Bach - St. John Passion (2009)


The Netherlands Bach Society

Jos Van Veldhoven

 This issue of the St. John Passion is also a special event in the world of music, because a choice has been made for Bachs very earliest version of this work (1724) in a reconstruction by musicologist Dr. Pieter Dirksen. The Netherlands Bach Society performs the work in a small-scale scoring with ten singers and eleven instrumentalists, no distinction being made between choristers and soloists. According to the most recent research, this scoring constitutes a very close approximation of the ensemble with which Bach gave the first performance of the St. John Passion. Bachs St. John Passion is less well known to some than his St. Matthew Passion: unjustly so, in many peoples opinion. Judge for yourself, as you treat both your ears and eyes to this performance of the Netherlands Bach Society...

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The Netherlands Bach Society

Founded in 1921, The Netherlands Bach Society is the oldest Early Music ensemble in the Netherlands, and possibly in the whole world. Yet along with the musicians, its artistic director Jos van Veldhoven is still continually in search of contemporary ways of presenting this music, whether it be the traditional performances of the St. Matthew Passion in Naarden, other works by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) or music by his predecessors, successors, contemporaries and fellow spirits.

The programmes are often compiled in an original way and thus give a refreshing view of the various musical styles from Schütz/Monteverdi to Haydn/Mozart, as well as of the central composer Bach himself. The flexibility of the ensemble makes it possible to perform works from the secular and sacred repertoires in a great variety of combinations of musicians. In the concerts, top priority is given to beauty, emotion, quality and authentic experience.

For a long time now, the activities of The Netherlands Bach Society have not been restricted to Naarden or Het Gooi, in the Netherlands. They are attracting growing national and international attention from large concert halls and important music festivals, and the ensemble increasingly plays the honourable role of cultural ambassador.

Besides working with principal conductor Jos van Veldhoven, The Netherlands Bach Society also performs with leading early music specialists from the Netherlands and abroad, such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Peter Dijkstra, Richard Egarr, Gustav Leonhardt, Paul McCreesh, Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Masaaki Suzuki.

In order to reinforce the authentic experience, the concerts are supported where necessary by fringe programming, including introductions, workshops, exhibitions and book publications. Further emphasis is provided by the educational projects, which have also received several awards (e.g. Euro Media Award and the Classical Music Award from the Dutch Association of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD)).

The Netherlands Bach Society and Jos van Veldhoven have recorded several CDs for Channel Classics, including the Great Organ Mass with the organist Leo van Doeselaar and Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Illustrated editions of the Christmas Oratorio, the St. John Passion and the Mass in B minor have been published in collaboration with Museum Catharijneconvent.

Jos Van Veldhoven

Jos van Veldhoven studied musicology at Utrecht University, and choral and orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory in TheHague. He has been artistic director of TheNetherlands Bach Society since 1983, in which capacity he regularly directs performances at home and abroad of the major works of JohannSebastian Bach, his predecessors and contemporaries.Van Veldhoven also directs the UtrechtsBarok Consort, which he founded in 1976. With these ensembles he has made a great number of national and international radio, tv and cd The Netherlands Bach Society recordings, and has appeared in festivals in theNetherlands, Europe, the United States and Japan.Jos van Veldhoven is a frequent guest conductor with Dutch and foreign orchestras, including DasOrchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, The TokyoPhilharmonic Orchestra, the Robert Schumann Philharmonie, the Essener Philharmoniker, theBrabant Orchestra and the Limburg SymphonyOrchestra. Since 2001 he has collaborated with director Dietrich Hilsdorf on a cycle of stage dHandel oratorios at the opera houses of Bonn,Chemnitz and Essen.Jos van Veldhoven has attracted frequent attention with performances of newly discovered repertoire within the realm of early music, including noteworthy performances of oratorios by Telemann and Graun, Vespers by Gastoldi,reconstructions of Bach’s St Mark Passion, theso-called Köthener Trauer-Music and many unknown seventeenth-century dialogues. VanVeldhoven has conducted many contemporary premieres of Baroque operas by composers including Mattheson, Keiser, Andrea, Bononcini,Legrenzi, Conti and Scarlatti.Jos van Veldhoven is professor of choral conducting at the Amsterdam Conservatory and theRoyal Conservatory in The Hague. In 2007 he was appointed Knight of the Order of the NetherlandsLion for his pioneering services to early music.

