Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244
Conducted by Enoch zu Guttenberg

V-2

J.S. Bach: Matthäus Passion

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Enoch zu Guttenberg

Tölzer Knabenchor & Chorgemeinschaft Neubeuern / Bach-Collegium München

Tenor [Evangelist]: Claes-Håkan Ahnsjö; Baritone [Jesus]: Hermann Prey; Soprano [Uxor Pilati, Arias & Recitatives]: Margaret Marshall; Soprano [Magd I]: Christa Schneider; Contralto [Zeuge I, Arias & Recitatives]: Jard van Nes; Alto [Magd II]: Martina Koppelstetter; Tenor [Zeuge II, Arias & Recitatives]: Aldo Baldin; Bass [Pontius Pilatus, Arias & Recitatives]: Anton Scharinger, Bass [Petrus]: Christoph Dobmeier; Bass [Pilatus]: Thomas Dobmeier; Bass-Baritone [Judas]: Thomas Hamberger

Eurodisc

Apr 1990

3-CD / TT: 180:59
DVD / TT:

1st recording of Matthäus-Passion by E.z. Guttenberg. Recorded live at Klosterkirch Alpirsbach.
See: Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 - conducted by Enoch zu Guttenberg
Buy this album at: Amazon.com [CD] | Amazon.com [DVD]

V-3

J.S. Bach: Matthaüs Passion

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Enoch zu Guttenberg

Chorgemeinschaft Neubeuern / Orchester der KlangVerwaltung München

Tenor [Evangelist]: Marcus Ullmann; Bass [Jesus]: Klaus Mertens; Soprano: Anna Korondi; Alto: Anke Vondung; Tenor: Werner Güra; Bass: Hans Christoph Begemann

Farao Classics

Apr 2002

3-CD / TT: 161:02
DVD / TT:

2nd recording of Matthäus-Passion by E.z. Guttenberg. The CD set has an 80:12 "bonus" CD "Enoch zu Guttenberg spricht über sein Verständnis der MatthäusPassion".
See: Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 - conducted by Enoch zu Guttenberg
Buy this album at:

Guttenberg SMP

Ron Shaffer wrote (November 11, 2002):
Does anyone have an opinion of the recording of the SMP with Enoch Zu Guttenberg conducting the Neubeuern Choral Society? It was recently released on DVD in the United States.

Robert Sherman wrote (November 11, 2002):
[To Ron Shaffer] Haven't heard it, but his XO is terrific.

Olle Hedström wrote (November 17, 2002):
[To Ron Shaffer] What are you waiting for ? It's a must have for a Bach fan !

Ron Shaffer wrote (November 17, 2002):
[To Olle Hedström] I did order it, and it's on the way. I hope to receive it on Monday. I was just looking for some opinions about the quality of the performance. I'm not familiar with the performers, but I couldn't resist the first DVD release in the United States of SMP.

Olle Hedström wrote (November 17, 2002):
[To Ron Shaffer] You did the right thing. It's recorded in 1990. The performance (185 min) is of high quality, as is the sound. For example Hermann Prey (baritone) singing the role of Jesus is breathtaking and more. I can also recommend Guttenberg's Mass in B-minor, also on "Arthaus Musik", but that one perhaps hasn't reached your country yet.

Aryeh Oron wrote (November 17, 2002):
A list of Enoch zu Guttenberg's recordings of Bach's vocal works can be found at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Guttenberg.htm

And his biography at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Guttenberg-Enoch-zu.htm

 

SMP by Enoch zu Guttenberg

Continue of discussion from: Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 - conducted by Paul Goodwin

Pete Blue wrote (May 17, 2003):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] I saw the Miller-directed SMP in Brooklyn a few years ago and was greatly moved. It was done at the BAM Harvey Theatre, which was in the midst of renovation at the time, and the stripped-to-the-walls setting heightened the emotional level of the performance.

For a fast, HIP, reduced-vibrato SMP on disc I can recommend the Hermann Max, on 2 CDs. I got it cheap at Berkshire a few years ago (BTW, I've heard Europeans complain that high overseas shipping costs can make dealing with Berkshire diadvantageous for them).

Does anyone know the recent (not the older Eurodisc) SMP from Farao Classics, a small German label, conducted by Enoch von Guttenberg? The single audio sample on Farao's website, which is the only one I've been able to find online, is intriguing.

Guttenberg is, I believe, an independently wealthy man who conducts his own orchestra and chorus. He uses modern instruments, but his interpretive choices (of tempos, number of performers, and vocal types) are HIPly Correct. Guttenberg's video of the B Minor Mass (BWV 232) and his CD of the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) have a tremendous vitality and sense of commitment; they rank with the best, IMO.

