J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

St. Matthew Passion

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Sir Georg Solti
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Chicago Symphony Orthestra & The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus & The Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus
Soloists:Margaret Hillis (CSC master)
Doreen Rao (TGECC music director)
Kiri Te Kanawa (soprano - Uxor Pilati)
Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano - Testis I)
Anthony Rolfe
Johnson (tenore)
Tom Krause (bass)
Olaf Bär (Christus)
Hans Peter Blochwitz (Evangelist)
Richard Cohn (Petrus)
Patrice Michaels (Ancilla I)
Debra Austin (Ancilla II)
William Watson (Testis II)
Individual Works:Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244
Record Label:London
Catalog Number:421 177-2
Year Released/Recorded:1987
Comments:From "The New Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and Cassettes", Edward Greenfield, Robert Layton and Ivan March:
Solti uses a reduced-size Chicago Symphony Orchestra and himself hand-picked the choir. With him the Passion is less devotional than celebratory. With speeds on the fast side, resilient rhythms and bright choral tone he brings it closer than usual to the St.John Passion, with its message of heavenly joy. Clean, fresh solo singing, too, with Hans-Peter Blochwitz the sweetest-toned Evangelist on record. Olaf Bär as Jesus is youthfully virile, Anne Sofie von Otter makes a radiant alto soloist giving natural gravity to "Erbarme dich", and this should suit those who still fight shy of authenticity. It is comparable with his companion set of Händel's Messiah, which is successful in much the same way. Brilliant, full, Decca recording with fine presence and clarity - indeed the sound is of the highest order.
Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Guilherme Furtado Filho
Date First Submitted:12/24/1995