J.S. Bach: Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244
Raphaël Pichon directs a truly revelatory performance of Bach’s great St Matthew Passion. It’s one with a very human feel to it; Pichon’s soloists dig deep into the text and respond powerfully to the drama it undoubtedly is. Tenor Julian Prégardien’s Evangelist is wonderful, and his interaction with the Christ of French baritone, Stéphane Degout, is immensely touching. Other outstanding soloists are Lucile Richardot, Sabine Devieilhe, and Christian Immler, who draw you in with singing of heartrending intensity. But it is Pichon’s vision of the work—elegant in a very French way, but also open to texture, shape, color, and rhetoric—that makes this one of the finest of recent recordings of the St Matthew Passion.