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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

Johannes-Passion BWV 245

Conducted by Jos van Veldhoven

V-2

J.S. Bach: S. John Passion BWV 245

Johannes-Passion BWV 245 - 1724 Version

Jos van Veldhoven

Choir of Nederlandse Bachvereniging / Baroque Orchestra of Nederlandse Bachvereniging

Tenor [Evangelist]: Gerd Türk; Bass [Christus]: Stephan MacLeod; Soprano: Caroline Stam; Alto: Peter de Groot; Tenor: Charles Daniels; Bass [Pterus/Pilatus]: Bas Ramselaar; Soprano [Ancilla]: Marjon Strijk; Alto: Marleene Goldstein; Alto (Mvt. 24]: Elsbeth Gerritsen; Tenor: Simon Wall
Organ: Pieter Dirksen

Channel Classics

Mar 2004

2-CD / TT: 101:35

Earliest version 1724 in the reconstruction by Pieter Dirksen. Recorded at Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam, Holland.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

1724 Johannes Passion (was : introducing..)

Continue of discussion from: Members of the BCML/BRML - 2005 [General Topics]

Markku (Mara) Laurikainen wrote (February 1, 2005):
Thank you for welcoming me to BachCantatas. I live in Finland. I started listening seriously to Bach's music already over 30 years ago. The first recording I bought was Toccatas and fugues with Helmut Walcha. I still like his interpretations very much.

Nowdays are the Passions most important to me. My immediate interest in the group is to find a certain "different" recording of St. John Passion (BWV 245).

Peter Bloemendaal wrote (February 2, 2005):
[To Markku Laurikainen] I hope Johan van Veen is still a list member. He wrote about a radio recording he made from an SJP performance of a reconstruction of Bach's very first 1724 version of SJP. Johan copied it for me and it is a very iteresting and good recording. Maybe Johan could make a copy for you, or,if Johan doesn't mind, I could make a copy of my copy, which is on CD.

Riccardo Nughes wrote (February 2, 2005):
< I hope Johan van Veen is still a list member. He wrote about a radio recording he made from an SJP performance of a reconstruction of Bach's very first 1724 version of SJP. >
I'm not sure but it should be this new release ->
http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//CCSSA22005.htm

Jim Groeneveld wrote (February 2, 2005):
[To Riccardo Nughes] No, I don't think so, Riccardo. You are referring to a CD-recording. The radio recording was a live OVPP performance, which I missed, but could enjoy later many times, thanks to Johan van Veen. It had the following cast, which information I copied from the radio guide in April 2001:

Cappella Figuralis:
Jos van Veldhoven (Conductor)
Achim Kleinlein (Evangelist)

Choir I:
Maria Rosenmöller (s), Peter de Groot (a), Robert Morvai (t), Henk Neven(b)
Choir II:
Irmela Brünger (s), Dorien Lievers (a), Immo Schröder (t), Arnout Lems (b)

The singers in choir I sang the arias in part 2, those in choir II sang the arias in part 1. The bass Henk Neven sang all bass solos, Arnout Lems sang the Christ part.

Instrumentalists:
Pieter Affourtit (solo), Antoinette Lohmann (violin), Sayuri Yamagata (violin, viola), Staas Swierstra (viola), Richte van der Meer (cello), Mieneke van der Velden (viola da gamba), Margaret Urquhart (contrabass), Michael Niesemann, Peter Frankenberg (oboe), Pieter Dirksen (organ), Siebe Henstra (cembalo), Mike Fentross (theorbe).

Riccardo Nughes wrote (February 2, 2005):
[To Jim Groeneveld] It'n not the same recording but it's the 1724 version ->
http://www.channelclassics.net/newReleasesCDML.htm#JP
The choir is now smaller, it seems, a "radical" OVPP recording.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 2, 2005):
[To Riccardo Nughes] Is Channel Classics distributed well in the US? I've had trouble finding them in the shops, for a long time. I haven't tried a direct order from Harmonia Mundi USA yet, but may have to do so after they offer this one.

This release looks attractive to me. And a 200-page booklet!

