On one extreme, Geiringer cites Bach's use of Gregorian chant as the subjects of the grandiose fugues that open and conclude the Credo. Miller, Philip L. – notes to the Shaw stereo RCA box, LSC-6157 (1961). Credo Sanctus Agnus Dei (1685â1750) Mass in B Minor, BWV 232. Please note that the following survey purports to be neither comprehensive nor a recommendation of "best" or even favorite recordings, but rather includes those that strike me as the most historically significant and that serve to trace the fascinating evolution of prevalent notions of stylistic authenticity. Needless to say, it's unique anyway, --Gerda Arendt 12:52, 17 April 2013 (UTC) B-Minor Mass. The New Bach Edition (NBA) volume of J. S. Bachâs Mass in B minor BWV 232 has been the definitive edition for generations of singers and musicians. Mass in B minor, BWV 232 (Bach, Johann Sebastian) Movements/Sections Mov'ts/Sec's: 4 parts Composition Year ... Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (D-B): Mus.ms. In June 1960 Shaw rerecorded the B Minor Mass, having thoroughly rehearsed the work through a six-week tour of one-night stands (36 concerts in 36 cities), this time with his famed Robert Shaw Chorale, which he had founded in 1948, rather than a specially-assembled studio group. Rejecting the intervening 19th century notions of interpretation, he insisted that artistic intuition had to arise from study of the original materials and thus be informed by deep knowledge of the traditions of Bach's time. In that light, Rifkin notes that the separate performing parts Bach prepared for the Missa (but which may never have been used) comprised one each for Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto, Tenor and Bass, rather than multiple copies that ripienists would have required. There are some excellent examples in the B minor Mass so I thought I’d give you a chance to hear one of them ... whilst at the same time giving you a snippet of the new recording. Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232. Unlike the two surviving Bach Passions (John and Matthew), Bach’s great Mass wasn’t originally conceived as a single entity. A new Bach B minor Mass has got me very excited this week. Even if it had no other merit, the sheer daring of this bold British venture would assure it an honored place in the history of the phonograph – a full recording of a two-hour, barely-known work of highly select appeal. In that light, the score itself (even when shorn of later annotations) is only a bare outline, as it omits performance conventions that were universally understood at the time, and thus obviated the need to write out all the details of execution. Join us to listen to this special presentation of the Mass in b minor in its entirety. To simply note this to be the first recording of the Mass with original instruments would vastly understate both the magnitude of its approach and its profound influence on all that would follow. He achieves further variety by using both female mezzos and male altos, rotates the solo turns among various members of his choir, and fortifies the more thickly-orchestrated concluding sections (Sanctus, Osanna and Dona nobis pacem) with additional voices, strings, oboes and flutes. Nikolaus Harnoncourt; Rotraud Hansmann, Emiko Iiyama, Helen Watts, Kurt Equiluz, Max van Egmond; Wiener Sängerknaben, Chorus Viennensis, Concentus Musicus Wien (1968, Telefunken / Das Alte Werk; 107'). The Mass in B minor was not performed in its entirety in Bachâs lifetime. Five-part choral writing is most in evidence, theâ¦ Kyrie Gloria. Although often cited as quirky or worse (a 1955 British Record Guide slams it as "a woeful disappointment," "capriciously conceived" and "simply unmusical"), Scherchen's highly individual account is a remarkably fresh approach that eschews ostentation and constantly resonates with sincere artistry that compels appreciation for the magnitude of Bach's achievement. Joshua Rifkin notes that after a dozen years of service Bach felt mistreated in his position at Leipzig and sought an official, if only honorary, title to strengthen his status. Performing the complete mass since 1940, The Bach Festival Society recognizes its place as inheritors of this tradition of bringing Bachâs work to life. Browse: Bach, J S - Mass in B minor, BWV232, Download This page lists all recordings of Mass in B minor, BWV232 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Thus, the opening Kyrie runs a full 15 ½ minutes (compared to a "standard" 11 or so), followed by a fleet 5-minute Christe (versus 6) and then a slow second Kyrie (4:45 versus 4). The overall effect evokes an idealized performance that Bach himself might have recognized but without any self-conscious attempt to invoke period mannerisms. Bach P 180 #310747 & 310748: Re-submission of the autograph