J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

St. John Passion

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Ton Koopman
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Instrumentation:Choir
Orchestra
Individual Works:St. John Passion, BWV 245
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Erato
Catalog Number:4509-94675-2
Year Released/Recorded:1993
Total Playing Time:2 CDs: 1:48:30
Related Web Site:http://www.tonkoopman.nl
Comments:Henk Moorlag said:

Recommended.

Andrew Block said:

I've been doing a detailed comparison between Gardiner's and Koopman's recordings. Although each has their own characteristics, they are remarkably similar throughout in tempos, balance, and sound. Wheras Gardiner tends to follow a slightly more straightforward approach, Koopman adds little injections of momentum and nuance that put a slightly different spin on the music. For example, in the chorus' opening three "Herr's," Gardiner's choir gives each one the same attack and velocity, wheras Koopman tailors each "Herr" a little differently to suggest a sort of direction -- in this case they sound more frightening than Gardiner's. I like that. Also, the ABO's choir is so pure and perfect, there are times where they are literally breathtaking. The technical aspects of the recording are excellent. Koopman really has a way of bringing Bach to life. When it boils down to preference, I'd take the Koopman. Yet being stuck on the proverbial desert island with Gardiner wouldn't be bad, either.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Henk Moorlag
  • Andrew Block
Date First Submitted:09/20/1997