Cum Sancto Spiritu - Johann Sebastian Bach - Karl Richter / Maria Stader / Hertha Töpper / Ernst Hae
Label: Archiv Produktion - 2722 026 • Format: 3x, Vinyl LP 3x, Box Set • Country: Germany • Genre: Classical • Style: Baroque
Bach: St. Be the first to review this title. Only one singer is common to both recordings, and that is Cum Sancto Spiritu - Johann Sebastian Bach - Karl Richter / Maria Stader / Hertha Töpper / Ernst Hae Fischer-Dieskau.
But who is this Fischer? Some argue Cri De Coeur - Infidel - Demo Klemperer is deeper and more profound, others the opposite.
In the recording, none of the singers perform all their written trills that often echo the instrumental accompaniment, while in they do. The later Richter version uses a harpsichord in the secco recitatives instead of the organ heard in But compromises of taste must always come into play when listening to, or reviewing, any pre Bach.
For me, the greatest of all St. Rilling, like El Bodeguero (Grocers Cha-Cha) - Nat King Cole - Cole Español, has never really bought into the concept of straight tone for the strings or insisting that none of his singers have any sort of vibrato in their voices, but he did adopt a more rhythmically light approach, with smaller choruses than those used by Richter or Klemperer, without sacrificing his inherent ability to draw an emotionally committed performance from his forces.
I have no head count of the number of musicians used on both, but Richter sounds as if he is using fewer. In any event, his textures are far more transparent. Both tenors sing both the Evangelist and the tenor arias; on the Klemperer recording, Peter Pears is the superb Evangelist while Nicolai Gedda sings the arias.
Engen had the beginnings of a bass wobble in his voice at the time of recording. Fischer-Dieskau is a hard act to equal, let alone surpass, but Thomas Quasthoff gives one of his greatest performances on disc in the Rilling version.
Irmgard Seefried, though only 40 at the time, sounds a little edgy in her top notes, which were starting to wear, whereas Christiane Oelze for Rilling is both bright and fresh-voiced. Yet, in the end, it almost seems like splitting hairs to choose between these two versions. The little flaws in the Richter version are venial rather than mortal sins. By and large, the feel of this Richter performance is not as heavy as Klemperer.
The bottom line is that, although I still prefer Rilling, if this were the only recording of this piece I had ever heard or owned I would certainly not be disappointed.
Both are at the very pinnacle of St. Matthew Passion performances. Review This Title Share on Facebook. The perfect gift for the classical music enthusiasts!
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