of the Missa and Symbolum Nicenum originally submitted by Ivdruiz, supplemented by 9 of the 11 missing pages. He posited that Bach intended this compilation to be an anthology of sacred music rather than a òmissa tota ó â a unitary whole. Mass In B Minor BWV 232, Missa: Christe Eleison (Soprano I & II) 5:35. Bach's massive achievement in sacred music culminates in his Mass in B Minor, completed in 1749, the year before his death.A correspondingly massive body of literature discusses every facet of the Mass: its composition and compilation, its resulting coherence or incoherence, its Catholic or Protestant character, its wealth of symmetries and symbols secreted in the score. You'd never know from listening; there's remarkable consistency to the â¦ These concertists could be doubled by additional singers ("ripienists") for fully-scored passages to amplify the vocal texture, but the ripienists were purely optional, dependent upon available resources. Bach - Mass in B Minor | John Eliot Gardiner (2015) - YouTube Just as Bach culled his B Minor Mass from disparate sources, Herbert von Karajan's 1952-53 recording stemmed from choral sessions in Vienna, with the vocal solos and duets taped later in London. I. MISSA Kyrie Kyrie eleison (5-part chorus) Kyrie eleison. Butt asserts that it was fully appropriate for Bach to pour into his Mass an exhaustive summation of his vast musical skills and of all the styles, idioms and devices available in his age. The annotator of the original album (identified only as "H.W.L." All the more amazing, then, is that overall the Mass is as âdramatic in its effect as it is monumental, contributing to the impression of a work which seems to contain twice the amount of music that its duration would normally allow.â(8) This culmination of the 15-year effort of a man with deep religious and aesthetic convictions also â¦ Gratia et Gloria Dei December 21, 2013 By George Thompson (Gonzales, LA) See All My Reviews " From the album cover we understand that Bach's Mass in B Minor belongs in the cathedral and not the concert hall. òcalled: Mass in B minor ó was actually composed in different stages over several decades. 19. Indeed scholars often marvel at the range of material Bach incorporated into the Mass. Hermann Scherchen; Emmy Loose, Hilde Ceska, Gertrud Burgstahler-Schuster, Anton Dermota, Alfred Poell; Vienna Akademie Kammerchor, Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1950, Westminster LP set; 125'). The Mass in B Minor is fraught with difficulties regarding its origin, and ambiguities concerning its function. All rights reserved. As you probably know Suzuki is part way through a cycle of Bach Cantatas which are getting fantastic reviews, and when the cycle is finally complete (a little way off admittedly as he is only on Volume 36 of what I imagine will get up to somewhere near 60) I think it may well become ‘the’ version to have. The genesis and purpose of nearly all of Bach's prodigious output of vocal works is either known or can be reliably surmised – except for his very last and arguably greatest of all, which would come to be known as the Mass in B Minor (although, as Karl Geiringer observes, the title is a misnomer, as twice as many sections are in B Major than in b minor). Perhaps best remembered nowadays for his two Romanian Rhapsodies, Enescu (1881 - 1955) was a multi-talented teacher, composer, violinist and conductor, a prodigy who impressed Pablo Casals as "the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart." In that regard, the B Minor Mass was consistent with Luther's underlying theology, since, as Philipp Spitta put it, Luther was not a foe of Catholicism but a development grown from the same soil. Most commentators hold Bach's parody approach in high regard. Indeed, heard today (on an Amphion CD), the performance is strikingly modern – spirited with strong dynamics and careful balances. Many commentators attempt to reconcile the seeming conflict between Catholic and Lutheran liturgies by viewing the B Minor Mass as Bach's sincere ecumenical attempt to unite the two primary religious traditions of his era. He began by asserting that traditions of interpretation are valid only for works performed in unbroken sequence since their composition, whereas for Bach, whose works lay unperformed for a century and thus were removed from the composer's intentions, our notions of authenticity (and thus our accustomed listening experiences) reflect the prevalent style of when they were discovered rather than when they had been composed. (Thus, Rifkin adds a second alto for the Sanctus, and expands to a total of eight singers for the double "choir" needed for the Osanna and to conclude the work with a climactic Dona nobis pacem.) In that light, perhaps recognizing the unique ability of music to transcend