Stephen Benson wrote (February 2, 2005):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< Is Channel Classics distributed well in the US? >
One source of Channel Classics recordings is a Vermont based distributor: https://www.hbdirect.com/index.cfm

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 2, 2005):
Channel distributor

[To Stephen Benson] Thanks. It had been so many years since I ordered from Haverstick/Ballyk
I'd forgotten about them....

Is there a handy list of these somewhere, list members' favorite distributors with good service in the US, for CDs?

Berkshire (BROinc)
Allegro
Qualiton
Tower
Amazon and all the other new/used links they have
Barnes & Noble
H&B

And of course individual labels.

Sw Anandgyan wrote (February 3, 2005):
[To Bradley Lehman] Greetings Brad, Aryeh and everyone.

The packaging is quite similar to their Christmas Oratorio, albeit no velvet this time, with another association with the Museum Catharijneconvent. There is a hardbound booklet accompanying the two SACDs. Liner notes are written by: Dr. Pieter Dirksen, Drs Guus van den Hoot and Jos van Veldhoven.

Maria,

This is the different SJP recording you have been looking for.

Follow this link to listen to the first ten minutes: http://tinyurl.com/6ha2z

First part on CD 1
Second Part on CD 2

(if that matters ... )

What can I say?

More crystalline than dramatic because of the minimal forces used. It could resemble McCreesh's SMP though without the hurried tempi.

Remember I'm no expert. I'm just an averager joe who has had difficulties being seduced by the OVPP B minor mass done by Cantus Cölln and the Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 played by Concerto Italiano.

Not this time!

There is such an aura of intimacy, with just enough poignancy. I guess it might be called a madrigal passion by some. I find it quite delicate.

Let me quote Dr. Dirksen:

" The lack of flute sound, which we so strongly associate with Bach's passions ( the SMP in particular) is thus the most obvious element of our reconstruction. " P15

My feeling is that this recording will get real good reviews.

- happy listening -

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (February 3, 2005):
[To Markku Laurikainen] Finally, someone who speaks my language--the Passion story. I find that to me (not just as a Christian or as an Evangelical (Lutheran), but also as a person, and a deeply religious one at that, who has studied countless hours both religious history and doctrine for my own amusement) the Passion and Passiontide holds a great deal more weight than that other great religious holiday, Christmas. After all, whilst it is important to commemorate the coming of our redemption in the person of the Babe of Bethlehem, I find that it is even more important to truly commemorate the fulfillment of our redemption that took place that first Friday in April the year 33 CE at a place known variably as Golgatha or Calvary. For this reason (as well as the fact that I like minor-keyed music), the settings of the Passion and Oratorios inspired by the Passion story hold a chief place amongst my favorite musical works of art.

A side note: I just listened to samples of the Crecording of the 1724 Johannespassion, and whilst I would gladly buy it, there is one serious flaw in the performance. The same is shared with the Max recording of the 1749 version. The flaw is that it only uses 10 singers in the Choir. In Bach's day, it was customary to use 10 singers per part. That is to say, to use 10 Sopranos, 10 Altos, 10 Tenors, and 10 Basses. Therefore, the size of the Choir would be 40 members.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (February 3, 2005):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"The flaw is that it only uses 10 singers in the Choir. In Bach's day, it was customary to use 10 singers per part. That is to say, to use 10 Sopranos, 10 Altos, 10 Tenors, and 10 Basses. Therefore, the size of the Choir would be 40 members."
We've been here before! Not necessarily (to put it mildly....)

Doug Cowling wrote (February 3, 2005):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
< I find that it is even more important to truly commemorate the fulfillment of our redemption that took place that first Friday in April the year 33 CE at a place known variably as Golgatha or Calvary. >
The weight of scholarship suggests April 7, 30 C.E. as the probable date of the Crucifixion.

Neil Halliday wrote (February 3, 2005):
Sw Anandgyan wrote: (of Veldhoven's new SJP)
http://www.avroklassiek.nl/index.asp?ID=0
"....More crystalline than dramatic because of the minimal forces used. It could resemble McCreesh's SMP though without the hurried tempi..... There is such an aura of intimacy, with just enough poignancy. I guess it might be called a madrigal passion by some. I find it quite delicate."
Nice description of this very enjoyable version. I believe this is the correct tempo for this chorus. I would enjoy more presence in the strings in the opening ritornello (but then I sometimes find 'scratchy' period strings to be irritating, so perhaps best left as is...). The harpsichord and lute in the continuo perhaps compensate with their own charms.