Brad B. wrote (May 17, 2003):
Pete Blue wrote:
< I saw the Miller-directed SMP in Brooklyn a few years ago and was greatly moved. It was done at the BAM Harvey Theatre, which was in the midst of renovation at the time, and the stripped-to-the-walls setting heightened the emotional level of the performance. >
I'm very proud to say I had a hand in instigating and realizing that performance. Jonathan and I were sitting around at lunch during rehearsals of his "Poppea" at the soon-to-be-renamed Harvey Theater, when he asked if an original-instruments SMP would be possible in NYC. We had a discussion about the travails of contracting early music events in NYC (as you will note from some of the early music recordings that come out of here, baroque orchestral playing has been a mixed bag; at the time there was also a war going on between at least three groups of string players, most of whom have since gotten friendlier with one another. At the time, one had to hire people from one of the three cliques or risk the squabbles that would come about from mixing them. I recommended the latter, which BAM happily adopted. It was, I think, not only a good performance, but also a turning point in the new detente between the warring strings). Eventually, Jonathan announced that he was going to speak with Harvey later that day and get him to resurrect his staged SMP in NYC.

I played one of the organ continuo parts in that performance. I got on very well with Paul G., in case you wonder, given my preference for full-blooded performance, how I get along with British HIP musicians. It was a miraculous event; one I'll never forget. The subsequent revivals under the New York Collegium were significantly HIP-er, and significantly less vibrant, though they displayed greater unanimity of approach (which begs the question: "is performance really enhanced by unanimity of approach, or is the dialectic between different approaches more dynamic, and more interesting to listent to???).

< Guttenberg is, I believe, an independently wealthy man who conducts his own orchestra and chorus. He uses modern instruments, but his interpretive choices (of tempos, number of performers, and vocal types) are HIPly Correct. Guttenberg's video of the B Minor Mass and his CD of the Christmas Oratorio have a tremendous vitality and sense of commitment; they rank with the best, IMO. >
Another example of how the clock is being turned back to the days when aristocrats hired court ensembles and then bossed them around, sometimes to good effect, more often not. Nowadays, we smile when we hear of the Flute Concertos of Frederick the Great (I was hired once to play continuo on a recording of them: YUK! BLECH! PTOOEY!), but eighteenth century musicians dared not do so: they knew where their next meal was coming from.

Now, we blithely follow these aristocrats - who are aided by big tax cuts that allow them to control media even more disproportionately than before! - into a re-enactment of the 18th century feudal-aristocratic system. Gee, I guess in a few decades we will have to re-enact the Viennese Secession!

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (May 17, 2003):
Pete Blue wrote:
< Does anyone know the recent (not the older Eurodisc) SMP from Farao Classics, a small German label, conducted by Enoch von Guttenberg? The single audio sample on Farao's website, which is the only one I've been able to find online, is intriguing. >
Thank you, Peter, for this precious information. I went on the website and was able to listen to three samples (let's precise that the three arias are complete).

The quality of the recording is admirable. Even on the lousy speakers of my PC, the sound is bright, precise, present, without any reverb (I hate reverb...). I recorded the three samples on my computer to be able to listen to each 5 or 6 times.

The first sample is the tenor and chorus aria n° 20 "Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen". At first, I was bothered by the fast tempo (only 4:10, while Suzuki is 4:55, McCreesh 5:06, and Max 5:23), because I thought it didn't fit with the words of the choir. But after several listenings, it didn't disturb me anymore... The oboe solo and the continuo are wonderful. The tenor is perfect. Although the photograph on the website shows a choir of about 50 persons, I'm sure that not more than 16 singers were used here. The choir is subtle, precise, very well articulated.

The second sample is the highlight alto aria n° 39 "Erbarme dich". Beautiful violin solo. Anke Vondung has a quite classical singing. She uses vibrato at right moments. The general impression is more of solemnity than of bitterness and shame, as I personally sense this aria...

The third is the bass recitativo n° 64 and aria n° 65 "Mache dich". Hans Christoph Begermann has a beautiful timbre. He sings with sensitivity and nuance. I think I never heard the oboes and violins so polyphonically clear... A wonderful swing sustains the whole aria.

I definately think, according to these three only samples, that this recording is remarkable (when I hear such quality, I don't care if there're gut or metal strings on the string instruments...), and is surely worth a listening of all of it. (Oh no, my wife is going to kill me, and my kids make fun of me once again ("Dad", why are are buying AGAIN a CD you already have ?!").)

By the way, there is also, on the same web page than the SMP presentation, a very interesting interview with Enoch zu Guttenberg.

If anyone has listened to all of this recording, I wish to read their impressions.

