This is the world-premiere recording of this heartfelt and wonderfully musical 2003 performance with Karl-Friedrich Beringer leading the Windsbacher Knabenchor, the Deutsche Kammer-Virtuosen Berlin, and five vocal soloists in this first-class work of late-Enlightenment sacred music. Compared with the enormous Passion settings by his father, C.P.E. Bach's Passion moves quickly from Gethsemane to Golgotha in little more than an hour -- and unlike his father's settings, C.P.E. Bach's emphasizes hope and redemption over pain and suffering. The recitatives are still highly dramatic, the arias are still deeply affecting, and the choruses are still profound, but the ultimate effect is less exhausting and more exalting than earlier Passion settings. Captured in warm, colorful, and vivid sound by Rondeau, this St. Matthew Passion should be heard by anyone who enjoys the music of Bach's second son and anyone interested in German music in the eighteenth century.
C.P.E. Bach: Matthäus-Passion 1781 Review
by James Leonard