Interestingly, in certain (forte) sections the appealing and effective chorus sounds like it is more than OVPP, in others you can hear the four individual singers.

John Pike wrote (February 3, 2005):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Indeed. David, with the greatest respect, this is an EXTRAORDINARY suggestion. Check the Entwurff and check what scholars say about Bach only using the first choir (approx. 13 choristers at most) for his concerted church music. Where did you get this idea from?

John Pike wrote (February 3, 2005):
[To Sw Anandgyan] Sorry to pester about this again. I get the impression from this that the 1724 version is rarely recorded. If so, which version is usually recorded? Is it the 1749?

Guido de Winne wrote (February 4, 2005):
[To John Pike] Yes in 1749.

Marc 651216 wrote (March 26, 2005):
Johannespassion-Max's recording

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (among other things) about the Max' SJP recording:
>> The Choir-4 singers per each part. This to me is not in keeping with standard practices in Bach's day, which was to have 10 singers per part.>>

His sources were:
>> Firstly, from Bach's critique (1730) on the state of Church Music in Germany.>>
I'd like to ask you: are you sure about this? In this so-called Memorandum (1730) Bach wrote that he had 55 singers to chose from. Bach had to deliver singers for the services in four churches: the Thomaskirche, the Nikolaikirche, the Matthäeikirche (or Neukirche), and the Petrikirche. In the Petrikirche he employed those who did not really understand music and could only just barely sing a chorale.

So, let's say Bach had around 50 singers to chose from, for the first three mentioned churches. I'd say that it's simply not possible to get 40 singers for one service in one of these churches.

Could this mean that the Leipzig situation was the other 'only exception'?

(Mind you: Rifkin, Parrot, McCreesh and - since a couple of months - Van Veldhoven believe that Bach used only 8 singers for both the SJP and the SMP.)

 

OVPP SJP [BeginnersBach:]

Sw Anandgyan wrote (February 2, 2005):
With this link you can listen to the first ten minutes of the recent release of the Johannes Passion performed by Jos van Veldhoven and the Netherlands Bach Society.

You'll have to scroll down a bit: http://tinyurl.com/6ha2z

 

German Reviews

Sw Anandgyan wrote (February 15, 2005):
So the recent OVPP SJP did receive a good review at Klassik.com though not without some harsh comments: http://tinyurl.com/5vwkb

Granted I look at the stars rating and used the Babel Fish mechanical translation device for an approximative understanding.

So did the latest Bach from Herreweghe on the same website.

George wrote (February 15, 2005):
[To Sw Anandgyan] I just read this review as machine translated by Google. Bach is translated throughout to brook
---

e.g. " ...no variant of historical performance practice will state today dogmatisch from itself, exactly the same and not differently at brook time was made music..."

new ways to amuse myself ...

 

SJP by Van Veldhoven

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (February 21, 2005):
Did someone on the list already write any comments concerning the recent release of the SJP conducted by Van Veldoven ? (I apologize if someone did, and I missed the post). I didn't find any discussion on this recording on the Bach Cantatas website.

The few samples I heard on JPC Klassik (JPC | JPC ) are, IMO, extraordinary ! It sounds OVPP. Remarkable polyphonic clearness...

I am looking forward to reading more comments.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (February 21, 2005):
Paul Dirmeikis wrote:
"It sounds OVPP."
It is OVPP!

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (February 21, 2005):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Thanks for confirming what I thought noticing on a 30-second sample. But... nothing else more consistent to say ?

Ehud Shiloni wrote (February 21, 2005):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] Paul - Here's what Sw Anandgyan wrote (February 3, 2005):
[To Bradley Lehman]

Greetings Brad, Aryeh and everyone.