 

SMP by Enoch zu Guttenberg

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (May 23, 2003):
First of all, I want to warmly thank Pete Blue who first mentioned the new recording of the SMP by Enoch zu Guttenberg (Farao Classics). Dear Pete, thanks to you, I had one of the greatest musical emotions of this year. (I love this aspect of the e-groups, this sharing of information, which is indeed an opportunity for less promoted and reviewed artists.)

As I already wrote in a former post, I listened to the three samples on the Farao website, and was greatly interested by their high quality, and what they seemed to suggest about the quality of the whole recording. The less I can say is that I certainly felt no disappointment when I first listened to it three days ago ! This recording is wonder, musical delight, astonishment and emotion from the first note to the last chord.

Tempo : apart from Paul Goodwin (list member Ehud Shiloni wrote it clocks it at 151) and Hermann Max (153:17), this SMP is the fastest I’ve listened to : 161:02 (McCreesh is 161:32). Some arias are really high speed : e.g. aria n°42 “Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder” is only 2:30, while the average timing is around 2:50. But there is no rush impression at all. In some choral parts Guttenberg has astonishing large tempi (I’ll get back to this later).

The listening of the whole confirms my first impression about the quality of the recorded sound. It’s gorgeous. All is present, precise, clear, bright, sharp and nevertheless sensual. No reverberation, no church halo. I’d be inclined to say that this recording is, on a technical point of view, the best SMP I’ve listened to.

The booklet says nothing about the detailed composition of the orchestra and the choir. Concerning the size, the Orchestra of Klangverwaltung sounds as light as an average baroque orchestra. The musicians don’t play on historical instruments but the timbres are beautiful. I was a little disturbed by the harpsichord on the Evangelist’s recitatives, but I think it’s only because I was used to an organ continuo. In the booklet, a photograph shows a quite large choir but the Chorgemeinschaft Neubeuern never sounds heavy (is it really a photograph of a recording session for the SMP or maybe for another work ?) but can sometimes be grandiose ! I’ll also get back to this later…

The Evangelist is Marcus Ullmann, Jesus, Klaus Mertens (the only one I knew in the cast). There is no soprano II, no alto II, no tenor II and no bass II. Anna Korondi (soprano), Anke Vondung (alto), Werner Güra (tenor) and Hans-Christoph Begemann (bass) sing all the arias. I’d say that the soprano didn’t really convince me on arias n° 6 and 13, but her singing on aria n°49 “Aus Liebe…” is tremendously moving and beautiful. I happened to be disappointed with the tenor arias in the other versions I know (often a metallic voice, too brilliant, with a lack of warmth…) But here, Werner Güra is really good. As the others.

Now, the main point : is this SMP baroque, romantic or whatever ? If you want to know my true feeling, I’d say, at the risk of hurting some purists on each side on this list, that I don’t give a damn about categorizing it. It’s so beautiful, so new, so different, that it goes beyond these aesthetical and historical categorizations. I’m sure that some people will be disturbed by some of Guttenberg’s interpretation options : dynamic nuances, accentuations at moments we’re not used to hear them, and which create rhythmical novelties… But this artist seems to have thought so much about the spiritual meaning of Bach’s work that there is a polyphonic purity, clearness and evidence which sweeps away any quibbling.

He does things I never heard : at bar 30 of the recitative n° 45a, when the choir sings “Bar-ra-bam !”, the tempo is suddenly enlarged and the effect is tremendous !

But the most astounding, incredible moment is n° 63b when the 2 choirs in unison sing “Wahrlich,dieser ist Gottes Sohn gewesen”. I don’t know how to describe it with words (it’s probably impossible otherwise than with a poem). When I first heard that moment, last Wednesday, I was having lunch with my wife and my three kids - forgive me this anecdote. I received the CD set in the morning, and wanted to listen to it in its whole, even if having lunch at the same time is certainly not the proper way to listen to the SMP. My kids are 14, 12 and 4, and everyone knows that a quiet lunch or dinner is therefore impossible. So, they were all talking of course, and I was trying to keep an ear out to listen to Bach, when the two bars of 63b came… Theall suddenly stopped chatting, as if they were a single person, and stared to each other while they were hearing this incredible moment. What can I say ? A sky, a spiritual sky opens widely in your head, in your soul, and sound colours you never heard fill your heart, and sound is like an expanded tissue with cells of light. Guttenberg doesn’t only expand the tempo, he… I don’t know what he does !

At the end of these two bars, one of my daughters said to me, amazed : “I never heard such a thing…”.

Maybe you understand now why I don’t give a damn about saying if this SMP is baroque or not. It’s music. Sheer music.