the literalism of words, Bach may have devoted his ultimate religious work to an attempt to universalize Christian worship – in Terry's phrase, into an expression of Christian idealism – neither Catholic nor Protestant, yet both and therefore greater than either alone. John Butt points out that it was customary to submit a major sacred work in support of such a petition, that the traditional mass text would have had more immediate appeal than that of a newly-written and unfamiliar cantata, and that the overall style of the Missa was generally consistent with the expectations in Dresden, including such features as moving from a minor key to the relative major, setting the Christe as a duet for two sopranos, using a horn to accompany the Quoniam aria and basing the Domine Deus on a Lombard rhythm. The genesis and purpose of nearly all of Bach's prodigious output of vocal works is either known or can be reliably surmised â except for his very last and arguably greatest of all, which would come to be known as the Mass in B Minor (although, as Karl Geiringer observes, the title is a misnomer, as twice as many sections are in B Major than in b minor). For Bach, it's a splendid choice, because - again to my knowledge - it's unique, even without a composer, no other mass in B minor. Pitch is also set to match Leipzig organs at the time (with a' = 415 Hz, rather than the modern escalation to 440 or more). Amen (so to speak)! While the slow sections are just as evocative (and, of course, better recorded), the faster portions are brought back to earth with more conventional tempos and lack the startling sense of heady flight and the musicians' sheer exuberance and tangible enthusiasm that animate the mono version. Buy download online. Personal preferences aside, it's a fascinating alternative to standard versions, draws you in to infer the missing power and focuses attention to previously overlooked details – and after all, lacking any definitive proof, who's to say what Bach intended? I would go further and consider the Mass to be "Bach's Greatest Hits" (at least among his vocal compositions), as every movement boasts exceptional melodies that rank among Bach's most memorable, arrayed amid a wide variety of textures and settings, and thus provides a convenient condensation of his art into a single composition, without the recitatives and narrative filler that pad out his cantatas and even the work that is often cited as his crowning achievement – the even more massive St. Matthew Passion. Robert Shaw; Anne McKnight, June Gardner, Lydia Summers, Lucius Metz, Paul Matthen; RCA Victor Chorale and Orchestra (1947, RCA Victor LPs, 122 [119 + an extra 3 for the omitted repeat of the Osanna]), Robert Shaw; Saramae Endich, Adele Addison, Florence Kopleff, Mallory Walker, Ara Berberian; Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra (1960, RCA LPs and CDs, 133). Albert Coates; Elizabeth Schumann, Margaret Balfour, Walter Widdop, Friedrich Schorr; Philharmonic Choir, London Symphony Orchestra (1929, HMV 78s, Pearl CDs; 126' [123' + an extra 3' for the omitted repeat of the Osanna]). Soloists both vocal and instrumental are uniformly excellent. Matching their timings, period instruments, enthusiastic articulation, clipped notes, minimal vibrato and light interwoven sonic planes, Gardiner steers a middle course between their stances on the proper numbers of choral singers. Thus, in sending this Missa to the Elector with a letter dated July 27, 1733, Bach asked that the Elector "take me into your most mighty protection" and wrote that, despite serving as music director of Leipzig's two primary churches, "I have been made to suffer one injury or another, and on occasion a diminution of the fees connected with this office – all of which, however, would cease if Your Royal Highness would give me his favor and confer upon me a title in his court chapel," and promised "unending devotion
and to devote all my powers to your service." In any event, Butt notes with considerable irony that the B Minor Mass, which brims with Bach's deepest spiritual convictions, began to attain popularity only after religious works became fashionable in secular concert settings. The liturgical problems and the doubts surrounding its origins have led many scholars to question whether the B Minor Mass was ever intended for performance. While I consider the above recordings of the Mass in B Minor to have the greatest claim to historical significance, there are dozens of others, many of which have been widely acclaimed. 17. Frederick Smend supports the notion of separate performances of the four major sections, contending that they are independent and comprise a complete mass only by chance, and so the assumption of a complete performance "is perhaps one of the most notable examples of erroneous tradition versus artistic judgment." Scholars agree that at most one or two sections were freshly composed, with all the rest adapted from earlier cantata movements. A former Dean of Ripon wrote, âAll that I believe about God I find in Bachâs B minor Mass.