Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244


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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244


Presto Disc of the Week

17th March 2017

Gramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Baroque Vocal

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - April 2017



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Release date:

10th March 2017




2 hours 40 minutes


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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

James Gilchrist (Evangelist), Stephan Loges (Jesus), Hannah Morrison, Zoë Brookshaw, Charlotte Ashley (soprano), Reginald Mobley, Eleanor Minney (alto), Hugo Hymas (tenor), Ashley Riches, Alex Ashworth, Jonathan Sells (bass)

English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir, Trinity Boys Choir, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

CD - 2 discs


(also available to download from $20.00)

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Read Katherine's exclusive interview with Sir John Eliot Gardiner here, and our complete review of the recording here.

A new live recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion BWV 244), recorded in Pisa Cathedral during the Anima Mundi Festival as part of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra’s 2016 tour.

As well as the full sung texts, the booklet includes both a programme note by Sir John Eliot Gardiner as well as his tour notes: written both before and during their 6-month international tour – which began in Valencia in March and concluded with this performance in Pisa on 22 September – these include diary entries and notes given during rehearsals or sent in the aftermath of concerts to the performers (who were performing from memory).

All notes and texts are included in English, German and French translations.

Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, Pt. 1

Part I: Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Da Jesus diese Rede vollendet hatte (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Da versammleten sich die Hohenpriester (Evangelist, Chorus, Jesus)

Part I: Recitative: Du lieber Heiland du (Alto)

Part I: Aria: Buß und Reu (Alto)

Part I: Recitative: Da ging hin der Zwölfen einer (Evangelist, Judas)

Part I: Blute nur, du liebes Herz (Soprano)

Part I: Recitative and Chorus: Aber am ersten Tage der süßen Brot (Evangelist, Chorus, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Ich bin's, ich sollte büßen (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Er antwortete und sprach (Evangelist, Jesus, Judas)

Part I: Recitative: Wiewohl mein Herz in Tränen schwimmt (Soprano)

Part I: Aria: Ich will dir mein Herze schenken (Soprano)

Part I: Recitative: Und da sie den Lobgesang gesprochen hatten (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Erkenne mich, mein Hüter (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Petrus aber antwortete (Petrus, Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Ich will hier bei dir stehen (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Da kam Jesus mit ihnen zu einem Hofe (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Recitative and Chorale: O Schmerz, hier zittert das gequälte Herz (Tenor, Chorus)

Part I: Aria and Chorus: Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen (Tenor, Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Und ging hin ein wenig (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Recitative: Der Heiland fällt vor seinem Vater nieder (Bass)

Part I: Aria: Gerne will ich mich bequemen (Bass)

Part I: Recitative: Und er kam zu seinen Jüngern (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Und er kam und fand sie aber schlafend (Evangelist, Jesus, Judas)

Part I: Aria and Chorus: So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen (Alto, Soprano, Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Und siehe, einer aus denen (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (Chorus)

St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, Pt. 2

Part II: Aria and Chorus: Ach! Nun ist mein Jesus hin (Alto, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Die aber Jesum gegriffen hatten (Evangelist)

Part II: Chorale: Mir hat die Welt trüglich gericht' (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Und wiewohl viel falsche Zeugen herzutraten (Evangelist, Testis, Pontifex)

Part II: Recitative: Mein Jesus schweigt zu falschen Lügen stille (Tenor)

Part II: Aria: Geduld! (Tenor)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und der Hohepriester antwortete (Evangelist, Pontifex, Jesus, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: Wer hat dich so geschlagen (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Petrus aber saß draußen im Palast (Evangelist, Petrus, Ancilla, Chorus)

Part II: Aria: Erbarme dich (Alto)

Part II: Chorale: Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Des Morgens aber hielten alle Hohepriester (Evangelist, Judas, Chorus, Pontifices)

Part II: Aria: Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder (Bass)

Part II: Recitative: Sie hielten aber einen Rat (Evangelist, Pilatus, Jesus)