Ehud Shiloni wrote (June 16, 2003):
[To Paul Diemeinkis] I join Paul in saying "Thank You" to Pete Blue for this recommendation. My impression is very similar to Paul's, but perhaps not as enthusiastic.

I've added a few personal remarks to Paul's words:

< First of all, I want to warmly thank Pete Blue who first mentioned the new recording of the SMP by Enoch zu Guttenberg (Farao Classics). Dear Pete, thanks to you, I had one of the greatest musical emotions of this year. >
<snip>
< The listening of the whole confirms my first impression about the quality of the recorded sound. It’s gorgeous. All is present, precise, clear, bright, sharp and nevertheless sensual. No reverberation, no church halo. I’d be inclined to say that this recording is, on a technical point of view, the best SMP I’ve listened to. >
Very true - exceptional sound.

< The Evangelist is Marcus Ullmann, Jesus, Klaus Mertens >
I was not overly impressed by Ullmann's Evangelist, but I was delighted with Merten's Jesus - I think he succeeded to infuse his voice with an added dose of steel.

< Guttenberg’s interpretation options : dynamic nuances, accentuations at moments we’re not used to hear them, and which create rhythmical novelties… >
These are indeed the most prominent special characteristics of this version, which make it stand out from the crowd.

< He does things I never heard : at bar 30 of the recitative n° 45a, when the choir sings “Bar-ra-bam !”, the tempo is suddenly enlarged and the effect is tremendous ! >
Well, I , for one, was not favorably impressed, and it struck me as a little bit of a "gimmick" gesture.

< But the most astounding, incredible moment is n° 63b when the 2 choirs in unison sing “Wahrlich,dieser ist Gottes Sohn gewesen”. >
Here I agree - "incredible" is the correct word. You all ought to hear that! There is also a very the special way in which Guttenberg treats the dynamics of the concluding chorus - I leave that for the listeners to "discover", and not disclose what he does, but it did work for me.

< Maybe you understand now why I don’t give a damn about saying if this SMP is baroque or not. It’s music. Sheer music. >
Although completely different from the McCreesh version, Guttenberg's too is by no means a "cookie-cutter" SMP - it's NEW, and different. We should consider ourselves quite fortunate to have in the same year these two special versions to enjoy.

Thanks again to Pete and to Paul.

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (June 20, 2003):
[To Ehud Shiloni] I'm glad to see, Ehud, that you share my admiration for Enoch zu Guttenberg's SMP recording, even if you are less enthousiastic. But it seems that we are the two only ones on this list who have bought it and listened to it. It's a pity ; I really rank this interpretation among the most beautiful SMPs I've heard. I hope that our two recommendations will incite a great number of this list members to purchase it.

I am having a correspondance with Felix Gargerle, who produced this recording, and I have his authorization to share with the list some very interesting elements about this interpretation. I'm not sure it will have very much meaning for persons who are unaware of this recording, but it could maybe be another way to tease their curiosity ? On May 31, Felix Gargerle wrote this :

"I really want to thank you for your words and your expressions!!!! It seems that you have understood our intensions with the piece very deep and very clear!

When I played (10 years ago) the first time the piece with Guttenberg (as I am violinist myself and I play usually in the KlangVerwaltung orchestra) - then it came to Nr. 63b I felt exactly the same you described.

What does he do there? Maybe I can explain it to you:

As he describes in his text, Guttenberg sees the whole piece from the side of the texture - the evangelium. He is an incredible religous man - even if he is extremely pessimistic.Therefore the SMP is the most important piece of music in his life - and he lives for music. When we did this recording it was maybe the most important recording work in his life.

In 63b he interpretates the center of the whole piece - Jesus in the SMP (different from SJP) dies as a desperate, poor, crucified man, who is abandoned and betrayed by his students. He is nor glorious nor winning. But then, after he died, the mankind (personificated in the roman warriors) recognizes him as son of god. Therefore, here Guttenberg makes some kind of slow-motion or freeze-effect (you would call it like this in movies...) as we want to extend this moment into a metaphysical dimension.

And: another, quite speculative point:

I wondered all the years about the harmonics in 63b: It seemed to sound more like Wagner´s Parsifal than baroque harmonics. Even if I found the B.A.C.H. encryption in the bass figure - I did not understand what Bach was doing there - so complex it is and so unusual for his time. Well: The B.A.C.H is quite simple: The mankind recognizes Jesus as the son of god - and so do I myself: BACH

Guttenberg showed me what he has found in his "number"-analyze of the harmonics. When you read it as a file of numbers, it leads you to a part in the old testament: There God says to Abraham: "And I will have a contract (sorry, I can not translate this better) with you and your people, and it will last until a new contract will be fulfilled". And as a sign for this contract God created a rainbow.

