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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 Karl Münchinger

V-3

J.S. Bach: Matthäus Passion

Matthäus-Passion BWV 244

Karl Münchinger

Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben (Chorus Master: Gerhard Wilhelm) / Stuttgarter Kammerorchester

Tenor [Evangelist]: Peter Pears; Baritone [Jesus]: Hermann Prey; Soprano [Arias, 1st Maid, Pilatus' wife]: Elly Ameling; Contralto [Arias, 2nd Maid]: Marga Höffgen; Tenor [Arias]: Fritz Wunderlich; Bass [Arias]: Tom Krause; Bass [Petrus, High Priest, Pilatus]: Heinz Blankenburg; Bass [Judas]: August Messthaler

Decca

Jul 1964

3-CD / TT: 196:43
4-LP / TT:

Recorded at Schloss Ludwigsburg, Germany. Recording issued to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com | Amazon.com [Highlights] | Amazon.com [Vocal Box]

Münchinger St. Matthews Passion

John Grant wrote (February 4, 2001):
My old Munchinger St. Matthew's LP is getting rather long in the tooth. I can't live without it, frankly. But I can't find a CD copy. Does anyone know where the CD can be found?

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 4, 2001):
(To John Grant) Karl Münchinger's Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 is included in the 10-CD box set from London/Decca called 'Bach - Sacred Masterworks'. All the works in this set are conducted by Münchinger. The set also includes Johannes-Passion BWV 245, Mass in B minor BWV 232, Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248, Oster-Oratorium BWV 249, Magnificat BWV 243. Great singers at the height of their prime - Ameling, Watts, Prey, Pears, Krause, etc. Conducting is middle of the road, lively and reliable, but not exceptional. It is budget-priced (at least in Israel) and therefore (and also for the singers) highly recommended.

Charles Francis wrote (February 4, 2001):
(To John Grant) Yes, there's a ten CD set "Bach Sacred Masterworks" (London 455 783-2) with Karl Münchinger which contains his MP, JP, BMM, CO, EO, Magnificat. Its available for around 65 USD from www.amazon.com. The link exact is: Amazon.com

Copy the above and paste completely into your browser.

There may be a better price to be had, I don't know.

John Grant wrote (February 4, 2001):
[To Charles Francis] Thanks. While I'm on the topic, is there any comparable version, at least, in terms of the quality of the soloists and the choir?

Robert Sherman wrote (February 4, 2001):
[To John Grant] Richter.

William D. Kasimer wrote (February 5, 2001):
[To John Grant] The recent Rilling recording on Hänssler is easily the best modern instrument, non-HIP recording I've ever heard. His tenor soloist may not be a match for Wunderlich, but I think that all of Rilling's other soloists are at least as good, and in some cases superior. Much as I love the soloists on the Münchinger, his leadership, or lack thereof, pretty much ruins the recording for me.

As for the Richter, I finally got around to hearing this over the weekend, and have to confess that I don't understand the fuss at all. Richter's sense of forward movement is no better than Münchinger's, and the female soloists range from pretty dreadful (Töpper) to tolerable-only-if-I'm-feeling-charitable (Seefried). Häfliger is fine, although not better than many other Evangelists who are given much better surroundings. I'm not normally a fan of Fischer-Dieskau, but this strikes me as one of his most successful recordings - but that's not sufficient reason for me to keep it.

All of the above IMHO, of course - and I'm certainly open to anyone who wants to convince me of the merits of either recording.

Charles Francis wrote (February 8, 2001):
[To William D. Kasimer] Well I certainly wouldn't attempt to convince you otherwise! A professor of philosophy once posed the question to me "If someone was born so that red was perceived as green and green as red, would we ever know?" Well I predict that if someone likes Münchinger's Matthew Passion, they will also like Richter's 1958 recording, Rilling's 1978 performance, Klemperer's edifice and find Wöldike near perfect. Furthermore, they will find Rilling's second recording on Hännsler bland and Herreweghe flippant. Now, as for that other subspecies that sees red as green and green as red, I cannot even begin to imagine their world!

