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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 Erhard & Rudolf Mauersberger

Recording

V-2

Bach Made in Germany Vol. III/3 - Matthäus-Passion

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Rudolf Mauersberger & Erhard Mauersberger

Dresdner Kreuzchor & Thomanerchor Leipzig / Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Tenor [Evangelist]: Peter Schreier; Bass [Jesus]: Theo Adam; Bass [Petrus]: Siegfried Vogel; Bass [Judas]: Johannes Künzel; Bass [Pilatus]: Hermann Christian Polster, Bass [High Priest, 2nd Priest]: Hans-Martin Nau, Tenor [Arias, 1st Priest, 2nd Witness]: Hans-Joachim Rotzsch; Alto [1st Witness, 2nd Maid]: Gerda Schriever, Soprano [1st Maidl]: Erika Wustmann; Soprano [Pilate’s Wife]: Eva Haßbecker, Soprano [Arias]: Adele Stolte; Alto [Arias]: Annelies Burmeister; Bass [Arias]: Günther Leib

Leipzig Classics / Berlin Classics

Jan-Feb 1970

3-CD / TT: 185:47

Recorded at Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) conducted by Erhard & Rudolf Mauersberger

Chris Kern
wrote (October 15, 2005):
I'm surprised to not see this recording of the SMP get more attention -- it doesn't even have its own discussion page on the site, although it is listed in the recordings section (under the 1961-70). I got it as part of a 10-disc "sacred masterworks" set for a rather cheap price which led me to think it would be a so-so recording that I would later "replace" with a real one. But even after hearing several other SMPs (including Leonhardt and Herreweghe) I keep coming back to this one as my favorite, despite using modern instruments.

The first thing that hits me upon listening to the wonderful opening chorus (at 8:50 it's neither too slow nor too fast) is the clear sound, and especially the use of the stereo channels to set up the dual choir system (which other recordings seem to lack, at least on my primitive equipment). Once the singers enter, each line of the voices is very clear, and the different threads of the music are easy to pick out. The boys' choir doing the soprano in ripieno often gets lost amidst the noise in other recordings, but here it rings out loud and clear over the rest of the music -- the part near the end with "Erbarm' dich unser, o Jesu!" still gives me chills every time I hear it.

The evangelist is Peter Schreier, who does a good job. Theo Adam's Jesus is not the best I've heard (that would go to Hermann Prey), but he sings the role better than others I've heard, with warmth and feeling.

The chorales, for me, are the high point. In no other recording have I heard such convincing (to me) and effective presentations of the chorales, and I have uploaded two examples to the list files (Herzliebster Jesu and Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden). I will remove the files in a week to save space. As with the opening chorus, the four voices are very clear and differentiated, and the mood and tempo are what I would expect from a chorale. Often recordings seem to zoom through these too fast -- while I generally like decent tempos, in the case of the chorales I'm not sure it fits. "Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden" is a particular highlight; I haven't heard another chorus sing the chorale with such depth and feeling, and it fits in perfectly with the mood of that point in the story.

The soloists are fine. The soprano Adele Stotle sings the arias without much vibrato (always welcome). The tenor Hans-Joachim Rotzsch avoids the operatic screaming that even HIP tenors seem to fall prey to at some points. The bass Günther Leib sings the best Mache Dich that I've heard, and the alto Annelies Burmeister's Erbarme Dich is equally moving.

The whole performance is only 3:06, which puts it only about 15 minutes slower than the HIP's I have (McCreesh aside), so the pace is not glacial.

I highly recommend this recording -- it continually surprises me that I put it above all the others I have when I usually prefer HIP recordings.

Sw Anandgyan
wrote (October 16, 2005):
Chris Kern wrote:
< I'm surprised to not see this recording of the SMP get more attention -- it doesn't even have its own discussion page on the site, although it is listed in the recordings section (under the 1961-70). I got it as part of a 10-disc "sacred masterworks" set for a rather cheap price which led me to think it would be a so-so recording that I would later "replace" with a real one. But even after hearing several other SMPs (including Leonhardt and Herreweghe) I keep coming back to this one as my favorite, despite using modern instruments.
[snip]
I highly recommend this recording -- it continually surprises me that I put it above all the others I have when I usually prefer HIP recordings. >
Thank you Chris for this recommendation. It was available at one of my favourite second-hand shop and because of your post and this review from the Gramofile that had Jonathan Freeman-Attwood writing:

"More stolid, organ-loft qualities are to be found in the Mauersberger brothers' St Matthew Passion. Rudolf, the elder of the two, was 80 when this 1970 recording was made, a version which seems to draw less on the turbulent drama of his predecessor, Ramin, than the increasingly heavy-laden and interminable post-war vision of the work. It is nevertheless one of the few extant accounts to boast a plethora of the essential ingredients, if rarely towering above any. Often forbiddingly direct (and rather foursquare) but without a sniff of gratuitous crowd-pleasing, this is a genuinely felt reading. Rudolf directs most of the choruses and Erhard the solos. ...[These sets] are a must for Bachians. The remasterings are outstanding."

From the liner notes, I learned that the eldest of the brothers passed away the following year of the recording sessions. Could this count as a swan song, I'll never know but it does affect me somehow. I'm listening to it and I'm quite happy.

The SMP set was priced at $30 CDN and for half of that I was able to add a live recording of the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) directed by Georg Christoph Biller; I could hardly let it go by at that price and noticing the 'same' Thomanerchor Leipzig as with the Mattheus-Passion, Barbara Schlick who had me so impressed with her singing in Cantata BWV 115 directed by Christophe Coin and Christophe Pregardien who must have an agent that is a workaholic ;-) so these were my justifications to add this set, currently listed at $48 CDN brand new.

I do take in account the suggestions offered in these Bach mailing lists; years ago M. Lebut Jr did mention this 'Bach Made In Germany' series to me; thanks to you Chris, I could make him smile too now.


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]

Erhard Mauersberger: Short Biography | Recordings | BWV 244 - Mauersberger
Thomaskantors: Thomanerchor Leipzig | Gewandhausorchester Leipzig | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2
Table of recordings by BWV Number

Rudolf Mauersberger: Short Biography | Dresdner Kreuzchor | Recordings | BWV 244 - Mauersberger
Table of recordings by BWV Number

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

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Last update: żOctober 16, 2005 ż08:29:24