This beginning of the relationship of god with his people is fulfilled and renewed right at the moment of 63b - Jesus dies and the mankind recognizes. Even if this is sheer speculation, we believe it could be possible that Bach intended to point us with his harmonics (in a caballistic and a symbolic way) to right this passage in the old testament. In Bach´s times the people knew a lot about the theological and metaphysical dimensions of the passion - today they do not. Therefore we try to give at least the feeling of the dimension of this moment - even if it may not be allowed in the eyes of the historical correct, period interpretation.

And: The rainbow, of which the old testament talks is a very good symbol: With Abraham the first contract starts at one point of this rainbow, in the moment of 63b we have arived on it´s other end. And this is the next (crazy) thing in Guttenberg´s interpretation: We try to give the feeling of this rainbow: Starting in a real pianissimo, growing up in the middle more and more to the peak into a real fortissimo, and going back into a real pianissimo as the tension of the harmonies goes down and down in the last bar. I am sure, this is hard to understand - but as you described it is very clear to feel! And therefore we gladly accept the critics, that this is not a CORRECT interpretation.

Sorry, if I write very personal, but it is indeed very personal for me!"

I find this very interesting.

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 21, 2003):
[To Ehud Shiloni & Paul Dirmeikis] I hope you are aware that Enoch zu Guttenberg recorded SMP twice (1991 and 2002?), and both recordings are available in both CD and DVD form. I do not have either of these recordings and plan to order them all.

But I do have his SJP (1991), which I acquired recently. About the same time I received some other SJP's from various sources: Wolfgang Kläsener (1997), Suzuki 1st (1995), Wolff (1986), Dombrecht (1996), Leusink (2001), Harnoncourt 1st (1965, w/ Gillesberger), Suzuki 3rd (2000, DVD). Between the cracks of the weekly cantata listening and discussions, I have managed to listen to them all, some more than more than once. Twas not a comparative listening. It will have to wait until the weekly cantata discussions are over in the 2nd week of December 2003. But based on what I have heard so far, I have temporary conclusion. Guttenberg's SJP is the most dramatic rendition of this most dramatic masterpiece of Bach I have heard so far. From the opening chorus to the concluding chorale you are sitting mesmerised, unable to do anything else. Guttenberg uses a big choir, but they sing with such precision, clarity and dedication that they sound more coherent than much smaller choirs. Everything is painted with strong colours. Guttenberg also chose vocal soloist, who suited his approach perfectly. Every one of them is vocally equipped and expressively able to do an outmost convincing rendition of his part, starting with the Evangelist Claes-Håkan Ahnsjö and Anton Scharinger as Jesus.

I bought this recording from Berkshire Record Outlet. If it is still available, go grab it!

Two links as an addendum to my previous message:
List of Enoch zu Guttenberg's recordings of Bach's vocal works: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Guttenberg.htm
Berkshire Record Outlet: http://www.broinc.com/

Pete Blue wrote (June 21, 2003):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] I envy Paul and Ehud. I was the first on the List to report the existence of Guttenberg's new SMP, but I have only today been notified by Amazon.de that my copy is being shipped.! It's taken a month and a half, and they seem to have no others available. I couldn't find any retailer, online or off, in North America who has it. Farao Classics is a small label, and I recall them telling me a couple of years ago when I ordered Guttenberg's Christrmas Oratorio that they had no distributor over here. Apparently that is still the case. A pity.

www.mymusic.com (Canada) has the Guttenberg CO now, but not the SMP. You have to get the Farao SMP from Europe, and at full price (and at today's disadvantageous exchange rates). I see MDT and Crotchet Web (best price: 30.63 pounds) have it in the UK, and on the Continent jpc, fnac and amazon.fr list it with shipping delays of a few weeks. You can also order online direct from the manufacturer, www.farao-classics.de (you can click on an English version of their website).

Maybe other List members have better suggestions.

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (June 22, 2003):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thank you the information about the SJP (that I already ordered). Guttenberg's 1991 version of the SMP seems to have nothing to do with the last one (I only heard samples on the Internet, but it sounds very "classical"). I understood in one of Felix Gargerle's e-mails that Guttenberg sort of "repudiates" this first recording...

I am sending you a Word file (at your personnal Internet address), which is a kind of descriptive information file on Guttenberg's SMP, like those which are on your site, which could help to add a new page dedicated to this recording. Felix Gargerle wrote me that he would soon send me more information (precise composition of the orchestras, etc.).

I intend to write to Enoch zu Guttenberg in July. If he answers and allows me to quote his letter, I'm sure that it will be highly interesting for the list.

