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Paul McCreesh - Bach: St. Matthew Passion (2003)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 16-04-2019, 12:40
Paul McCreesh - Bach: St. Matthew Passion (2003)
Artist: Paul McCreesh & Gabrieli Players
Title Of Album: Bach: St. Matthew Passion
Year Of Release: 2003
Label: ARCHIV Produktion
Country: UK
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (*image + .cue, log, scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 2:41:31
Full Size: 739 MB

It's fast and it's light and if it were an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, it would be the greatest recording ever made. But it's Bach's St. Matthew Passion, arguably the greatest piece of religious music ever written by arguably the greatest composer of religious music who ever lived and fast and light are the last adjectives one would want to attach to a performance. But how else could one characterize Paul McCreesh's 2002 recording of the work with the Gabrieli Players? While it's not all that much faster than most of the other recent period instrument performances of the Passion, McCreesh's performance feels much, much faster: its meditative arias are too fast for contemplation, its dramatic recitatives are too fast for comprehension, its chorales are too fast for enjoyment, and its narrative is too fast for edification. And while lightness clarifies the work's textures, lightness inevitably reduces the work's gravity and with it, the music's profundity. And a performance of the St. Matthew Passion without gravity and profundity is hardly a performance of a work on the crucifixion and death of the Son of God. The solo singing is splendid, especially Magdalena Kozena's Erbarme dich mein, o Here Gott. And even though each chorus consists of only four singers each, the choral singing is superb, especially in the closing "Wir setzen uns mit Tranen nieder." The solo instrumentalists are wonderful and the orchestral playing is magnificent. But McCreesh's interpretation is so fast, light, shallow, and superficial that none of it matters. -- James Leonard

Paul McCreesh - Bach: St. Matthew Passion (2003)

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