Collegium Vocale / Philippe Herreweghe

Johann Sebastian Bach: Johannes-Passion, BWV 245

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Johann Sebastian Bach: Johannes-Passion, BWV 245 Review

by James Manheim

This is the third recording of Bach's Johannes-Passion, BWV 245, from Philippe Herreweghe and his Collegium Vocale Gent: prior readings appeared in 1987 and 2002. All have points to recommend them, such as the presence of a star countertenor on the 2002 version, but Herreweghe may have achieved the definitive version with this 2020 release. He returns to the original musical text of the Johannes-Passion; the 2002 version used the less frequently performed revision. The famed opening chorus is imposing and monumental. The soloists are, the loss of Scholl notwithstanding, a remarkable lot, with bass Peter Kooij returning from the 1987 version and sounding little changed. It's not that Herreweghe completely rethinks his approach: he's still the most text-centered of the major Bach conductors, and the one who makes pictures appear in the listener's head, but here he fully integrates the choruses into the action. The chorales are as far as can be from formulaic stopping places, and listeners should sample Herreweghe's extraordinary shaping of the text in both the chorales and the recitative-chorus combination. The performance has convincing shapes in its long lines as well as in its local details, too, and it's among the most powerful renderings of this landmark Bach work to come along in many a year.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Johannes-Passion, BWV 245
1 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 09:19 Amazon
2 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 02:23 Amazon
3 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:44 Amazon
4 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:58 Amazon
5 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:45 Amazon
6 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:42 Amazon
7 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 04:32 Amazon
8 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:13 Amazon
9 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 03:43 Amazon
10 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 02:43 Amazon
11 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:26 Amazon
12 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 02:02 Amazon
13 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 02:38 Amazon
14 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:11 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Johannes-Passion, BWV 245
1 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:00 Amazon
2 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 04:10 Amazon
3 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:25 Amazon
4 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:53 Amazon
5 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 02:04 Amazon
6 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 07:35 Amazon
7 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 05:40 Amazon
8 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:52 Amazon
9 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 04:15 Amazon
10 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 03:56 Amazon
11 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:59 Amazon
12 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:52 Amazon
13 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 03:30 Amazon
14 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:04 Amazon
15 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:16 Amazon
16 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 04:45 Amazon
17 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:16 Amazon
18 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 04:11 Amazon
19 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:30 Amazon
20 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 00:49 Amazon
21 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 06:53 Amazon
22 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 02:01 Amazon
23 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:02 Amazon
24 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 01:55 Amazon
25 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 07:24 Amazon
26 Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale 02:05 Amazon
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