JS Bach, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki - St Matthew Passion Excerpts

Published Thursday 12th May 2005
JS Bach, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki - St Matthew Passion Excerpts
JS Bach, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki - St Matthew Passion Excerpts

STYLE: Choral
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12955-
LABEL: BIS BIS-SACD1500
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1
RRP: £15.99

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This release has an interesting history. The recording was made in 1999 and was issued in Surround Sound, meaning few could play it given the scarcity of the hardware. What we have here can be played on any CD player - and it sounds superb on my system - as well as on the latest SACD players. Those with 40 pounds to spare can invest in the three CD set, the rest of us can be more than satisfied with this abridgement that runs to 80 minutes and includes all the best bits of what is arguably Bach's masterpiece. The Bach Collegium Japan strives to present ideal performances of baroque religious music with the musicians using period instruments and the vocalists singing in German while trying to emphasise the verbal nuances of the language. Full texts and translations are provided in the CD booklet. Suzuki builds the tension within the piece from the controlled confusion of "Come You Daughters, Help Me To Mourn" to the sorrowful "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded" and on to the peaceful resolution of "We Sit Down In Tears" that would have concluded the Good Friday service whilst preparing those who mourn for the glory of Easter Sunday.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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