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J.S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244

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Customer Reviews

Good, but not as an introduction to Bach

This is my favorite rendering of St. Matthew's Passion. If you want to buy it, it's a good deal. But if you're just interested, I recommend an album of selected Bach music or a collection of his organ work before you buy this. If you like strings a lot, you might prefer Bach's Cello Suites by Yo-Yo Ma. I love Bach and even I'm not fond of every number here. But I can say that the opening is my one of my favorite musical pieces ever. It's a great buy even if you don't purchase the rest of the album.

St. Matthew's Passion

This is the best version of the St Matthew's Passion I know ( and I know several). Ian Bostridge's performance as the Evangelist is wondrous and Andreas Scholl as the Alto is Great. Herreweghe's tempo on the opening three choir movement is splendid. You actually hear the syncopation (it's like Bach meets Scott Joplin). Moreover, it is twenty minutes shorter than any other version I am aware of (Herreweghe pushes the pace without making it seem rushed). It's in German, so if you want it in English translation buy this one anyway: the music is so powerful you don't need it in English, besides, all the translations are lousy.

Only improves with further listening.

The more I listen to Herreweghe’s interpretation of Bach’s “Great Passion,” the better it sounds. Of course, the work itself, like all masterpieces, warrants multiple hearings; in this case, the superb choir, impeccable soloists, the unerring sense of drama and emotion, and even the tempi all multiply the insights that I find in each new approach to the recording.

It’s hard to say that there is a better rendition out there, even though there are many excellent ones.


Formed: 1970 in Ghent, Belgium

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Collegium Vocale is a vocal ensemble known for its authentic performances of Baroque and pre-Baroque music. The name "Collegium Vocale" is a generic term for a vocal ensemble with connections to a center of learning or other scholarly background. This is the best-known of several groups using the term as their name, so to avoid confusion, it is often identified as the one founded in Ghent, Belgium. In 1970 the Belgian musician Philippe Herreweghe founded this Collegium Vocale to apply the fruits...
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J.S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, Collegium Vocale Gent
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  • $27.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Nov 05, 1999

Customer Ratings