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (June 22, 2003):
Felix Gargerle's offer for the SMP by Enoch zu Guttenberg

Further to Pete's last e-mail, I informed Felix Gargerle, Farao Classics' producer, about the difficulties to purchase Enoch zu Guttenberg's SMP in the USA, and he asks me to forward this :

"At the moment FARAO is represented in the following countries by independent distributors:

France
UK
Spain (but they did not import the SMP as they thought it could be
concurrence for Rilling´s version, which is also distributed by them...)
Italy (did not import the SMP so far)
Switzerland
Austria
Slovakia
Japan

The adresses of these companies are to be found on our website – but good local record stores in these countries should have no problems in ordering products in their usual catalogues.

Unfortunately absolutely no serious distributor (if there is one really serious at all...) in the USA was interested in distributing our label there.

For this reason we offer to all of the members of your newsgroup, who are interested in listening to this recording (or others) to send them the recording free of shipping charge directly – so they have only to pay the usual german retail cost of 42,- EURO and get the postage within a few days.

I know, that in the US at the actual change rates this is still over the retail price for competing products, but maybe this special offer helps a bit to your interested friends!

For ordering they should send an email to my personal email-adress: felix@farao-classics.de containing adress and credit-card information, i.e. C-number, cardholders name and expiry date(Amex, Diners, Visa – NO Mastercard!). The cc-information should be split into two different mails for security reasons!

If one of your friends does not have one of these CC´s he can also pay through bank transmission after receiving the CD with an invoice, but this costs much more than a CC-transaction!

And: One more thing, which I consider as very important:

I would like to offer especially the DVD-Audio version of our recording (at the same price)! It gives you a completely different (and exciting) new feeling of sound in the surround-version, it contains also the dedicated stereo-mix in higher quality then on CD and it contains a really sophisticated slide show of still images commenting the music!

Therefore you get much more for the same money on the DVD-Audio than on CD!

It works (both: stereo and surround) on all DVD-player models (not only the specialised DVD-Audio players), but the surround version gets the highest quality in a specialised DVD-A model. Of course the disc does NOT work on some Philips DVD-video players (due to compatibility problems of the Philips-firmware)!

Maybe one of your friends should listen to this version and report you about the sound: If the CD sounds great, the DVD-surround version sounds enormous!!"

I now regret to have purchased the CD version !

 

Enoch Zu Guttenberg SMP DVD

Chris Kern wrote (July 2, 2005):
I don't know if many people on the list have the DVD of the St. Matthew Passion conducted by Enoch Zu Guttenberg. I think it's a wonderful performance (in particular, Prey (Jesus), Van Nes (Alto), and Ahnsjo (evangelist) are the best in their roles that I've heard), but ever since I bought it there's one aspect that bugs me and I wonder if anyone else knows the explanation.

Whenever there's a chorale, the camera cuts to this closeup of a woodcutting of one of the Stations of the Cross, and then moves back to show a group of people singing the chorale behind the audience. In a few places they zoom in close and you can see that the people singing are the same people that are in the main chorus at the front. Also, when a chorale number is about to play, you can see that the "main" singers and orchestra are getting ready to start performing it before the camera cuts away. So were the chorale pieces redone later with the choir standing at the back, and then spliced in to the recording of the performance? If this is the explanation, does anyone know why this was done?

Robert Sherman wrote (July 2, 2005):
[To Chris Kern] The direct explanation for this and many other weirdnesses is that video directors are dimbulb non-musicians who don't understand that music exists only to the extent that it is made by musicians. Would you believe --

-- A Mozart Requiem video that shows the trombone bell throughout the "Tuba" aria but never shows the trombonist?
-- A Missa Solemnis video that shows the walls when the tenor sings the opening Kyrie?
-- A Haydn Creation video that doesn't show Emma Kirkby until several minutes after her first entrance?

I have all of these and, tragically, they're not isolated examples.

Eric Bergerud wrote (July 2, 2005):
[TChris Kern] Cleobury/Goodman's SMP DVD is straight up music and very reasonably priced at $16. Ditto with their Messiah. I like them both.

Chris Kern wrote (July 2, 2005):
[To Eric Bergerud] Hmm, that's a quandry. My Guttenberg DVD has become damaged and I was going to replace it, but I wonder if I should get one of the other ones instead. Amazon.com has three DVD SMPs; I might just order them all since they're all under $20.

Peter Smaill wrote (July 3, 2005):
May I join Eric Bergerud's endorsement of the Cleobury/Kings College Cambridge DVD's of the Passions? However, be warned that the version the SJP is, when you install the disc, revealed as that of 1725.