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Bach - St. John Passion (2009)


The Netherlands Bach Society

    Turoks Choice

wonderful resonance, exceptional packaging.

    Friesch Dagblad

Het is duidelijk: de twee visies kunnen naast elkaar bestaan. ... Kleurrijk, soepel en levendig


Jos van Veldhoven ist mit der bei Channel Classics erschienen Aufnahme ein grauer Wurf gelungen....Stuttgarter Zeitung () Es ist ein wahre Lust, den Ausfahrenden zu lauschen

    Fono Forum

eine sehr sinnliche, suggestive, und zugleich kontemplativ-besinnliche Nahaufnahme der Passionsgeschichte

    Philadelphia Inquirer

There's never a routine moment. Musically or dramatically, and the level of harmonic detail is amazing.


Betrend schöne, sehr durchsichtige, aber niemals dnne Klangbild


Een zeer bijzondere Johannes Passie (...) (...) een sfeer van kamermuziek, in de koralen hoor je niet het enkele weefsel van het koor, maar de kleuren van de individuele stemmingen, die menigeen dichterbij het evangelie verhaal zal brengen (...)

    Financieel Dagblad

De ironie wil dat Jos van Veldhoven, die met zijn Bach-interpretaties de perfectie het dichtst benaderde, nu helemaal opnieuw het evenwicht verstoort. [..] Dit is een experiment. De slinger van de tijd zal hopelijk terugslaan. Elsevier (...) Al luisterend blijf ik ook maar in het 200 pagina's tellende kunstboek bladeren. Gereformeerd Kerkblad (...) Er komt een erg dynamische, levendige Bach naar voren. De kleine bezetting komt blijkbaar steevast de muziek ten goede en daar gaat het uiteindelijk toch om. Diederick Verstraete (...) De hier weergegeven oorspronkelijk versie klink mooi scherp en kruidig. (...) (...) De ritselende begeleiding van de theorbe versterkt de intimiteit van deze passie

    International Record Review

The team of soloists is admirable ....The standard of instrumental playing is very high, and I noticed hardly any moments of sour tuning or imperfect ensemble.....Enormous care and effort has clearly gone into the production (, and this is also reflected in the superlative recording quality. Strongly recommended!!

    Klassiek Zaken

een frisse kijk op de Johannes Passion, nog lichter en helderder dan we de laatste jaren gewend waren. Bovendien versta je nu wat er gezongen wordt!


Somptueusement dite ... une version ideale a offrir ... cette version se caractérise surtout par son caractère chambriste, par sa lgrit sonore.... quel beau cadeau pour les ftes de Piques!

Exzellente Interpretation, der Klang ist auf hohem Niveau. Magazin.

    Sunday Times

It is not only the superb presentation that makes this new set of Bach's smaller Passion oratorio so desirable, Van Veldhoven offers a putative reconstruction of the original 1724 score using Bach's fourth and final version. He opts for a small chorus of eight singers, and such a tiny consort of singers works well () (...) It is a devotional and dramatic account of this extraordinary work, with exceptional contributions from Gerd Trk's St. John, Stephan MacLeod's Christus and the beautiful bass of Bas Ramselaar in the aria's

    Classic FM

Richly nuanced, emotionally charged interpretation. a performance of delicate and subtle tonal, transparent clarity, matched with sober tempi from conductor Jos van Veldhoven. The latter impart a contemplative character and a rich context for expressive colour to blossom. A performance of clarity, colour and contemplation. Sydney Morning Herald () Van Veldhoven's fine recording captures a vision of the St. John's Passion shaped by years of musical, historical, and cultural research.

