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Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Conducted by Hermann Max

Recording

V-1

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Hermann Max

Rheinische Kantorei / Das Kleine Konzert

Tenor [Evangelist]: Christoph Prégardien, Bass [Jesus]: Klaus Mertens; Soprano [Recitatives & Arias]: Monika Frimmer; Soprano [Mvt. 8, Ancilla II]: Veronika Winter; Mezzo-soprano [Recitatives & Arias]: Lena Susanne Norin; Tenor [Arias]: Wilfried Jochens; Bass [Arias, Pontifex I, Pontifex II]: Hans-Georg Wimmer; Soprano [Uxor Pilati, Ancilla II]: Sabine Orthey; Alto [Testis I]: Akira Tachikawa; Tenor [Testis II]: Wilfred Rombach; Bass [Pontifex I]: Tobias Volz; Bass [Pilatus]: Thomas Herberich; Bass [Peterus]: Ekkehard Abele; Bass [Judas]: Kai-Uwe Fahnert

Capriccio

Feb 1995

2-CD / TT: 153:17

SMP by Herman Max (SMP on Capriccio)

Matthew Westphal
wrote (November 8, 1999):
< Wim Huisjes wrote: which Otto on Capriccio would that be? It's not listed in the German Bielefelder Katalog. >
OOPS! It's conducted not by Ralf Otto, but by Hermann Max.

Bach: St. Matthew Passion
Christoph Prégardien (Evangelist), Klaus Mertens (Christus), Monika Frimmer, Veronika Winter, Lena Susanne Norin (who is wonderful), Wilfried Jochens, Hans-Georg Wimmer
Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert
Hermann Max cond.
Capriccio 60 046-2

Sorry about the mistake!

Samuel Frederick wrote (June 5, 2000):
St Matthew Passion
Capriccio Records #60046 (5/1/96)
Cond: Hermann Max
Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert
With: Monica Frimmer, Veronika Winter, Lena Susanne Norine, Christoph Prégardien (wonderful), Wilfried Jochens, KM, Hans-Georg Wimmer

This looks like a great recording. Yes, Prégardien is wonderful, usually inspired. How are the other soloists? Is this recording still available?

Galina Kolomietz wrote (June 5, 2000):
(To Samuel Frederick) *** I heard Frimmer and Winter on other Max recordings - very white sopranos. I think they're great, especially Winter. I heard Lena Norin only with Ensemble Gilles Binchois. Her singing of Bach is bound to differ from her singing of medieval Lieder, but based on her singing w/ Ensemble Binchois she is the kind of mezzo that even an anti-mezzo person would like (a very focused voice). Jochens is sort of like Howard Crook. I think he sings w/ Cantus Cölln.

Matthew Westphal wrote (June 6, 2000):
(To Galina Kolomietz) Yes, Jochens does sing with Cantus Cölln -- and very well. Lena Susanne Norin gives (to my taste) the BEST rendering of the alto arias in the SMP that I've ever heard -- bar none. Winter and Frimmer are both good; Frimmer is sometimes shrill on other recordings, but not too bad here. The chorus and orchestra don't stick in my memory the way, say, Herreweghe's do, but they're quite acceptable. Nothing on this recording is bad -- and a lot, such as the female soloists, is very good indeed. Since Capriccio is a mid-price label, Max's SMP gets my vote for "best buy".

Samuel Frederick wrote (June 6, 2000):
< Matthew Westphal wrote: Since Capriccio is a mid-price label, Max's SMP gets my vote for "best buy". >
How is it that it fits on only 2 CD's?

Matthew Westphal wrote (June 6, 2000):
< Sam Frederick asks: How is it that it fits on only 2 CD's? >
Quickish tempos.

Samuel Frederick wrote (June 30, 2000):
I finally found a copy of Hermann Max' Matthew Passion (on Capriccio) and I'd like to share my impressions.

This is by far the most consistently satisfying recording of the SMP I have heard. I am very, very impressed. I also have the new Herreweghe, Brüggen, Suzuki, and Gardiner.

Although it doesn't state it anywhere in the notes or on the back of the CD, my ears tell me this is an ensemble with period instruments. It sounds very well.

Christoph Prégardien sings the evangelist, and my god is he stunning. I can hear every syllable, his diction is impeccable (wow! those consonants!). His voice is so rich and expressive throughout his range. I have never heard so fine a performance. The CD is worth it just for him!

Mertens also sings well, though I find him a little less powerful than Kooy, whom I prefer to Mertens.

My only complaint with the recitatives (other than the occasional disappointment from Mertens -- only, I'm sure, by comparison with Kooy), is the pace. At times they move a bit too swiftly.

Now to the soloists:

The sopranos (Monika Frimmer and Veronika Winter) sing nearly perfectly. They have very clear, almost vibrato-free voices in both low, middle and high ranges. This is remarkable. It seems the soprano arias are the ones which get the worst performances, and these are the first I can say I completely enjoy and at times find just perfect.

The soprano arias are nearly perfect, yes, but the alto arias are truly perfect! I normally prefer counter tenors, but Lena Susanne Norin, the mezzo on this recording, has a voice to put to shame all the men who I have heard sing these pieces. I can't describe it. Just listen!

The real disappointment is the tenor, Wilfried Jochens. Too much vibrato, not enough control. Ugly sound, to my ears. Too bad Max didn't recruit Paul Agnew or simply let Prégardien sing the arias as well. Why not?

Anyway, this recording is a must-hear, and at $15.99 here in the US, there's no excuse not to buy it.

Harry Steinman wrote (June 30, 2000):
(To Samuel Frederick) Sam...The Max recording sounds great! Can you provide label/catalog # info?

Samuel Frederick wrote (June 30, 2000):
(To Harry Steinman) Yes, Harry. It's on Capriccio. # 60 046-2. Released 1996. You're in Boston, right? The HMV in Cambridge has it, and I believe even Tower has it. If not, they can order it. I found it on-line at cdnow.com, but I had to search by label and catalog number. Just "Bach" and "Max" didn't do it.

Harry Steinman wrote (June 30, 2000):
(To Samuel Frederick) Thanks, Sam...ordered it from HB Direct so it should arrive in a few days. Just picked up and started listening to the Klemperer recording (wow!) So I'm gonna have a feast of Passions soon! Cheers.


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]

Hermann Max: Short Biography | Rheinische Kantorei | Das Kleine Konzert | Recordings | General Discussions | BWV 244 - Max | BWV 245 – Max

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 9, 2004 ż10:15:11