Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings Releases Bach's St John Passion

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Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings releases Bach's St John Passion conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and directed by Peter Sellars on DVD and Blu-Ray. The orchestra’s in-house label also reissues Peter Sellars’s staging of St Matthew Passion, which receives its U.S. premiere October 7 and 8 at the Park Avenue Armory.

Bach's St John Passion

Brilliant and energetic - The New York Times

The Berliner Philharmoniker released its live recording of Bach’s spiritual and dramatic St John Passion, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and staged by Peter Sellars, in a box set comprising both DVD and Blu-Ray, on Friday, September 19. The linen-bound hardcover edition from the orchestra’s new in-house label, Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, features St John Passion in the best possible picture and sound quality with extensive bonus material, including an interview with Sir Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars, an introduction to the work by Chorus Master Simon Halsey, and a comprehensive booklet with photos. The set is available from http://www.berliner-philharmoniker-recordings.com and Arkiv Music.

Soloists for the performances were tenor Mark Padmore in the role of the Evangelist, soprano Camilla Tilling, mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená, tenor Topi Lehtipuu, baritone Roderick Williams (Jesus), baritone Christian Gerhaher (Pilatus, Petrus) with the Rundfunkchor Berlin (Berlin Radio Chorus) under Chorus Master Simon Halsey. The performances were recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie on February 27 and 28 and March 1, 2014.

Sir Simon Rattle says of the work, “The St John Passion is the first big Bach I conducted and it changes your life. The St Matthew Passion is a completely different animal, full of thought and consolation, while the St John is full of horror and terror. It is one of the most aggressive and violent pieces ever written, so dissonant and experimental that it is still astonishing today. You could live 20 lives and never discover all its secrets.” The performances at the Philharmonie were hailed by the New York Times as “brilliant and energetic” and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung praised the “haunting, almost unsurpassble singing, of all those involved.”

In addition, Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings released a new edition of their highly acclaimed production of Bach’s St Matthew Passion on Friday, September 5. St Matthew Passion, also led by Sir Simon Rattle and staged by Peter Sellars with soloists Mark Padmore, Magdalena Kožená, Topi Lehtipuu, and Christian Gerhaher, and Thomas Quasthoff, was recorded live at the Philharmonie in April 2010. It is now available in the same linen-bound hardcover DVD and Blu-ray set as the St John Passion. Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings’ inaugural release of Robert Schumann’s complete symphonies conducted by Sir Simon Rattle is also available in a two-CD and Pure Audio Blu-ray set, as well as a limited edition four-LP set, pressed on 180g virgin vinyl. The Schumann set can be purchased from berliner-philharmoniker-recordings.com, iTunes and Arkiv Music.

In October, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle will bring Peter Seller’s semi-staged production of Bach’s St Matthew Passion starring Mark Padmore, Christian Gerhaher, Camilla Tilling, Magdalena Kožená, Topi Lehtipuu, and Eric Owens to the Park Avenue Armory on October 7 and 8 at 7:00 p.m. The orchestra and Mr. Rattle will also perform Schumann’s complete symphonies in two concerts at Carnegie Hall: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 on Sunday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m., and Symphonies No. 3 and 4 bookending the U.S. premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ dark dreams, commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation and Carnegie Hall, on Monday, October 6 at 8:00 p.m. The orchestra will play additonal concerts at Carnegie Hall featuring works by Rachmaninoff, Bruch and Stravinsky on October 1 and 2.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH    
St John Passion, BWV 245

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER
Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor

Camilla Tilling, Soprano
Magdalena Kožená, Mezzo-Soprano
Topi Lehtipuu, Tenor (arias)
Mark Padmore, Tenor (Evangelist)
Roderick Williams, Baritone (Jesus)
Christian Gerhaher, Baritone (Pilatus, Petrus)

Rundfunkchor Berlin
Simon Halsey, Chorus Master
Peter Sellars, Staging

Bonus: Introduction by Simon Halsey,
Sir Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars in conversation

Voucher: 7-day ticket for the Digital Concert Hall

Recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie
February/March 2014

Playing time: 135 min (performance), 52 min (bonus)
Picture: 1080i Full HD (Blu-Ray) / NTSC 16:9 (DVD)
Sound: PCM Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (Blu-Ray) / PCM Stereo, DTS 5.1 (DVD)
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean
Booklet (German, English): articles on the work and the production

2 DVD + 1 Blu-Ray
Hardcover Linen Edition
Release Date: September 19, 2014
Catalogue Number: BPHR 140031

€39.90 (approx. $53.00)

Also available:
Exclusive new edition in linen hardcover

J.S. Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV 244

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER
Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor
Peter Sellars, Staging

Recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie, April 2010

2 DVD + 1 Blu-Ray
Hardcover Linen Edition
Release Date: September 5, 2014
Catalogue Number: BPHR 140021

€39.90 (approx. $53.00)

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER’S NEW YORK PERFORMANCES

CARNEGIE HALL
New York, NY

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER
Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor

Wednesday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. - Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala

RACHMANINOFF: Symphonic Dances
BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1 with Anne-Sophie Mutter
STRAVINSKY: Closing Scenes from The Firebird

Opening night tickets, priced from $75.00 to $250.00, are limited in availability and can be purchased online at carnegiehall.org, by CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800, or in person at the Carnegie Hall Box Office.

Thursday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m.

RACHMANINOFF: Symphonic Dances
STRAVINSKY: The Firebird (complete)

Sunday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m.

SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 1, “Spring”
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 2

Monday, October 6 at 8:00 p.m.

SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 4 (original version, 1841)
GEORG FRIEDRICH HAAS: dark dreams (U.S. Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Berliner Philharmoniker)
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 3, “Rhenish”

Tickets for the October 2, 5 and 6 concerts, priced from $35.00 to $230.00, are limited in availability and can be purchased online at carnegiehall.org, by CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800, or in person at the Carnegie Hall Box Office.

# # #

WHITE LIGHT FESTIVAL
Presented by Lincoln Center

Park Avenue Armory
New York, NY

Tuesday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m.

J.S. BACH: St Matthew Passion, BWV 244

BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER
Simon Rattle, conductor
Peter Sellars, director

Mark Padmore, Evangelist
Christian Gerhaher, Jesus
Camilla Tilling, soprano
Magdalena Kožená, mezzo-soprano
Topi Lehtipuu, tenor
Eric Owens, bass-baritone

Rundfunkchor Berlin
Simon Halsey, chorus master
Boy Choristers of St. Thomas Church
John Scott, chorus master

Tickets, priced from $75.00 to $350.00, are limited in availability. Please call CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500

PRESS

For review copies of St John Passion and St Matthew Passion please contact:

In the United States: Shuman Associates | shumanpr(at)shumanassociates(dot)net | T: (212) 315-1300
In Europe: Stefan Stahnke | Words about Musik | st(at)wordsaboutmusic(dot)de | T: 49 (30) 3478 1984

Additional materials area available at http://www.berliner-philharmoniker-recordings.com/press.

© 2014 Berlin Phil Media GmbH, Leipziger Platz 1, 10117 Berlin

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