Ton Koopman

Bach: Matthäus Passion [2005]

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Ton Koopman has recorded Bach's St. Matthew Passion twice, and in many ways, he seems to have changed his mind about the work. His 1992 recording for Erato was, for an original instrument/historically informed performance, large in scale, broad in scope, dramatic in execution, and heavy in sound. This, his 2005 recording for Antonie Marchand, is likewise an original instrument/historically informed performance, but it is more intimate in scale, more concentrated in scope, and lighter in sound. But, even with these changes, Koopman's second Matthew Passion is not only still dramatic in execution, it is far more dramatic in execution, and thus in its way even more compelling. Musically, both performances are superb. Both times, Koopman uses his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, a strong and supple instrument completely responsive to his direction, but the later recording's smaller-sized ensemble makes the music sound just as colorful but clearer and more light-filled. Except for bass Klaus Mertens, Koopman uses entirely different but equally effective soloists for each recording, but with slightly quicker tempos and more pointed recitatives, the later soloists are much more dramatically effective. Koopman's interpretation has not fundamentally changed -- clearly, he still views the work as the most sublime and transcendent sacred musical work in the history of humanity, a view both performances are highly persuasive in arguing -- but he here seems to view the work as all that plus a compelling drama. For listeners who grew up with the Karajan or Solti recordings of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, the idea of an original instrument/ istorically informed performance being described as large, broad, or heavy may seem unlikely, and they are advised to seek out Koopman's 1992 recording for evidence to the contrary. But for listeners who already accept original instrument/historically informed performances and who are looking for a recording that emphasizes the work's dramatic qualities, the 2005 Koopman is the one to hear.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), for soloists, double chorus & double orchestra, BWV 244 (BC D3b)
1 06:58 Amazon
2 00:38 Amazon
3 00:41 Amazon
4 00:22 Amazon
5 00:12 Amazon
6 00:25 Amazon
7 00:24 Amazon
8 01:16 Amazon
9 00:47 Amazon
10 03:55 Amazon
11 00:35 Amazon
12 04:35 Amazon
13 00:12 Amazon
14 00:21 Amazon
15 00:59 Amazon
16 00:09 Amazon
17 00:11 Amazon
18 00:42 Amazon
19 02:47 Amazon
20 01:16 Amazon
21 03:23 Amazon
22 01:00 Amazon
23 00:55 Amazon
24 00:53 Amazon
25 00:54 Amazon
26 01:39 Amazon
27 01:45 Amazon
28 05:06 Amazon
29 00:37 Amazon
30 00:53 Amazon
31 03:55 Amazon
32 01:05 Amazon
33 00:47 Amazon
34 02:02 Amazon
35 03:22 Amazon
36 01:03 Amazon
37 01:55 Amazon
38 05:46 Amazon
39 03:55 Amazon
40 00:51 Amazon
41 00:34 Amazon
42 01:03 Amazon
43 01:01 Amazon
44 03:18 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), for soloists, double chorus & double orchestra, BWV 244 (BC D3b)
1 01:11 Amazon
2 00:10 Amazon
3 00:13 Amazon
4 00:18 Amazon
5 00:43 Amazon
6 00:47 Amazon
7 00:10 Amazon
8 01:10 Amazon
9 06:08 Amazon
10 00:48 Amazon
11 00:50 Amazon
12 00:06 Amazon
13 00:39 Amazon
14 02:46 Amazon
15 01:55 Amazon
16 00:55 Amazon
17 01:53 Amazon
18 00:19 Amazon
19 00:43 Amazon
20 00:17 Amazon
21 01:09 Amazon
22 04:57 Amazon
23 00:04 Amazon
24 00:17 Amazon
25 00:25 Amazon
26 00:35 Amazon
27 00:27 Amazon
28 01:02 Amazon
29 05:31 Amazon
30 00:34 Amazon
31 00:09 Amazon
32 00:21 Amazon
33 02:06 Amazon
34 00:54 Amazon
35 00:36 Amazon
36 06:21 Amazon
37 01:28 Amazon
38 00:23 Amazon
39 00:07 Amazon
40 00:42 Amazon
41 00:14 Amazon
42 01:23 Amazon
43 03:23 Amazon
44 01:20 Amazon
45 00:04 Amazon
46 00:12 Amazon
47 00:08 Amazon
48 00:28 Amazon
49 01:09 Amazon
50 00:59 Amazon
51 00:16 Amazon
52 01:00 Amazon
53 01:49 Amazon
54 06:02 Amazon
55 00:49 Amazon
56 00:46 Amazon
57 00:34 Amazon
58 02:01 Amazon
59 05:18 Amazon
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