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Discussion: Bach: St Matthew Passion - Jacobs

Posts: 32
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Post by canonical October 22, 2013 (21 of 32)
More interesting tidbits about this:

1) There is no CD label on the box at all ... just SACD logos. The word CD does not even appear on the box -- just "2 SACDs + 1 DVD". No blurbs to say that this also plays on CD players ... no blurb about hybrids ... just SACD logos ... and that's it. Beautiful presentation.

2) I usually only use headphones like a microscope -> to zoom in ... I find them too fatiguing/intense for general listening. Anyway, I gave a listen to the opening Chorus (Track 1) with headphones ... it was just phenomenal. What was even more interesting was then contrasting it with the redbook CD layer on the same disc ... listen to the strident doom cello beats in the opening bars: on the SACD layer, they are just live and reverberant and amazing, but on the CD layer they are flat and dull. I am just impressed at the difference hi-rez makes here.

Post by nucaleena October 22, 2013 (22 of 32)
canonical said:

More interesting tidbits about this...... I am just impressed at the difference hi-rez makes here.

Agreed, sbsolutely.

Post by Polly Nomial October 23, 2013 (23 of 32)
jeff3948 said:

Since item page will not allow review posting...

Sorry - I slipped up & missed this being "released".


Post by Polly Nomial October 23, 2013 (24 of 32)
canonical said:

Why does this entry say: "Not yet released"??? My copy arrived today.

I miss things. Sorry!

If anyone spots anything amiss (like not being released), please feel free to email me or "report an error" - this is more reliable than posting in the forum which I don't always manage to keep fully up to date with (I get an email appearing in my inbox).


Post by JohnProffitt October 26, 2013 (25 of 32)
I've listened to the entire Passion twice now, in glorious surround.

Although rating a supreme masterpiece like the Matthew Passion is difficult -- the infinite variables of a performance will always bring one up short somewhere -- I have concluded that this one is, indeed, the "best" recorded performance overall I know.

The rendition of the parts of the Evangelist and Jesus are superb: as good as any.

The choral singing rises to the previously (for me) untouched high standard of Klemperer's Philharmonia Chorus: dramatic and awe-inspiring, yet sensitive when called for. No "one-to-a-part-nonsense" here!"

The orchestral playing is exquisite: again, as good as you will hear on any recording.

The recorded sound: I will say this -- it serves this masterwork very well indeed! When you listen with a good surround system you will hear sound and technology in complete service to the music; I think JSB would have approved.

One of the supreme creations of western civilization in an audio recording that is as good as any....and better than most! Highly recommended.

Post by canonical January 19, 2014 (26 of 32)
I was very lucky indeed to be able to hear the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin live last night during their Sydney tour --- fabulous concert it was too.

Post by Stanbury January 4, 2015 (27 of 32)
Can anybody tell us how the organs in this SACD were recorded? Did they have two pipe organs in the studio, or were they electronic, or did they use overdubbing?

Post by Geohominid January 4, 2015 (28 of 32)
I've been through the 174 page booklet looking for photographs of session layout but there aren't any. Bach clearly wrote the St Matthew Passion "with both organs". The first of these organs was for the Great Organ at the West End of the Church. Jacobs discusses the whereabouts of Choir 2 with its organ in St Thomas. There was a second organ in the Swallow's Nest gallery in front of the triumphal arch not far from the altar. But this organ was removed in 1740, and Bach had to provide a harpsichord part for Choir 2 in subsequent performances of the Passion.

For the recording in Teldex Studios, Berlin, which photographs of the interior show not to have an organ, two portatitive organs would most likely be included with each of the orchestras and choirs I and 2, wherever in the Studio these groups were placed to get the sound as close to Bach's requirements as possible.

Hope this helps. If anyone else has further information, I will be interested to hear it


Post by JohnProffitt January 4, 2015 (29 of 32)
It is reasonable to assume (absent direct confirmation) that two portative "chamber" organs were brought into the Teldex studio for the recording. This would have been simple logistically, and I cannot believe that the Akademie would ever entertain the thought of an electronic imitation organ for any of their efforts.

Post by Stanbury January 4, 2015 (30 of 32)
From the description of portative organs in Wikipedia, these instruments seem to small to generate the sound on this SACD. Could "positive" organs have been used?

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