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Brüggen: Bach – St John Passion BWV245 (FLAC)

Brüggen: Bach - St John Passion BWV245 (FLAC)
Brüggen: Bach – St John Passion BWV245 (FLAC)

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Markus Schäfer, Thomas Oliemans, Carolyn Sampson, Michael Chance, Marcel Beekman, Peter Kooij, Cappella Amsterdam
Orchestra: Orchestra of the 18th Century
Conductor: Frans Brüggen
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Glossa
Catalogue: GCD921113
Release: 2011
Size: 515 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01
Part I
01. Chorale: Herr, unser Herrscher (Chorus)
02. Recitative: Jesus ging mit seinen Jungern (Evangelist) – Wen suchet ihr? (Evangelist, Jesus) – Jesum von Nazareth! (Chorus)
03. Chorale: O grosse Lieb (Chorus)
04. Recitative: Auf dass das Wort erfullet wurde (Evangelist, Jesus) – Strecke dein Schwert in die Scheide! (Evangelist, Jesus)
05. Chorale: Dein Will gescheh, Herr Gott, zugleich (Chorus)
06. Recitative: Die Schar aber und der Oberhauptmann (Evangelist)
07. Aria: Von den Strikken meiner Sunden (Alto)
08. Recitative: Simon Petrus aber folgete Jesu nach (Evangelist)
09. Aria: Ich folge dir gleichfalls (Soprano)
10. Recitative: Derselbige Junger war (Evangelist) – Bist du nicht dieses Menschen Junger einer? (Chorus) – Ich bin’s nicht! – (Evangelist, Magd, Petrus)
11. Chorale: Wer hat dich so geschlagen (Chorus)
12. Recitative: Und Hannas sandte ihn gebunden (Evangelist) – Ich bin nicht – Sahe ich dich (Evangelist, Petrus, Deiner) – Bist du nicht (Chorus)
13. Aria: Ach, mein Sinn, wo willt du endlich hin (Tenor)
14. Chorale: Petrus, der nicht denkt zuruck (Chorus)

Part II
15. Chorale: Christus, der uns selig macht (Chorus)
16. Recitative: Da fuhreten sie Jesum – Was bringet ihr – Redest du das (Evangelist, Pilatus, Jesus) – Ware dieser nicht ein (Chorus)
17. Chorale: Ach grosser Konig (Chorus)
18. Recitative: Da sprach Pilatus zu ihm – So bist du dennoch – Was is Wahrheit? (Evangelist, Jesus, Pilatus) – Nicht diesen (Chorus)
19. Arioso: Betrachte, meine Seel (Bass)
20. Aria: Erwage, wie sein blutgefarbter Rucken (Tenor)
21. Recitative: Und die kriegsknechte flochten – Sehet, ich fuhre – Du hattest keine (Evangelist, Pilatus, Jesus) – Sei gegrubet (Chorus)
22. Chorale: Durch dein Gefangnis, Gottes Sohn (Chorus)
23. Recitative: Die Juden aber schrieen (Evangelist) – Sehet, das ist euer Konig! (Evangelist, Pilatus) – Lassest du diesen los (Chorus)
24. Aria: Eilt, ihr angefochtnen Seelen (Bass) – Eilt – Wohin? (Chorus)
25. Recitative: Allda kreuzigten sie ihn – Was ich geschrieden habe (Evangelist, Pilatus) – Schreibe nicht (Chorus)
26. Chorale: In meines Herzens Grunde (Chorus)

CD 02
Part II
01. Recitative: Die Kriegsknechte aber – Lasset uns den nicht zerteilen – Auf dass erfullet wurde die Schrift (Evangelist, Jesus, Chorus)
02. Chorale: Er nahm alles wohl in acht (Chorus)
03. Recitative: Und von Stund an – Mich durstet! (Evangelist, Jesus)
04. Aria: Es ist vollbracht (Alto)
05. Recitative: Und neigte das Haupt und verschied (Evangelist)
06. Aria: Mein teurer Heiland (Bass) – Jesu, der du warest tot (Chorus)
07. Recitative: Und siehe da, der Vorhang (Evangelist)
08. Arioso: Mein Herz, indem die ganze Welt (Tenor)
09. Aria: Zerfliesse, mein Herze (Soprano)
10. Recitative: Die Juden aber (Evangelist)
11. Chorale: O hilf, Christe, Gottes Sohn (Chorus)
12. Recitative: Darnach bat Pilatum (Evangelist)
13. Chorale: Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine (Chorus)
14. Chorale: Ach Herr, lass dein lieb Engelein (Chorus)

One of the many delights coming from Frans Brüggen’s distinguished career has been the understanding which he brings to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach – such as here with the St. John Passion – whether on the concert platform or on record. Brüggen’s cultured feeling for Bach’s musical structures as much as for its style and expressive content permits a textural clarity enjoyed by few of his directing colleagues. A special wealth of experience in the music of Bach has also been gained by the members of the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century across the three decades of its existence and as part of its regular concert series (there have now been over a hundred of these tours!) and with a concentrated opportunity to focus on one work, Bach’s masterpiece was performed and recorded in Spring 2010.

Also of special note on this new recording is the presence of a solo group comprising both distinguished and rising talents, led by Markus Schäfer as the Evangelist and Thomas Oliemans as Jesus, and with Michael Chance and Marcel Beekman singing arias together with the added luxury of the present-day ‘Bach bass’ par excellence in Peter Kooij and the radiant-voiced Carolyn Sampson. Choral support comes from the Cappella Amsterdam, also present (as was Peter Kooij) on another of Frans Brüggen’s recent revisitings for Glossa and The Grand Tour of the glories of Bach’s choral music, the B minor Mass.

Anyone seeking a reliable, historically informed rendition of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion would do well to consider this exceptional recording by Cappella Amsterdam and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, conducted by early music pioneer Frans Brüggen. The high quality of the singing recommends it, especially the performances of Markus Schäfer as the Evangelist and Thomas Oliemans as Jesus, and the other soloists and chorus convey the story of the Passion of Christ with eloquence and gravitas. The original instruments and authentic period style of the playing give the instrumental parts a strikingly plangent quality, which is perhaps most vivid in the oboes, whose chains of suspensions are among the most affecting characteristics of this work. While the performers are all in top form, the recording process may be the one aspect listeners will question. The St. John Passion was recorded live in Rotterdam, Haarlem, and Leiden, so the quality of the sound is variable from one hall to the next, and highly echoic in many tracks. Ostensibly taken from the best takes of these performances, and assembled to give the impression of one event, there are nonetheless significant differences in the placement of the voices and in the closeness of the orchestra that may indicate some changes in microphone placement. Beyond these subtle points, this is still a terrific package that serves the music well and bears comparison with other period versions.

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