J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

St. Matthew Passion

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Mogens Woeldike
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Soloists:Teresa Stich-Randall
Hilde Roessl-Majdan
Waldemar Kmentt
Walter Berry
Individual Works:St. Matthew Passion BWV 244
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Vanguard Classics
Catalog Number:08 5102 73
Year Released/Recorded:1968
Total Playing Time:198:29
Comments:Simon Crouch said:

Of the many St.Matthew Passions that I've heard on record, this one features perhaps the best solo singing. Voices are well matched (listen to "So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen", in which the soprano and alto perfectly match their vibrato, for example. Good grief, they sound like they've actually rehearsed!). The evangelist is superb and Walter Berry gives a once-in-a-lifetime performance. Woeldike provides relaxed tempi and space for the singers to express themselves. It sounds like they really mean it. The orchestral playing is superb (and sounds like chamber music during the most intimate numbers). The only thing that prevents this from being the perfect recording is the choral singing which, to my ears, isn't up to recent standards. You may also find that Woeldike's tempi in the big choruses don't maintain enough momentum. Still, this is one of the classics. Get it.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Simon Crouch
Date First Submitted:06/21/1998