Charles Francis wrote (February 8, 2001):
[To Robert Sherman, regarding Richter] Yes, and there's a 10-CD set "Sacred Masterpieces" with MP (1958), JP, CO, Magnificat and BMM for a similar price to the Münchinger set: JPC

Charles Francis wrote (February 8, 2001):
John Grant wrote:
< Thanks. While I'm on the topic, is there any comparable version, at least, in terms of the quality of the soloists and the choir? >
Overall, the most satisfactory version I've come across is the 1959 recording conducted by Mogens Wöldike.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 8, 2001):
[To Charles Francis, regarding Wöldike] Which has the great Hilde Rössl-Majdan in it (like the much earlier Scherchen) and which I enjoy greatly for a long time on LP's. It is now also on CDs and is available at broinc.com and elsewhere for cheap. I haven't played the CD set yet, but recently relistened to the old LP's. Funny, how not long ago we had the same thread, but it bore the subject Richter's SMP.

Charles Francis wrote (February 8, 2001):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] I also have the Scherchen recording on CD, although I confess I've hardly listened to it as yet. My first impression was somewhat negative due to the massive choir sound in the opening and its fast tempo. But I know Scherchen is a wonderful Bach interpreter, so I'm sure once I get beyond the opening
movement there'll be a lot for me to discover!

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 8, 2001):
[To Charles Francis] As soon as I sent this, I felt that I had not phrased it sufficiently clearly. I have the Wöldeke on both LP's and CD's. The Scherchen my friend played for us during Thanksgiving holidays. And he played it from LP's. He also played her Lieder recordings of Franz, Grieg, and Dvorak (The Biblical Songs). I am not that fond of Scherchen as a Bach conductor. I have the cantata recordings because of Rössl-Majdan. And, if they ever come out on CDs, I shall be very happy indeed.

William D. Kasimer wrote (February 8, 2001):
Charles Francis wrote:
< Well I predict that if someone likes Münchinger's Matthew Passion, they will also like Richter's 1958 recording, Rilling's 1978 performance,
Klemperer's edifice >
Absolutely. This has certainly been my experience, and the opposite is also true - someone who dislikes any of these will probably dislike all of them.

< and find Wöldike near perfect. >
I've never heard this, but I know a number of peowho love it, who also dislike the Richter, Munchinger, and Klemperer SMP's. So I think that I ought to give it a try.

< Furthermore, they will find Rilling's second recording on Hännsler bland and Herreweghe flippant. >
I haven't heard enough of either Herreweghe to judge, but the second Rilling "bland"? If anything, I think that fans of Richter/Münchinger/Klemperer would find the recent Rilling a bit overwrought.

I love Scherchen's recording, but I wish that he had a better chorus to work with.

BTW, does anyone recall a Swarowsky recording on LP, that appeared in the USA on Nonesuch? I haven't heard it in a million years, but I remember the soloists being particularly good (I think that it might have been Equiluz' first recording of the Evangelist).

< Now, as for that other subspecies that sees red as green and green as red, I cannot even begin to imagine their world! >
It makes traffic intersections a real challenge...

John Grant wrote (February 8, 2001):
[To Charles Francis] You seem knowledgeable on the subject. I just ordered a Choral set from Amazon which is all Münchinger. I believe it's a 10 CD set Whatever, I assume that the St. Mat's it contains is Munchinger's Grand Prix du Disque recording originally issued on a Decca/Telefunken LP with Pears, Prey, Ameling, Höffgen, Wunderlich, and Krause? That's the LP I grew up with, and I would dearly like to have a CD of the same material. (Although I have luckily managed to find the LP!)

Charles Francis wrote (February 8, 2001):
[To John Grant] The ten CD-set "Sacred Masterworks" contains the 1965 St Matthew with the performers you mentioned. I also have the Decca LPs (mono) and was delighted by the upgrade to stereo CD.

John Grant wrote (February 9, 2001):
[To Charles Francis] Thank you Charles, I'm really looking forward to listening to the CD version. I've always loved the Münchinger St. Matthew's. It remains my favourite.

 

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]

Karl Münchinger: Short Biography | Stuttgarter Kammerorchester | Recordings of Vocal Works | General Discussions | BWV 244 - K. Münchinger

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: ęDecember 31, 2008 ę11:10:36