J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

St. John Passion

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Günther Ramin
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Thomanerchor Leipzig/Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Soloists:Ernst Haefliger (tenor, evangelist & arias)
Franz Kelch (bass, Jesus)
Agnes Giebel (soprano)
Marga Hoeffgen (contralto)
Hans-Olaf Hudemann (bass, Peter, Pilate & arias)
Individual Works:St. John Passion, BWV 245
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Berlin Classics
Catalog Number:0220 015
Year Released/Recorded:1954
Total Playing Time:65'20 + 65'07
Comments:Arnd Koch said:

This recording, done on-site in the Thomaskirche at Leipzig in 1954, (to my knowledge) was the first-ever complete recording of BWV 245 and was then intended and widely understood as a model performance. It was co-produced by GDR's "VEB Deutsche Schallplatten" and West-German Archiv-Produktion of Deutsche Grammophon. The latter provided their (then) up-to-date equipment so that even now the technical standard is quite satisfactory. Ramin was the leading Bach performer of his time, and this recording gives a vivid picture of his style (which was quite outstanding then). Another interesting fact might be pointed out: Karl Richter (compare his recording of BWV 245 mentioned in this web site) was Ramin's organist, disciple and designated successor before he left Leipzig (and the GDR) for Munich in 1951.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Arnd Koch
Date First Submitted:01/05/1998