J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

St. John Passion

Main Performer
or Conductor:
John Eliot Gardiner
Accompaniment/Orchestra:English Baroque Soloists & The Monteverdi Choir
Soloists:Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Evangelist (tenor)
Stephen Varco, Jesus (bass)
Cornelius Hauptman, Pilate (bass)
Nancy Argenta (soprano)
Rith Holton (soprano)
Michael Chance (countertenor)
Neill Archer (tenor)
Rufus Mueller (tenor)
Individual Works:St. John Passion, BWV 245
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Archiv Produktion
Catalog Number:419 324-2
Year Released/Recorded:1986
Total Playing Time:2 CDs 1:02:32
Comments:Todd M. Billeci said:

A deeply moving reading beautifully performed and recorded. Gardiner uses his usual period forces to great effect, as his orchestra does not eschew vibrato yet the texture remains transparent. This is apparent from the first chorus "Herr, unser Herrscher," in which passing dissonances appear and vanish from the contrapuntal fabric with striking clarity. Gardiner opted to use women in the choir and arias, which lends more musicality, as period performances using boys in this difficult repertoire often sound sophomoric to these ears. The caliber of the singing is second to none, notably in the haunting aria "Es ist vollbracht!" This is a disc to treasure.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Brad Leissa
  • Guilherme Furtado Filho
  • Todd M. Billeci
Date First Submitted:01/13/1998