Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Challenge Classics: CC72357

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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Catalogue No:




Release date:

29th March 2010






Hybrid Multi-channel
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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Sigiswald Kuijken (violin & direction), Christoph Genz (Evangelist), Jan Van der Crabben (Jesus), Gerlinde Sämann, Marie Kuijken (sopranos), Petra Noskaiová, Patrizia Hardt (mezzos), Bernhard Hunziker (tenor), Marcus Niedermeyr (baritone)

La Petite Bande (vocal and instrumental ensemble)

SACD - 3 discs


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This new Hybrid SACD recording of JS Bach’s great choral masterpiece has been produced by one of the great early music partnerships of recent times, the vocal and orchestral ensemble La Petite Band and its artistic director Sigiswald Kuijken. Incorporating an approach based on recent scholarship, the St Matthew Passion is performed here with a small number of soloists and instrumentalists. Comes with a 120-page booklet, featuring the lyrics plus translations into English.

Twenty years ago La Petite Bande, (at that time with conductor Gustav Leonhardt and Sigiswald Kuijken as concertmaster), released their first recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. It was made with soloists, a chamber choir and an orchestra large enough to accommodate those vocal forces. Since then Kuijken's vision on this masterpiece has changed markedly, as ground-breaking musicological research of the last decades has led him to cut down the size of the ensemble used in performance. There is not a real choir anymore because the soloists perform also the choir parts, and the boy’s choir that is used in most performances of this Passion is replaced here by a single soprano voice. In March of last year Kuijken and La Petite Bande released a critically acclaimed recording of Bach’s B Minor Mass, (CC72316), which utilised similarly scaled-down musical forces.

La Petite Bande was founded in 1972 by Sigiswald Kuijken, and although it was not meant to become a permanent orchestra, the success of several recordings by the group under the direction of Gustav Leonhardt was such that it began to give concerts regularly. All its members are internationally renowned early music specialists.

BBC Music Magazine

July 2010


“Kuijken's blessed with gloriously natural and unaffected voices. His Evangelist, Christoph Genz, is outstanding, bending note-values and rests in favour of expressive narration...the sheer beauty of tone and line is deeply moving.”

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