The packaging is quite similar to their Christmas Oratorio, albeit no velvet this time, with another association with the Museum Catharijneconvent. There is a hardbound booklet accompanying the two SACDs. Liner notes are written by: Dr. Pieter Dirksen, Drs Guus van den Hoot and Jos van Veldhoven.

Maria,

This is the different SJP recording you have been looking for.

Follow this link to listen to the first ten minutes: http://tinyurl.com/6ha2z

First part on CD 1
Second Part on CD 2

(if that matters ... )

What can I say?

More crystalline than dramatic because of the minimal forces used. It could resemble McCreesh's SMP though without the hurried tempi.

Remember I'm no expert. I'm just an averager joe who has had difficulties being seduced by the OVPP B minor mass done by Cantus Cölln and the Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 played by Concerto Italiano.

Not this time!

There is such an aura of intimacy, with just enough poignancy. I guess it might be called a madrigal passion by some. I find it quite delicate.

Let me quote Dr. Dirksen:

"The lack of flute sound, which we so strongly associate with Bach's passions ( the SMP in particular) is thus the most obvious element of our reconstruction. " P15

My feeling is that this recording will get real good reviews.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (February 21, 2005):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] I haven't heard it.......yet.

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (February 21, 2005):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Well, apparently, not many list membehave...

[To Ehud Shiloni] Thanks, Ehud, for sending Anandgyan's post (I wonder how I could miss it? Was it sent on the BRL?)

Anyway, I couldn't resist, according to the samples I listened to, and I ordered the set. I don't think I'll be disappointed.

Johan van Veen wrote (February 22, 2005):
Paul Dirmeikis wrote:
< Did someone on the list already write any comments concerning the recent release of the SJP conducted by Van Veldoven ? (I apologize if someone did, and I missed the post). I didn't find any discussion on this recording on the Bach Cantatas website. >
It is very unlikely that many people will have heard the recording, since it has been released very recently. I got my copy in December, because I am supposed to write a review for MusicWeb, but the release was under an embargo until the end of January.

I have heard it once, and I have to listen to it at least a second time, but my first impressions are mixed. The most interesting aspects are the OVPP performance and the version used as reconstructed by Pieter Dirksen. I have heard that version some years ago, when it was performed for the first time by the same ensemble.

As far as the performance is concerned: all soloists and the instrumental ensemble are really very good. One of my disappointments is the generally slow tempo. I find in particular the tempo of the part of the Evangelist far too slow. As a result it doesn't sound natural. In my view the Evangelist is telling a story, and should adopt the appropriate speed of speech. But due to the slow speed too many words and syllables get too much weight and there is too little differentiation between the elements of the text. The general slowness of this performance is the main reason I don't find it very dramaticJust my first general impression.

Marten Breuer wrote (February 23, 2005):
Johan van Veen wrote:
< The most interesting aspects are the OVPP performance and the version used as reconstructed by Pieter Dirksen. I have heard that version some years ago, when it was performed for the first time by the same ensemble. >
What would be most interesting to me: are there any audible differences between the reconstruction by Dirksen and the "ordinary" SJP version? I know the recordings of the 1725 version and I found it very interesting to hear the differences in the part of the Evangelist. AFAIK, however, the 1724 version is lost for the most part, so I would be interested to know what the peculiarities of the "reconstruction" are.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (February 23, 2005):
[To Marten Breuer] Actually, there are significant differences between the one most often performed (which, BTW, is not the 1725 version, but rather the version written between 1739 and 1749 and never performed during Bach's lifetime). Also, it is entirely possible to reconstruct the 1724 version. The major differences between the two versions are as follows:

1.) Movement I: sslightly different notes in parts of the sung portions. Continuo does not have the Crotchets as it does in the version we know.

2.) Movement II: slignt alterations in the Continuo notes. The word "Hohenpriester" is accented.

3.) Movement III: All Chords (not as flowing as in the version we know). Ends in minor Tonic instead of major.

4.) Movement IV: Jesus's words only accompanied by Chords (not as flowing as in the version we know)..

5.) Movement V: not much changed.

6.) Movement VI: ibid.

7.) Movement VII: Some minor alterations

8.) Movement VIII: not much changed

9.) Movement IX: footsteps upward.

