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Bach: His Music His Life
Bach His Music His Life
Actors: Seraphina Magsamen, Teresa Nawrot, Tomislav Potesak, Mario Potesak, Ivana Potesak
Director: Garry Lane
Genres: Drama, Educational, Military & War
UR     1998


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Movie Reviews

A Delight for Eyes, Ears, and Soul
Mr John Haueisen | WORTHINGTON, OHIO United States | 05/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With six soloists and a double chorus, Bach relates with great passion and devotion St. Matthew's story of the Passion.I was pleasantly surprised by the virtuosity and emotional involvement of nearly all the orchestra's players and the conductor.The music itself, reminded me of Mozart's genius, because likewise, Johann Sebastian Bach was able to include so many exquisite and movingly beautiful musical passages.English sub-titles make this easier to follow than any CD recording.Hermann Prey and Margaret Marshall lead the other very able soloists in an unforgettable performance. The Klosterkirche Alpirsbach provides a perfect setting.If you enjoy Bach, this will be a delight for your eyes, your ears, and your soul."
Great sound, but
Bill E. | Rockville Centre, NY USA | 06/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I had this recording on laser disc, but it deteriorated and became unplayable, so I purchased it in DVD form. I am generally pleased with the performance, but find some of the soloists to be singing out of tune, especially Prey and Marshall, both of whom I usually admire tremendously.

The choral singing is wonderful, but I wish that Guttenberg would have avoided the old practice of stopping at the fermatas in the chorales. I find this to be very annoying. There's also no consistency regarding the style of performance - some arias are decorated in the repeats, while others are not.

One improvement over the laser disc version - the subtitles are complete. In the laser disc version, entire sections of the performance lacked these subtitles."
Superb performance, beautifully filmed
P. Hildebrand | 03/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Highly recommended. The performance is uniformly excellent by all involved. The tempi are appropriately upbeat, as is the norm by today's standards for the St. Matthew Passion, similar to the classic Bernstein recording. The church setting and camera work provide superb visual support for the experience of the music, and the dolby 5.1 sound is a treat, with beautifully clear and sonorous acoustics."
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 04/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

Bach's St. Matthew Passion was composed for the Good Friday service at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig in 1727.

Later Bach carried out some revision work and also inserted other pieces so that over a period of time it became by some measure the largest and grandest of his works.

He used a double chorus, plus a 3rd soprano group for the opening and close of Part one, 2 orchestras,(split so that they always either accompany the first of second chorus), four soloists who carry specific parts and a number of other singers who take other roles.
The text is taken from the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 26 & 27,and from traditional Lutheran Hymns (the chorales). The part of the Evangelist is traditionally sung by a tenor and the part of Jesus by a bass.

This recording fulfills all of the requirements for this Passion. the King's College Choir is divided into 2 separate groups and the Jesus College Choir is the 3rd soprano group. The Evangelist is sung by Rogers Covey-Crump, who does an adequate job of the role, while Michael George is very good as Jesus. The four soloists are outstanding in every way with great diction, wonderful emotional investment and generally pleasing sound.

The highpoint for me is Michael Chance's truly moving rendition of 'Erbarme dich'. His wonderfully rich sounding countertenor voice is filled with the emotion of the moment! Emma Kirkby always sounds good to me; her voice has a clarity and pathos that suits this music very well indeed. I do not particularly like Martyn Hill's tenor sound; it seems edgy and sharp (not Pitch), and it rather annoys me, but that is only my observation.

The Brandenburg Consort is as usual very skillful and correct, as is Cleoburys leadership. This DVD is well done both in audio production and visual clarity."