toppen van hun kunnen en van wat mogelijk is, menselijkerwijs gesproken. Van deze muziek kun je nooit genoeg krijgen. Aanraakbaar bijna. Zou Bach het zo bedoeld hebben? HVT

    Maerkische Allgemeine

(…) das Continuo ist perfekt organisiert. Gerd Türck ‘spricht’ den Evangelisten mit beneidenswerter Ruhe (…)

    International Record Review: ‘Outstanding’

(...) What makes this performance not just revolutionary but an absolute must-have for lovers of this music is the sheer quality of the performance from The Netherlands Bach Society. (...) If any recording warrants the ‘Outstanding’ tag, this does. (...) as a glorious, life-affirming and utterly irresistible piece of music-making, this is a league of its own.(...) International Record Review: ‘Outstanding’

    BBC Music Magazine, Choral CD of the Month

Unequalled: voices vie under Jos van Veldhoven (...) Sensitive surround-sound recording retains admirabel balance between the eight parts, differentiated by timbre rather than numbers. (...) A new spatial and tonal experience from van Veldhoven. BBC Music Magazine, Choral CD of the Month

    Classics Today -

Jos van Veldhoven, who's proven himself on so many other recordings of major Bach works, including the above-mentioned releases on Channel Classics, makes excellent decisions here. (...) this exceptionally well balanced, thoughtfully paced reading, vividly brought to life by the performers and recording team, deserves a place among the reference versions. (...) And again, the packaging is stunning and a treat in itself--in all, a collector's dream, a listener's treasure. Classics Today 10/10

    Alte Musik Aktuell, CD des Monats

(…) Seine Tempi sinds angenehm, elegant und moderat, zuweilen aber auch durchaus spritzig und filigran, sehr gut kontrastierend. Die Choräle, immer ein Problem für sich, kommen sauber und in völlig richtigem Tempo. Die solistenpartien sind sehr gut besetzt, das Orchester spielt aufmerksam und mit technische Brillanz. Der Text ist großteils gut verständlich, der Evangelist Gerd Türk singt souverän. Und das Publikum verhält sich mucksmäuschenstill, kein Husten, kein Räuspern. (…) Alte Musik Aktuell, CD des Monats

    Music Web

(...) Kudos to Channel Classics for their sumptuous production standards. Not only is the packaging beautiful, but the sound engineering is to a high standard and based on some very original thinking about the potential of high definition sound. Music Web

    Klassik.com

Nun hat Jos van Veldhoven die Reihe seiner großen Bachaufnahmen mit der Matthäus-Passion komplett gemacht – wiederum mit erlesenen Vokalisten und farbenreicher instrumentaler Arbeit. (...) Der Klang zeigt eine sehr schöne Räumlichkeit (...)Vielleicht kann man es so zusammenfassen: Jos van Veldhoven und seine Mitstreiter präsentieren eine wundervoll ausmusizierte Matthäus-Passion – mit gestalterischer Geduld und expressiver Leidenschaft. (...) Eine diskographisch also deutlich konkurrenzfähige Matthäus-Passion. Klassik.com

    Opus Magazine Sweden -

The St.Matthew Passion definitely belongs to the most demanding pieces of music, even for the finest musicians and singers,no conductor has fully mastered the task.At least not until now. (…) Jos van Veldhoven and his Netherlands Bach Society have previously presented the probably most virtuoso Mass in B-minor on CD. Rarely has such a major piece of art sounded so natural and obvious,from the first to the last bar. (…) Peter Harvey’s Christ in St.Matthew Passion is the most harmonious performance of the part I have ever heard. (…) Never has the amazing dissonance of the final choir sounded with such emotional quality. (…) With its excellent recording and artistically designed box,this record will be hard to surpass. Opus Magazine, Sweden [highest points, six stars, for both artistic performance and sound quality.]

Bach - St. Matthew Passion (2011)

Bach

The Netherlands Bach Society

Cables:Van den Hul
Digital Converters:Meitner AD/DA DSD converter
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B+W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel and Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custon design
Producer:Paul Janse
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Naarden Holland 2001 Live Concerts
Recording Software:Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64
Speakers:Audio Lab

