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Discussion: Bach: St. Matthew Passion - Butt

Posts: 8

Post by terence February 16, 2008 (1 of 8)
my first impressions of this are that it is stunning. choir of 8 singers only. it works.

Post by Arthur February 16, 2008 (2 of 8)
terence said:

my first impressions of this are that it is stunning. choir of 8 singers only. it works.

Thanks, Terence!

That news moves this to the top of my wishlist!


Post by terence February 17, 2008 (3 of 8)
VERY well directed by john butt, urgent and intense without over-pressing. a real sense of teamwork.

Post by Masolino March 13, 2008 (4 of 8)
"VERY well directed by john butt, urgent and intense without over-pressing. a real sense of teamwork."

That is exactly right. However, so far the critical consensus seems to be that, while as a choir the Dunedin Consort is great, as individual voices they fall behind the ones used by McCreesh in his similar recording some years ago. For those who have the chance of comparing the two, do they also agree on this? My McCreesh copy is unfortunately at home thousands of miles away, but I am really impressed by how "un-operatic" (this includes early baroque operas) many of Butt's vocalists sound. Is this a good thing or not when it comes to Bach? In any case, this makes Dunedin Consort's performance so refreshingly different, even from other historically informed ones such as McCreesh's on the DG-Archiv label.

Linn's recorded sound is clearly superior to that provided by DG, and its transparency is only made more evident in the m-channel mode.

Post by Briswest April 12, 2009 (5 of 8)
Some while ago I purchased the Linn St.Matthew Passion, having been very impressed by their earlier "Messiah". I've sat down to listen to it a few times now, but never get more than about half way through the first of the three disks. I just fine the sound extremely fatigueing.....not what I was expecting, but I'm afraid that's how it is. My own opinion surprises me, given all the enthusiastic comments I've read about the sound quality. I also own both the McCreesh and Gardiner versions, and find both of them more sonically acceptable. I can't say I'm a huge Bach enthusiast, so I wouldn't want to offer any comments on the performance. I purchased the McCreesh version when it first appeared, mainly because I heard a sample on a 'Gramophone' sampler, and very much enjoyed the more intimate quality of the soloist-to-a-part approach. I expected the Linn version to be similar, but with better sound, but so far have been unable to warm to it. I'll persist, and who knows, I might have a change of heart in the fullness of time!

Post by lennyw April 5, 2012 (6 of 8)
Will be Top Choice on BBCR3's Building a Library tomorrow. A heads up to beat the rush.

Post by TxMark1962 April 5, 2012 (7 of 8)
I will never learn, I guess, to appreciate (or ever want to own) these historically "accurate" performances with one singer per part....unless new historical evidence has appeared otherwise, I was always under the impression that J. S. Bach (and sons) as well as other Baroque composers used these tiny forces not because they felt an intrinsic desire to do do...rather, they had to struggle with and use what talent they had on hand. Let's face it...Bach, Handel and others did not have the local university choral program or the local civic choir or the big Baptist choir at the big Baptist church down the street or across town....

NOW, this does not mean I want to hear Bach's b minor Mass (or Vivaldi's Gloria or Handel's Messiah or any other Bach composition) with a 250 voice choir...I find performances with 4-6 singers per part to be just the right texture along with a moderately sized orchestra (if on period instruments) or a small orchestra (if on modern instruments)....


Post by old-dog-newtricks April 6, 2012 (8 of 8)
I have this set and enjoy it very much. For me not quite as moving as the Messiah from the same forces but very, very good. I note that no availability from a UK supplier shows in the links on this site which is odd as Crotchet list it as do other UK mail order suppliers. Very reasonable prices too.
PS: Since posting this the availability has updated