J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

St. Matthew Passion

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Karl Richter
Accompaniment/Orchestra:M³nchener Bach-Chor; M³nchener Chorknaben; M³nchener Bach-Orchester
Soloists:Ernst Haefliger, Tenor (Evangelist & Arias)
Kieth Engen, Bass (Jesus)
Irgmard Seefried, Soprano (Arias)
Antonia Fahberg, Soprano (First Maid, Pilate's Wife)
Hertha Töpper, Contralto (Arias, 2nd Maid)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Bass (Arias)
Max Proebstl, Bass (Judas, Peter, Pilate, High Priest)
Individual Works:St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Archiv Produktion
Catalog Number:439 388-2
Year Released/Recorded:1958
Total Playing Time:3 hours
Comments:Eduardo Antoja said:

The first St Matthew Passion recording conducted by Richter, now available on CD. Superb.

Eduardo Antoja said:

Considered the best Bach performer, Karl Richter show with this powerful & great Passion his deep artistry. The choir is all well-rounded and the Bass arias are brilliantly sung by Dieskau

Benjamin Knysak said:

Yes, it most certainly is not an authentic recording by performance standards, but what Karl Richter achieves is total art. I realize all recordings on this site have rave reviews, but, take this one in earnest -- Richter's performance will force you to succomb to every aspect of the passion. In this respect, it truely is a "passion" by modern standards; that is, a performance that succeeds in communicating the the great drama of the work. Don't take this the wrong way, it is not a bacchic and self-indulgant like, for instance, Bernstein tended to be; rather, Richter shows his true love for the score and drama. Personally, the definitive recording.

Doo-Won Yang said:

Why do we have to persist in Authentic Perfomance on Bach's Work. Yes, Ofcourse, Richter's interpretation may not agree with Bach's original intention. But we can respect the man who create a new traditon for Matthew Passion. Grand and powerful Chorus, beautiful and moderate arias. Most of all, we can meet Ernst Haefliger, who are the greatest Evangelist in the history of This Work.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Eduardo Antoja
  • Gustavo Gómez Sosa
  • Benjamin Knysak
  • Doo-Won Yang
Date First Submitted:06/04/1998