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32511: Bach - St. Matthew Passion
02:40:13   Select quality & channels above
Tracks
1.
Part One - Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen
Bach
00:07:51   Select quality & channels above
2.
Part One - Da Jesus diese Rede vollendet hatte
Bach
00:00:04   Select quality & channels above
3.
Part One - Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen
Bach
00:00:51   Select quality & channels above
4.
Part One - Da versammleten sich die Hohenpriester
Bach
00:03:00   Select quality & channels above
5.
Part One - Du lieber Heiland du
Bach
00:00:54   Select quality & channels above
6.
Part One - Buß und Reu
Bach
00:03:58   Select quality & channels above
7.
Part One - Da ging hin der Zwölfen einer
Bach
00:00:04   Select quality & channels above
8.
Part One - Blute nur, du liebes Herz!
Bach
00:04:54   Select quality & channels above
9.
Part One - Aber am ersten Tage der Su_ßen Brot
Bach
00:02:11   Select quality & channels above
10.
Part One - Ich bin?s, ich sollte bu_ßen
Bach
00:00:45   Select quality & channels above
11.
Part One - Er antwortete und sprach
Bach
00:02:57   Select quality & channels above
12.
Part One - Wiewohl mein Herz in Tränen schwimmt
Bach
00:01:19   Select quality & channels above
13.
Part One - Ich will dir mein Herze schenken
Bach
00:03:14   Select quality & channels above
14.
Part One - Und da sie den Lobgesang gesprochen hatten
Bach
00:01:04   Select quality & channels above
15.
Part One - Erkenne mich, mein Hu_ter
Bach
00:01:06   Select quality & channels above
16.
Part One - Petrus aber antwortete
Bach
00:01:02   Select quality & channels above
17.
Part One - Ich will hier bei dir stehen
Bach
00:01:02   Select quality & channels above
18.
Part One - Da kam Jesus mit ihnen zu einem Hofe
Bach
00:01:57   Select quality & channels above
19.
Part One - O Schmerz! Hier zittert das gequälte Herz
Bach
00:01:04   Select quality & channels above
20.
Part One - Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen
Bach
00:04:05   Select quality & channels above
21.
Part One - Und ging hin ein wenig
Bach
00:00:43   Select quality & channels above
22.
Part One - Der Heiland fällt vor seinem Vater nieder
Bach
00:00:55   Select quality & channels above
23.
Part One - Gerne will ich mich bequemen
Bach
00:04:02   Select quality & channels above
24.
Part One - Und er kam zu seinen Ju_ngern
Bach
00:01:19   Select quality & channels above
25.
Part One - Was mein Gott will, das g?scheh? allzeit
Bach
00:01:05   Select quality & channels above
26.
Part One - Und er kam und fand sie aber schlafend
Bach
00:02:23   Select quality & channels above
27.
Part One - So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen
Bach
00:04:34   Select quality & channels above
28.
Part One - Und siehe, einer aus denen
Bach
00:02:12   Select quality & channels above
29.
Part One - O Mensch, bewein? dein Su_nde groß
Bach
00:06:07   Select quality & channels above
30.
Part Two - Ach! Nun ist mein Jesus hin!
Bach
00:03:21   Select quality & channels above
31.
Part Two - Die aber Jesum gegriffen hatten
Bach
00:01:01   Select quality & channels above
32.
Part Two - Mir hat die Welt tru_glich gericht?
Bach
00:00:42   Select quality & channels above
33.
Part Two - Und wiewold viel falsche Zeugen herzutraten
Bach
00:01:08   Select quality & channels above
34.
Part Two - Mein Jesus schweigt zu falschen Lu_gen stille
Bach
00:01:43   Select quality & channels above
35.
Part Two - Geduld
Bach
00:03:53   Select quality & channels above
36.
Part Two - Und der Hohepriester antwortete
Bach
00:01:59   Select quality & channels above
37.
Part Two - Wer hat dich so geschlagen
Bach
00:00:53   Select quality & channels above
38.
Part Two - Petrus aber saß draußen im Palast
Bach
00:02:22   Select quality & channels above
39.
Part Two - Erbarme dich
Bach
00:06:11   Select quality & channels above
40.
Part Two - Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen
Bach
00:01:04   Select quality & channels above
41.
Part Two - Des Morgens aber hielten alle Hohenpriester
Bach
00:01:47   Select quality & channels above
42.
Part Two - Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder
Bach
00:02:37   Select quality & channels above
43.
Part Two - Sie hielten aber einen Rat
Bach
00:02:11   Select quality & channels above
44.
Part Two - Befiehl du deine Wege
Bach
00:01:05   Select quality & channels above
45.
Part Two - Auf das Fest aber hatte der Landpfleger
Bach
00:02:19   Select quality & channels above
46.
Part Two - Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe!
Bach
00:00:53   Select quality & channels above
47.
Part Two - Der Landpfleger sagte
Bach
00:00:15   Select quality & channels above
48.
Part Two - Er hat uns allen wohlgetan
Bach
00:01:09   Select quality & channels above
49.
Part Two - Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben
Bach
00:04:47   Select quality & channels above
50.
Part Two - Sie schrieen aber noch mehr
Bach
00:01:42   Select quality & channels above
51.
Part Two - Erbarm es Gott!
Bach
00:01:00   Select quality & channels above
52.
Part Two - Können Tränen meiner Wangen
Bach
00:06:37   Select quality & channels above
53.
Part Two - Da nahmen die Kriegsknechte
Bach
00:01:08   Select quality & channels above
54.
Part Two - O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden
Bach
00:02:35   Select quality & channels above
55.
Part Two - Und da sie ihn verspottet hatten
Bach
00:00:57   Select quality & channels above
56.
Part Two - Ja freilich will in uns das Fleisch und Blut
Bach
00:00:04   Select quality & channels above
57.
Part Two - Komm, su_ßes Kreuz
Bach
00:06:04   Select quality & channels above
58.
Part Two - Und da sie an die Stätte kamen
Bach
00:03:25   Select quality & channels above
59.
Part Two - Ach, Golgatha, unselges Golgatha
Bach
00:01:22   Select quality & channels above
60.
Part Two - Sehet, Jesus hat die Hand
Bach
00:03:09   Select quality & channels above
61.
Part Two - Und von der sechsten Stunde an
Bach
00:02:23   Select quality & channels above
62.
Part Two - Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden
Bach
00:01:03   Select quality & channels above
63.
Part Two - Und siehe da, der Vorhang im Tempel zerriß
Bach
00:02:34   Select quality & channels above
64.
Part Two - Am Abend da es ku_hle war
Bach
00:01:57   Select quality & channels above
65.
Part Two - Mache dich, mein Herze, rein
Bach
00:05:53   Select quality & channels above
66.
Part Two - Und Joseph nahm den Leib
Bach
00:02:28   Select quality & channels above
67.
Part Two - Nun ist der Herr zur Ruh gebracht
Bach
00:02:02   Select quality & channels above
68.
Part Two - Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder
Bach
00:05:48   Select quality & channels above

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