    Haagsche Courant

Het is een waar genoegen de Johannes zo fris te horen, alsof de inkt van Bach nog nat was. De verzorging van de box is boven alle lof verheven een vormt ook zonder cds een prachtuitgave. Luister () prachtige resultaten in de vloeiend klinkende koralen ....onvergetelijke vertolking van de countertenor Peter de Groot in 'Es ist vollbracht'

    Music Week

Channel Classics has once again produced a dream package of recording and artwork, with the musical component here surpassing the high level set by the Netherlands Bach Society. Medieval images of Christs Passion reproduced in vivid colour in the accompanying book, complement the very personal, private sense of grief expressed by Jos van Veldhoven and his admirable musicians (...)


De belangrijkste verrassing schuilt in de muziek. Uitermate mooi van afwerking en frappant anders dan anders.... Een kamermuzikale doorzichtigheid die uitstekend past bij tekst en melodie. Overtuigend klinkende koralen, slanker, intiemer en minder als gemeentezang, maar evenzeer aanzettend tot betrokkenheid. (...) NRC Met zon klein vocaal ensemble en enkelvoudig bezette orkestpartijen klinkt het werk intiem, maar zeker niet vlak. Dissonanten kunnen bijvoorbeeld scherper worden aangezet en artistiek leider Jos van Veldhoven staat garant voor vele nuances.

Bach - St. John Passion (2009)


The Netherlands Bach Society

Cables: van den Hul T3 series
Digital Converters: Grimm A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Amsterdam Holland
Recording Software: Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audiolab, Holland

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31309: Bach - St. John Passion
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Herr, unser Herrscher, dessen Ruhm
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Jesus ging mit seinen Ju_ngern ...
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St. John Passion Part 1 - O grosse Lieb, o Lieb ohn alle Masse
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Auf dass das Wort erfu_llet wu_rde ...
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Dein Will gescheh, Herr Gott, zugleich
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Die Schar aber und der Oberhauptmann ?
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Von den Stricken meiner Su_nden
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Simon Petrus aber folgete Jesus ...
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Ich folge dir gleichfalls mit freudigen Schritten
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Derselbige Ju_nger war dem Hohenpriester bekannt ...
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Wer hat dich so geschlagen
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Und Hannas sandte ihm gebunden ?
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Ach, mein Sinn
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St. John Passion Part 1 - Petrus, der nicht denkt zuru_ck
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Christus, der uns selig macht
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Da fu_hreten sie Jesum ...
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Ach grosser König, gross zu allen Zeiten
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Da sprach Pilatus zu ihm ?
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Betrachte, meine Seel, mit ängstlichem Vergnu_gen
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Erwäge, wie sein blutgefärbter Ru_cken
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Und die Kriegsknechte flochten ...
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Durch dein Gefängnis, Gottes Sohn ...
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Die Ju_den aber schrieen ...
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Eilt, ihr angefochtnen Seelen
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Allda kreuzigten sie ihn ...
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St. John Passion Part 2 - In meines Herzens Grunde
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Die Kriegsknechte aber ...
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Er nahm alles wohl in acht
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Und von Stund an nahm sie der Ju_nger ...
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Es ist vollbracht!
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Und neiget das Haupt ?
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Mein teurer Heiland, laß dich fragen
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Und der Vorhang im Tempel zerriß ...
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Mein Herz, in dem die ganze Welt
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Zerfließe, mein Herze, in Fluten der Zähren
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Die Ju_den aber, dieweil es der Ru_sttag war ?
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St. John Passion Part 2 - O hilf, Christe, Gottes Sohn
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Darnach bat Pilatum Joseph von Arimathia ...
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine
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St. John Passion Part 2 - Ach Herr, laß dein lieb Engelein
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