St. Matthew Passion by Bach
It has been a week since Easter 2012. I am not a christian, though I used to learn Bible and to attend a church when I was young. It has been a kind of habit for me to listen to St. Matthew Passion by Bach around Easter every year. Maybe, since my med school days.
Last night, as that habit ordered me to, I listened this music played by Munchen Bach Ensemble Karl Richter conducted. It was the latest recording for him in 1971, I believe. Some people, believers in authentic performance, speak ill of it, or insist that he has returned to old fashioned performance away from his earlier achievement with strict and authentic performance. I prefer, however, this performance to his earlier ones. The 1st music starts with slower tempo, in which the basso continuo is believed to express Jusus' pace to the hill of Golgotha. Richter might have restored to the old fashioned romanticism. So what? This performance should appeal deeper to the audience, at least, to me. I believe it fits this memorable history of tragedy. Just listen this enormous ouverture to the historical epic. You may listen the sound of Jesus's steps in the basso continuo.