The packaging wrongly gives all the conventional texts (ie the first and last versions), and no indication whatever of what actually lies inside - as if it did'nt matter! The opening "O Mensch , bewein dein sunde Gross" is thus balanced by "Christe, du Lamm Gottes" at the end, and the impression is of monumental symmetry and beauty; the opening Chorus treating of Man bewailing Sin, is balanced by the linkage of the Agnus Dei petition to the Lamb that takes away Sin, with the acceleration towards the final Amen giving an arresting finality to the work in this form.

The consideration that the work might sag by having the long "Rueht Wohl" followed by "O Lamm Gottes" seems unfounded, and indeed musically the pieces integrate well. The falling minor triads and octaves of the slumber-prayer over the grave are met with the chromatic rising figure of the funeral march in the first two sections, followed by the oboe's motif in the last section, sounding as if an optimistic reworking of the "Rueht Wohl" figure and with two delicious exposed chordal progressions for the violas da gamba in bars 43 and 53 (score of BWV 23/4, Eulenburg). Instead of the sudden break experienced on hearing "Ach Herr,lass dein leib Engelein" , the modulation to major in the "Agnus Dei" is a subtle development, ending in a glorious Tierce de Picardy following a series of rejections of e flats within several of the parts in favour of e naturals and the major key finally winning through.

Either an experience of the Cleobury DVD or one of the available recordings of the 1725 settings of the SJP is highly recommended so as to experience the contrast with the generally encountered versions of the SJP. The issues covered by Thomas Braatz in his recent contribution come into sharp focus when pondering the gains and losses in what is, in terms of theological purpose and to an extent musical content, a different work in many essentials from the version we have all been brought up to know.

Eric Bergerud wrote (July 3, 2005):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< May I join Eric Bergerud's endorsement of the Cleobury/Kings College Cambridge DVD's of the Passions? However, be warned that the version the SJP is, when you install the disc, revealed as that of 1725. >
My SJP DVD is Suzuki's and it's very good although I admit that it's the only version I've seen. Cleobury uses boys and Suzuki doesn't, which is a plus for Cleobury in my book, but nobody can fault the musicianship of the JBE. It's a genuinely inspired version.

BTW: I just received a DVD of the Mass in B by the Gewandhaus and the Thomanerchor under Georg Biller. It features Ruth Holton and Klaus Merten. Such things require the right moment, but I am looking forward to the performance.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (July 3, 2005):
Eric Bergerud wrote:
< My SJP DVD is Suzuki's and it's very good although I admit that it's the only version I've seen. >
As a latecomer to DVDs, I acquired this JP as one of my first DVDs altogether right after (as I recall) I acquired the complete Bernstein Mahler set. I was horrified with it for a number of reasons and one is that (to the best of my knowledge) one is forced to have the English subtitles on, i.e. to say that they are burned on and not optional. One has no possibility of having the German or having nothing. Since the text here is rather odious (to some of us) in many places and since the music is very moving and since the German is Bach's, I prefer certainly to have the German text or nothing as an option.

The second reason is "racial", yes, indeed "racial". To see another race, in this case Japanese, a race not brought up in its blood (metaphor) with this Judenhass endemic to Europeans (partially if not totally) bc. of these passions, of persons emitting this odious text combined with the forced subtitles compelled me to simply discontinue the viewing and I have never returned to it.

I also later discovered that I don't like Suzuki's passions even on audio when I later acquired the CD set of the MP.

Finally I am not sure how much, if anything, the visual contributes to an oratorio. I now have about 40 opera DVDs, and even there I do not find that the production helps in most cases. There are a glorious few exceptions. The production will never compensate for bad or uninteresting musicianship.

Chris Kern wrote (July 4, 2005):
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
< Since the text here is rather odious (to some of us) in many places and since the music is very moving and since the German is Bach's, I prefer certainly to have the German text or nothing as an option. >
Hmm...I have a different problem with the subtitles being either strange ("Hail to thee, o dearest king of Jewry") or outright wrong ("And he set Barabbas free, a murderer!"). But you're right that it's always frustrating when subtitles are hard-coded onto the DVD and cannot be turned off.

Chris Kern wrote (July 4, 2005):
One other note on this -- Guttenberg's SMP DVD is worth recommending for me if only for the "Truly this is the son of God" segment, which is the best treatment of this section that I've ever heard. It takes about 45 seconds and swells from quiet to loud and then back to quiet again in a very reverential, powerful way.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (July 4, 2005):
Translation

Chris Kern wrote:
< Hmm...I have a different problem with the subtitles being either strange ("Hail to thee, o dearest king of Jewry") or outright wrong ("And he set Barabbas free, a murderer!"). But you're right that it's always frustrating when subtitles are hard-coded onto the DVD and cannot be turned off. >
I fear, Chris, that from the Bach cantata LPs I lived with for many years there is nothing in Bach translation as supplied on record jackets or now wherever they are supplied that can dismay or surprise me anymore. For Bach I do absolutely prefer to stay with the German (or occasional Latin).In the case of some languages in some compositions I do need more help. And, while all translations are problematic, those of Bach have mostly been more than problematic.