10.) Movement X: Most alterred movement. Peter's scene totally redone. In this version, it starts in a low register. Hohenpriester in high (accented) register. Word "Türhueterin" accented thusly: "Thur-HUE-ter-in".

Another significant change is that in the end of this movement and
also in Movement 33, the text comes not from the Matthaeusevangelium
(Gospel according to St. Matthew), but rather the Markusevangelium (Gospel according to St. Mark). The texts in question are as follows:

1.) at the end of Movement 10: "And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, and he wept" (patische on Mark 14: 72).

2.) Movement 33: "And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom" (Mark 15: 38).

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (February 23, 2005):
[To Marten Breuer] Almost forgot:

The change from the Markusevangelium for the last part of Movement 10 and all of Movement 33 to the Matthaeusevangelium came in the 1725 version and never was altered since then (except for the 1728/1732 version, which took those two sections out entirely).

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (February 23, 2005):
[To Johan van Veen] Thank you, Johan, for your comments after your first listening. I'm looking forward to receiving the set I ordered.

Marten Breuer wrote (February 23, 2005):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Thank you very much, David! I am aware of the fact that the 1725 version is not identical to today's "ordinary" version. The differences you are describing remind me, however, quite exactly to what I know from the 1725 version (recorded, e.g., by Herreweghe). In fact, the version of the SJP we are used to includes the general revision of movements I-X which Bach undertook in 1739. So I have the impression that the differences you are referring to reflects the 1725 version rather than the reconstruction by Dirksen (the only exception being movement 33).

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (February 24, 2005):
[To Marten Breuer] Actually, Marten, it does refer to the first (1724) version. As you are aware, the 1725 version starts and ends differently than does the 1724 version. Here are the differences:

Version 1724:

1.) Movement I: Coro "Herr, unser Herrscher"

2.) Movement Nr. 13: Tenorarie "Ach, mein Sinn"

3.) Movements Nr. 19 & 20: Bassorezitativ "Betrachte, meine Seel'" and Tenorarie "Erwaege"

4.) Movement XL: Choralsatz "Ach, Herr, lass' dein' lieb' Engelein"

Version 1725:

1.) Movement I: Choralphantasie "O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde gross"

2.) Mrs. 12-18 moved to Nrs. 13-19

3.) New Nr. 12: Bassarie "Himmelreise, Welt erbebe" mit Sopranchoralsatz "Jesu, deine Passion"

4.) Old Nr. 19 fehlt; Nr. 20: Tenorarie "Ach, windet euch nicht so, geplagte Seelen"

5.) Nr. 40: Choral "Christe, du Lamm Gottes"

Those movements that were kept from the 1724 version are exactly the same in the 1725 version, with the only differences being that at the end of Nr. 10 and in Nr. 33, the text is from the Matthaeusevangelium instead of the Markusevangelium.

Marten Breuer wrote (February 24, 2005):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
< Those movements that were kept from the 1724 version are exactly the same in the 1725 version, with the only differences being that at the end of Nr. 10 and in Nr. 33, the text is from the Matthaeusevangelium instead of the Markusevangelium. >
No disagreement, David, but that's why I wrote that the differences in movements 1-10 don't have to do - except for the parts taken from the Markusevangelium - with Dirksen's reconstruction.

 

SJP by Jos Van Veldhoven

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (February 27, 2005):
I received yesterday the new SJP conducted by Jos Van Veldhoven, and listened completely to it twice (four or five times for some parts - Chorus 1, and some of my favourite arias). I have to say that my comparison criteria are less wide than for the SMP - I have 21 different versions. I only know 6 versions of the SJP: Harnoncourt 1 & 2, Pieter Jan Leusink, Stephen Cleobury, Andrew Parrott, and the Scholars Baroque Ensemble which was my favourite... until now. Moreover, Van Veldhoven has recorded the earliest version (1724), so maybe some could say it's not relevant to compare it to the other recordings. I'm not precisely aware of the differences between the four versions that Bach performed, but according to the booklet, they seem not to be that important.

