One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


cover image

CD: AmazonUK

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681–1767) Matthäus Passion (1730) [117:34]
Martin Klietmann, Harumichi Fuijwara (tenor); Berthold Brandstetter (baritone); Andreas Lebeda, Friedrich Ofner (bass); Gertraud Wurzinger, Christine Füssl (soprano)
Collegium Vocale der Schlägler Musikseminare; Barockorchester München/Rupert Gottfried Frieberger
rec. Musikzentrum St Norbert, Schlägl, Oberöstereich 1985?. ADD.
CHRISTOPHORUS CHE 0150-2 [64:57 + 52:37]

Experience Classicsonline

One of music's most prolific composers, Telemann wrote no fewer than 46 passions. That according to the Gospel of Matthew written in 1730 during his time in Hamburg is generally regarded as the most 'fetching', profound, the most beautiful. Its choruses and arias have frequent passages of real grace and originality. This recording on Christophorus has more good points than it does drawbacks.

In the first place, the Collegium Vocale der Schlägler Musikseminare and Barockorchester München under Rupert Gottfried Frieberger are at home with the idiom and well able to convey the variety of emotions with which Telemann infused the text. It's a gentle Passion. Certainly much less demonstrative than J.S. Bach's much better known version from about the same time. There is loss, sadness and resignation in the tonal centres of Telemann's arias, choruses and recitatives. This is reinforced by a sense of great simplicity achieved by two-voice choral movements with octave doubling.

This transparency is particularly striking when Telemann's involvement in opera and significantly more dramatic writing is taken into account. Even the moments of tension and decisive climacterics sound restrained, held back, understated even. This is deliberate and intentional on Telemann's part. The players on this two-CD set respect such subtlety entirely; their cool and controlled approach add to our appreciation of the work … almost as monochrome treatment of scenes with a single outstanding event enhances their impact by concentrating our attention to the substance over the context.

At the same time this Matthäus Passion is comparatively unrestrained where the moments of joy and celebration are concerned … at the resurrection, the Frohlocket aria, [CD.2. tr.31], for example. These serve, too, to throw the expression of the rest of the work into more poignant relief.

The instrumental soloists are generally on target. The ensemble work is convincing. It quietly demands our attention - particularly the woodwind, special parts for which indicate that opportunities were found for contemporary flute and oboe virtuosi in Telemann's Hamburg circle.

Not all the soloists, though, are entirely up to snuff, unfortunately, with more than a hint here and there of unintentional vibrato … Gertraud Wurzinger in Ach Heiland [CD.1 tr.13], for example, is decidedly weak and wobbly. A few numbers later in her solo aria, Bis in den Tod [CD.1. tr.16], the same singer is a touch flat. Then the oboist at the start of Was ist das Schmeicheln [CD.1. tr.21] trips a couple of times - but barely noticeably. In the main, the soloists use just the right amount of expression with a convincing technique.

It's a huge plus that the performers conceive, raise and maintain a consistently lively and appropriately-directed dedication to the musical lines, architecture and textures that are required by Telemann. This, and Frieberger's imaginative, consistent and engaging tempi hold the interpretation together, which goes a long way towards compensating for its shortfalls.

The notes and text (in German) that come with this CD are minimal to say the least. The acoustic is dry and somewhat unresponsive. Given the intimate atmosphere for which There is another recording of the 1730 Matthäus Passion: from seven years later (1992) under Kurt Redel with Sena Jurinac and Theo Altmeyer among the soloists with the Lucerne Festival Chorus and Swiss Festival Orchestra on Philips 432500. The current recording must be regarded in many ways as equally mixed. If you haven't got this work and want to give it a try, don't let its faults stand in your way, though. It's an intriguing composition; Frieberger and his forces still make it very appealing.

Mark Sealey

A creditable, persuasive yet less than perfect recording of Telemann's 1730 Matthew Passion.… see Full Review


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.