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ClassicsOnline Home » BACH, J.S.: St. Matthew Passion (Sung in English) (Skidmore)
Good English version
This is a highly recommendable version of Bach's St. Matthew Passion sung in English. This is an authentic performance in the sense that it sounds like a high quality performance given by a chorale group in a British church or cathedral. The soloists handle their vocal lines well and sing in clear English. The choir and orchestra are well rehearsed. This is not an emotionally searing performance like John Elliot Gardener's version sung in German, but the Orchid Classics version is more than adequate. The recording quality is very clear.more....
More than just music
I had never heard Bach's St Matthew's Passion before until I was listening to a radio programme about the impact certain pieces have on people ("Soul Music on BBC Radio 4). In this case, an American was in a deep coma and rapidly slipping away. His wife as a final act, put this on through his MP3 player earphones. Within 30 minutes he started to come out and is now fully fit, 'saved by this music'. So I bought it and have found it remarkable and uplifting. Bach exposes your soul to suffering and yet hope. The use of two choirs and two orchestras opposing each other adds a depth of feeling and questioning not usually found. The soloists bring out the moving tragedy to pierce your own soul with simplicity and yet majesty (reminding me of parts of Handel's Messiah) - releasing one's emotions, sometimes bringing one to tears.
This is truly an example of 'soul music', where one moves into more of a spiritual experience. If you've never listened to this masterpiece by Bach (in English), then take time out, buy it and just listen to it in one go.more....
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