Part II: Chorale: Befiehl du deine Wege (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Auf das Fest aber hatte der Landpfleger (Evangelist, Pilatus, Uxor Pilati, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Der Landpfleger sagte (Evangelist, Pilatus)

Part II: Recitative: Er hat uns allen wohlgetan (Soprano)

Part II: Aria: Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben (Soprano)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Sie schrieen aber noch mehr (Evangelist, Chorus, Pilatus)

Part II: Recitative: Erbarm es Gott (Alto)

Part II: Aria: Können Tränen meiner Wangen (Alto)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Da nahmen die Kriegsknechte (Evangelist, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Und da sie ihn verspottet hatten (Evangelist)

Part II: Recitative: Ja! freilich will in uns das Fleisch und Blut (bass)

Part II: Aria: Komm, süßes Kreuz (Bass)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und da sie an die Stätte kamen mit (Evangelist, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Ach Golgatha, unsel'ges Golgatha (Alto)

Part II: Aria and Chorus: Sehet, Jesus hat die Hand (Alto, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und von der sechsten Stunde an (Evangelist, Jesus, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und siehe da, der Vorhang im Tempel zerriß (Evangelist, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Am Abend, da es kühle war (Bass)

Part II: Aria: Mache dich, mein Herze, rein (Bass)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und Joseph nahm den Leib (Evangelist, Chorus, Pilatus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Nun ist der Herr zur Ruh gebracht (Bass, Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder (Chorus)

Financial Times

10th March 2017


“an intensely human Bach, sensitive and alert, heart open to every slightest turn of emotion in the Passion story...Gardiner has recorded the St Matthew Passion before, but this new recording is exceptional in its clarity and detail, the summation of his life’s experience of the music.”

Presto Classical

Katherine Cooper

17th March 2017

“Gardiner may have lived with this music for half his life, but still gives the impression that he’s discovering little miracles in it for the first time: there’s never any sense of routine from him or from the performers, despite this being the final performance of a gruelling European tour...One for Gardiner devotees and newcomers alike, then: if you own his earlier recording, you’ll want to hear this for the crackling dramatic energy generated by the live performance.”

Gramophone Magazine

April 2017

“If a Passion performance has no sense of community it has nothing, and this is surely the making of Gardiner’s account...a thoughtfully moulded, expertly executed and deeply committed reading, so honestly communicative of its intent and so free of self-conscious monumentalism, sententiousness or melodramatics...I believe it to be one of his finest achievements.”

The Times


“A revelatory psychological document...You will rarely find Matthew’s description...more melodramatically conveyed in music...[Gilchrist is] a storyteller who seems in the midst of the events he is describing, like a war correspondent. You may also feel - if you are a fan of period-instrument textures at their most sinuous and whittled down- that Bach’s score has never been better served than by the English Baroque Soloists.”

The Observer

9th April 2017


“this glorious St Matthew Passion from John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir is musically as near-perfect as anyone could wish...All the Gardiner hallmarks are here: brisk tempi, crisp chorus work and a complete devotion to the text. Gilchrist and Loges excel.”

Sunday Times

16th April 2017

“Gilchrist is an incisive Evangelist, gripping in the passages of drama, and Stephan Loges a noble-toned, idiomatic Christus. Gardiner’s Bach remains a lodestar, provided you are not wedded to one-voice-to-a-part minimalism.”

Choir & Organ

May 2017


“The combination of James Gilchrist and Neil Davies as Evangelist and Jesus…is ideal.”

BBC Music Magazine

July 2017


“James Gilchrist is among the most communicative of storytellers and his lightly articulated, subtly nuanced declamation and, where required, sense of urgency are eloquent and dependable…the many choruses, chorales and arias come across convincingly…Eleanor Minney deserves special mention for her ‘Erbarme dich’…Gardiner directs all with insight, sensibility and a commendably athletic overview which ensures an unflagging sense of drama”

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