Anyway, my listening confirmed, and increased the impression I had after hearing the few samples on the JPC website. This version is sublime. What strikes at first is the extraordinary sound of this recording : instrumand voices are so clear, present, warm and subtle. One hears the slightest inflexion of the continuo group. The interlacing of the polyphonic lines is so limpid and readable. Of course, this is not only due to the remarkable recording technique, but also to the OVPP option and the light instrumental forces. The singers are moving, and subtly involved in the drama. All chorals are jewels of sensitivity and expression. They have the nuances and delicacy of church windows.

Unlike Johan van Veen, I don't feel the Evangelist's recitatives are too slow (they mostly clock around the same timings than in the Parrott or the Scholars Baroque Ensemble's version, sometimes a few seconds more or less...), and making the whole Passion less dramatic. It's true that most arias are slower than in the recordings I mentionned above, but not all : arias Nr. 24 and 35 are faster than Parrott and SB Ensemble. Chorus 1 is slower than usual indeed, but Chorus 39 is one minute faster than Parrott ; so there doesn't seem to be here a frank general tempo tendency.

No doubt : I rank this SJP recording number one of the (not very many) versions I know.

(Not mentionning the amazing 200-page hard cover booklet with the most wide collection of Passion illustrations I ever saw in a CD set.)

George wrote (February 27, 2005):
Paul Dirmeikis wrote:
< I received yesterday the new SJP conducted by Jos Van Veldhoven No doubt : I rank this SJP recording number one of the (not very many) versions I know. >
After reading this I decided to buy it. Amazon will sell it starting March 8. The recording is in something called "hybrid SACD" format. I am unfamiliar with this designation. Can someone tell me what it signifies, and if my various plain old "CD" players will reproduce sound from it? Thanks

Craig Schweickert wrote (February 27, 2005):
[To George] It's a multichannel format. The discs are backwards compatable, i.e. playable on stereo systems by coventional CD players. For details and hype, see: http://www.superaudio-cd.com/

George wrote (February 27, 2005):
[To Craig Schweickert] Thank you

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (February 27, 2005):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] Actually, Paul, there are great differences between the five versions of the work. We could discuss this off-list if necessary.

 

CD review: St John Passion - Netherlands Bach Society

Johan van Veen wrote (March 8, 2005):
See: www.musica-dei-donum.net

Boyd Pehrson wrote (March 11, 2005):
[To Johan van Veen] Thanks for your newest CD reviews, I find them to be very interesting and informative. I liked them all and I appreciate your notes about the Schutz and Theile passions. Your inclusion of Theile's remarks are most helpful. I agree about Kurt Equiluz not being equalled in the role of Evangelist. The mold was broken after him! Gurd Türk is performing this role now very well, and he has had lots of practice performing on tour with Bach Collegium Japan.

I recommend Johan's reviews to all: http://www.musica-dei-donum.net/

 

van Veldhoven's Johannespassion

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 15, 2005):
I had just received my order of Jos van Veldhoven's interpretation of BWV 245 version I. The only flaw I could find with it is that it seems that he uses only one Soprano, one Alto, one Tenor, and one Bass in the Choraele. This, as I have often said, was totally against the practices of Bach's time, which was to employ ten performers per each range (that is, ten Sopranos, ten Altos, ten Tenors, and ten Basses).

Donald Satz wrote (March 15, 2005):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Instead of reporting on supposed flaws, perhaps David could tell us if he enjoyed the peformances and the singing.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 15, 2005):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Often said, but still not true.....!

Juan Carlos Herrera wrote (March 15, 2005):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] What you tell as the "only flaw" in the Veldhoven's version of BWV 245 could well be the " total and definitive flaw " for some ears.( like my own one's ) What is your opinion on ovpp in this case and what is the source of your comment on 10 vpp ?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 16, 2005):
[To Juan Carlos Herrera] I do subscribe to the OVPP principle, but only to that group for which it was intended (namely, the Orchestra, not the Choir).

As to the evidence, it is borne out by the countless treatises by Mattheson and others, by the Gottesdienstordnung and other source for Leipzig religious music performances, and by Bach's own critique on proper Church music (1730).

