Bach: Matthaus Passion - Ton Koopman: The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra

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Arts Documentary with no narration published by Challenge Classics in 2006 - German language

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Image: Bach-Matthaus-Passion-Ton-Koopman-The-Amsterdam-Baroque-Orchestra-Cover.jpg

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A powerful setting of Jesus's final days, the St Matthew Passion was responsible for the resurgence of interest in JS Bach's sacred choral music after the composer's death. Bach's Matthaus Passion is an intense journey into suffering, guilt and faith. It reflects on the core mystery of the Christian faith with passion yet, as it were, in slow motion, stressing inner emotions rather than action. The solo arias are personal reckonings, and the listener cannot help confronting his or her own human weaknesses. The chorus comments on the Good Friday events as in a Greek tragedy. When in 1723 Johann Sebastian Bach entered upon the office of Thomascantor in the city of Leipzig, he continued one of the most recent and most important innovations introduced by his predecessor, Johann Kuhnau. Under Bach the Passion performances became the musical highpoint of the church year in Leipzig. The first summary worklist of 1750, the year of Bach's death, reported that he had actually composed five Passions. They were apparently performed in alternating fashion, but only two such works are still extant, the Passions according to St. John (first performed in 1724) and St. Matthew (premiered in 1727). A Passion according to St. Mark of 1731 survived in its text only (the music is lost), and of the other two Passions there remains no trace. The St. Matthew Passion—in the early worklist specifically designated "for double chorus" and in the Bach family circle referred to as the "Great Passion" (Grosse Passion)—clearly represents Bach's most significant contribution to this genre of church music. That fact that the Passion of St. Matthew can still overwhelm audiences today is without a doubt. Ton Koopman decided - after the first recording at ERATO more than 10 years ago - to record this masterpiece once again and consequently to put his experience with intensive involvement with the complete cantata by Bach into it. The result could not be more convincing in picture and sound, not the least thanks to the excellent soloists, who are much more well-balanced than the first time. The St Matthew Passion BWV 244 by Johann Sebastian Bach was performed on 22 and 23 March 2005 in the Sint Joriskerk in Amersfoort by Ton Koopman and his Amsterdam Baroque choir and orchestra, and on April 14, 2006 aired at the public broadcaster NCRV (Nederlandse Christelijke Radio Vereniging). This great live recording is an absolute enrichment of - and perhaps even the crowning glory of - the existing Matthaus Passion discography. With Ton Koopman's extensive knowledge of Bach, he knows how to approach the composer so closely that it is precisely this aspect that makes you so moved as a listener. With the Boys from the Sacraments Choir from Breda ; Evangelist: Jorg Durmuller ; Christ: Ekkehard Abele ; Soprano: Cornelia Samuelis ; Alt: Bogna Bartosz ; Tenor Paul Agnew ; Bass: Klaus Mertens Directed by Hans Hulscher ; Produced by Ruud van Breugel ; Challenge Classics Production 2006 -- Part three is a DVD Extra Feature, a conversation between four scholars with a profound knowledge of J.S. Bach: Christoph Wolff, Professor of Music at Harvard University and the Director of the Bach Archive ; Martin Petzold, Minister at St Thomas' Church, Professor of Theology at the University of Lepzig and Chair of the Neue Bach Gesellschaft ; Peter Wollny, Dirctor of the Department of Research at the Bach Archive in Leipzig ; Ton Koopman, Director of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir (25 min.) --

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Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 2 250 Kbps
Video Resolution: 848x476
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 29.970 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 448 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 6
Audio Languages: german
RunTime Per Part: 25 min 15 s - 1 h 33 min
Number Of Parts: 3
Part Size: 488 MB - 1.77 GB
Source: DVD (Thanks to
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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