Although on most opera DVDs I do choose the English subtitles, here too, if I have an audio CD with a decent polyglot libretto, I will only use the English as a trot and generally refer to the original. This is not possible with a DVD and the result with operas with which I did not previously have a libretto is that I really do not come to know the opera's text well.

Robert Sherman wrote (July 4, 2005):
Chris Kern wrote:
< One other note on this -- Guttenberg's SMP DVD is worth recommending for me if only for the "Truly this is the son of God" segment, which is the best treatment of this section that I've ever heard. It takes about 45 seconds and swells from quiet to loud and then back to quiet again in a very reverential, powerful way. >
How would you compare it to Richter's? His concept is much like what you describe.

 

Guttenberg SMP

Neil Halliday wrote (June 22, 2008):
Jens F. Laurson wrote:
>Another favorite these days, again for contrast and because it takes the TEXT of the M-Passion so seriously (thus being what I'd consider the most religious performance I've heard of the M-Passion yet), is zu Guttenberg (FARAO)<
Be warned, you gotta like speed!

"Give me my Jesus again" sounds to me like an LP being played at 45 RPM...

Samples are available at amazon.de (just type in Guttenberg)

 

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244: Details
Recordings: 1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Individual Movements
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | BWV 244a | BWV 244b
Systemetic Discussions:
Part 1: Mvts. 1-8 | Part 2: Mvts. 9-20 | Part 3: Mvts. 21-29 | Part 4: Mvts. 30-40 | Part 5: Mvts. 41-50 | Part 6: Mvts. 51-57 | Part 7: Mvts. 58-63b | Part 8: Mvts. 63c-68 | Part 9: Role of the Evangelist
Individual Recordings:
BWV 244 - L. Bernstein | BWV 244 - F. Brüggen | BWV 244 - J. Butt | BWV 244 - R. Chailly | BWV 244 - S. Cleobury | BWV 244 - J. Daus | BWV 244 - D. Fasolis | BWV 244 - W. Furtwängler | BWV 244 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 244 - W. Gönnenwein | BWV 244 - P. Goodwin | BWV 244 - E.z. Guttenberg | BWV 244 - N. Harnoncourt | BWV 244 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 244 - R. Jacques | BWV 244 - H.v. Karajan | BWV 244 - O. Klemperer | BWV 244 - T. Koopman | BWV 244 - S. Koussevitzky | BWV 244 - S. Kuijken | BWV 244 - F. Lehmann | BWV 244 - G. Leonhardt | BWV 244 - P.J. Leusink | BWV 244 - E.&R. Mauersberger | BWV 244 - H. Max | BWV 244 - P. McCreesh | BWV 244 - W. Mengelberg | BWV 244 - K. Münchinger | BWV 244 - R. Norrington | BWV 244 - G. Oberfrank | BWV 244 - S. Ozawa | BWV 244 - A. Parrott | BWV 244 - G. Ramin | BWV 244 - S. Rattlr | BWV 244 - K. Richter | BWV 244 - H. Rilling | BWV 244 - H.J. Rotzsch | BWV 244 - H. Scherchen | BWV 244 - G. Solti | BWV 244 - C. Spering | BWV 244 - M. Suzuki | BWV 244 - J.v. Veldhoven | BWV 244 - B. Walter | BWV 244 - F. Werner | BWV 244 - M. Wöldike
Articles:
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244 [T.N. Towe] | Two Easter St. Matthew Passions (Plus One) [U. Golomb] | St. Matthew Passion from Harnoncourt [D. Satz] | The Passion according to Saint Matthew BWV 244 [J. Rifkin] | The Relationship between BWV 244a (Trauermusik) and BWV 244b (SMP Frühfassung) [T. Braatz] | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 - Early History (A Selective, Annotated Bibliography) [W. Hoffman] | Spiritual Sources of Bach's St. Matthew Passion [W. Hoffman] | Bach and the "Great Passion" [D.G. Lebut Jr.] | The Genesis of Bach's `Great Passion': 1724-29 [W. Hoffman] | Early Performances of Bach's SMP [T. Braatz]

Enoch zu Guttenberg: Short Biography | Chorgemeinschaft Neubeuern | Bach Collegium München | Orchester der KlangVerwaltung München | Recordings of Vocal Works
Individual Recordings:
BWV 244 - Guttenberg | BWV 245 - Guttenberg

Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ýJuly 4, 2008 ý01:54:12