What people seem to forget is that there is and always was a disproportion between the Orchestra and the Choir. According to the aforementioned sources, the Orchestra (on a good day) only consisted of between 20 and 23 players, whilst the Choir always consisted of 40 singers (10 Sopranos, 10 Altos, 10 Tenors, and 10 Basses).

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 16, 2005):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"I do subscribe to the OVPP principle, but only to that group for which it was intended (namely, the Orchestra, not the Choir).
As to the evidence, it is borne out by the countless treatises by Mattheson and others, by the Gottesdienstordnung and other source for Leipzig religious music performances, and by Bach's own critique on proper Church music (1730).

< What people seem to forget is that there is and always was a disproportion between the Orchestra and the Choir. According to the aforementioned sources, the Orchestra (on a good day) only consisted of between 20 and 23 players, whilst the Choir always consisted of 40 singers (10 Sopranos, 10 Altos, 10 Tenors, and 10 Basses)." >
This is even odder - so a choir of 40 balances fine with an ensemble using single strings?! Have you heard such a performance....?!!

Even those not convinced by Parrott and Rifkin's OVPP theories don't maintain that the choir "always" consisted of 10 Sopranos, 10 Altos, 10 Tenors, and 10 Basses!

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 18, 2005):
[To Gabriel Jackson] That is the whole point, though. There never was any balance. That was a 20th-21st-century concern, not an 18th-century one. Besdies, we are talking about the Baroque period, a period in which symetry and balance were almost taboo.

Also, two points:

1.) As to instrumentation, that was what the practice was. The reason why people don't hear it nowadays is because that is not the current way of performance. We had gone over and over that one before, however, when dealing with Orchestral size, and especially that of Matthaeuspassion performance practices nowadays.

2.) You again take OVPP and apply it to the Choir, for which it was never intended. OVPP only applies to the Orchestra.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 18, 2005):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"There never was any balance.That was a 20th-21st-century concern, not an 18th-century one. Besdies, we are talking about the Baroque period, a period in which symetry and balance were almost taboo."
So in the 18th century composers didn't expect their instrumental writing to be heard, only that of the choir.....?!

"You again take OVPP and apply it to the Choir, for which it was never intended. OVPP only applies to the Orchestra."
Really?!! Is that Parrott and Rifkin's position.....?! Best not to use the acronym OVPP in that case.....

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 20, 2005):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"There never was any balance.That was a 20th-21st-century concern, not an 18th-century one. Besdies, we are talking about the Baroque period, a period in which symetry and balance were almost taboo."
Gabriel Jackson wrote:
< So in the 18th century composers didn't expect their instrumental writing to be heard, only that of the choir.....?! >
Essentially, yes in regards to religious music. If you notice in ths scores in the sacred Vocal works, you would see (with the exceptions of times when he had the instrumentalists at piano for dramatic effect) there are very little dynamics (volume) markin the Choral sections and none whatsoever in the Choraele. The only time when extensive dynamics markings are used are in the solo arias or in the accompanied solo parts.

DGL: "You again take OVPP and apply it to the Choir, for which it was never intended. OVPP only applies to the Orchestra."
GJ: < Really?!! Is that Parrott and Rifkin's position.....?! Best not to use the acronym OVPP in that case..... >
Again with performers instead of scholars????????? or instead of Bach himself?????????????????????

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 20, 2005):
Gabriel Jackson wrote:
< So in the 18th century composers didn't expect their instrumental writing to be heard, only that of the choir.....?! >
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"Essentially, yes in regards to religious music. If you notice in this scores in the sacred Vocal works, you would see (with the exceptions of times when he had the instrumentalists at piano for dramatic effect) there are very little dynamics (volume) markings in the Choral sections and none whatsoever in the Choraele. The only time when extensive dynamics markings are used are in the solo arias or in the accompanied solo parts."
So....??? And please, there is no need to tell me what 'dynamics' mean!

GJ: < Really?!! Is that Parrott and Rifkin's position.....?! Best not to use the acronym OVPP in that case..... >
DGL: "Again with performers instead of scholars????????? or instead of Bach himself?????????????????????"
I don't undrrstand what this means at all...

 

About the Passions

Sw Anandgyan wrote (March 21, 2005):
There is a German review of the latest SJP recording done OVPP: http://tinyurl.com/3jph7

Am I ever glad to have the CD-ROM that was offered with the Herreweghe II SMP.

 

A French Review of the OVPP SJP

Sw Anandgyan wrote (April 2, 2005):
Found of the French side of Classic Today: http://tinyurl.com/45ejd

The reviewer sort of kindly trashed it, (5/10) for the lack of ideas that Veldhoven brings into his reading of this Passion. His lack of imagination in his conducting of the great chorales and in the instrumental direction of the arias are also pointed to though he does commend the technique of those players. And he was not pleased with the nasal timbre of Peter De Groot at all. He sure calls it an average passion.

He's been the rare one so far to say so.

 

Recent listening

John Pike wrote (May 10, 2005):
A number of factors prevented me from looking at e mails over the last few weeks but I was still busy listening to Bach. First on was Alfred Deller's recordings of Cantatas BWV 54 and BWV 170, plus the Agnus Dei from the MBM and a few snippets of Handel. I had been trying to get hold of this for ages and, after paying the most I have ever paid for a single CD, for a second hand copy, I was not disappointed. In fact, it would be a desert island recording for me. It is, quite simply, some of the most breath-takingly beautiful music making I have heard. Many thanks to Brad for recommending it on the list many times. I particularly enjoyed the opening movement of BWV 170, the first track on the CD.

Next on was Leusink's recording of BWV 54. His complete recordings of the cantatas cost me only UKP 60 on www.jpc.de. Judging by this first recording, I will have mush to look forward to.

I have also just listened to Veldhoven's new OVPP recording of the SJP. It is certainly very beautiful. The singing is of a very high order, instrumental playing is excellent, and the phrasing, intonation, dynamics etc are all very pleasing. My only criticism would be that some of the drama in the work has been sacrificed in making the music sound beautiful throughout. For example, I found "Wir haben ein Gesetz" just too pleasant. Given how unjust and appalling the action really is, I would have preferred to hear this conveyed in the style of performance. However, otherwise an enjoyable recording.

 

Johannes-Passion BWV 245: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Sung in English | Individual Movements
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6
Systematic Discussions:
Part 1: Mvts. 1-7 | Part 2: Mvts. 6-14 | Part 3: Mvts. 15-20 | Part 4: Mvts. 21-26 | Part 5: Mvts. 27-32 | Part 6: Mvts. 36-40 | Part 7: Summary
Individual Recordings:
BWV 245 - F. Brüggen | BWV 245 - S. Cleobury | BWV 245 - P. Dombrecht | BWV 245 - D, Fasolis | BWV 245 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 245 - E.z. Guttenberg | BWV 245 - N. Harnoncourt-H. Gillesberger | BWV 245 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 245 - E. Higginbottom | BWV 245 - E. Jochum | BWV 245 - E. Kleiber | BWV 245 - P.J. Leusink | BWV 245 - H. Max | BWV 245 - P. McCreesh | BWV 245 - H. Münch | BWV 245 - P. Neumann | BWV 245 - A. Parrott | BWV 245 - P. Pickett | BWV 245 - K. Richter | BWV 245 - H. Rilling | BWV 245 - P. Schreier | BWV 245 - R. Shaw | BWV 245 - K. Slowik | BWV 245 - M. Suzuki | BWV 245 - J.v. Veldhoven
Articles:
Saint John Passion, BWV 245 [T.N. Towe] | The Passion of Saint John, BWV 245 [M. Steinberg] | St. John Passion [A. Wong & N. Proctor] | The St. John Passion on stage [U. Golomb] | Literary Origins of Bach’s St. John Passion: 1704-1717 [W. Hoffman] | Bach’s Passion Pursuit [W. Hoffman]

Jos van Veldhoven: Short Biography | Nederlandse Bachvereniging | Recordings | General Discussions
Individual Recordings:
BWV 232 - Veldhoven | BWV 244 - Veldhoven | | BWV 245 - Veldhoven | BWV 248 - Veldhoven

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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