â Although the Mass was written in separate sections over many years, there are, nevertheless, clear signs that the composer viewed it as a unified whole. The Mass in B Minor is arguably Bach's greatest single work. The first complete rendition, albeit of separate sections spread out over several years, is thought to have begun in 1811 by the Berlin Singakademie. He has wide ranging musical tastes, still plays Chamber music and particularly loves Mahler. The Mass in B minor is Johann Sebastian Bach's only setting of the complete Latin text of the Ordinarium missae. No.17: Coro - Crucifixus (from the new recording), Bach - Cantata BWV 12, ’Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’, No.2: Coro - Weinen, Klagen... (from BISCD791), rolyn Sampson (soprano I), Rachel Nicholls (soprano II), Robin Blaze (alto), Gerd Türk (tenor) & Peter Kooij (bass), Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki, Available Formats: 2 SACDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC. Leipzig Bachfest will stream the possibly largest version of all times of Bachâs Mass in B minor on 22 November. Johann Sebastian Bachs Mass in B minor is regarded by many as one of the supreme achievements of Western classical music. In a January 1951 review in the Saturday Review of Literature, Irving Kolodin hailed this release as one of "imagination, integration and subtlety" and "a musical phenomenon rather than a liturgical exercise." Similarly Bach himself harbored diverse leanings; as Parry notes, while his allegiance may have been to the Catholic ruler of Saxony, he had been educated by Protestants, lived in a Protestant town and made his living by writing and organizing performances of Protestant music. Malcolm Boyd concludes: "No other work more convincingly demonstrates that at the highest level Bach's process of parody, adaptation and compilation must be accepted as a creative act almost on a par with what we normally think of as 'original composition'." Scores – Among its immense trove of free public domain scores, the Petrucci Music Library (http://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page) has a nearly complete scan of Bach's autograph of the. Although written in the last years of his life, Bachâs Mass in B Minor had its beginnings some 15 years earlier. (x3) He acclaimed the solo work as "intrinsic rather than exhibitionist" and the overall result as "a glorification of Bach's musical inventiveness and the scope and variety of his ideas rather than an affirmation of liturgical devotion or solo skill." Yet, he reserved most of his praise for the marvels of the work itself and, noting that "it makes supreme demands in every branch," went on to fault the recording as falling short of broadcast quality, citing in particular some crudity in the alto and tenor solos, lack of choral definition and skewed balances of overly dominant strings but suppressed solo instruments. Sandrine Piau, Bernarda Fink, Markus Schäfer, Marcos Fink Ensemble de Lausanne, Michel Corboz The first integral performance only arose in 1859 in Leipzig by a chorus of over 100, adapted to the taste of the time, complete with dramatic dynamics and legato slurs. Rifkin speculates that the solos may have been meant to display the talents of the Elector's chapel choir. In his accompanying notes, Wolff disputes Rifkins unvarying use of solos throughout, noting that the Dresden parts of the Missa that Bach prepared had solo written on top of only certain movements, which he considers a deliberate distinction from the others, in which larger forces must have been intended. Consequently, throughout this recording, following the purely intuitive practice of Shaw, Harnoncourt shifts among three divisions of his choir (varying between large (20 sopranos, 10 altos, 6 tenors and 8 basses); medium (11, 5, 4, 4) and small (7, 3, 3, 3)) and orchestra (diverse combinations ranging between 6 and 13 strings). Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232. ", Karl Richter; Maria Stader, Hertha Töpper, Ernst Haefliger, Kieth Engen, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; Münchener Bach-Chor, Münchener Bach-Orchester (1961, DG Arkiv LP and CD sets: 122'). Bachâs Mass in B Minor (1733â38) was a monument of the preceding Baroque era. : Canby, Edward Tatnall notes to the Scherchen Westminster box, WAL 301 (1950). Copyright © 2002-20 Presto Classical Limited. They had already released revelatory original instrument versions of the Bach Brandenburg Concertos, Orchestral Suites and Violin Concertos (the last with a reduced "orchestra" of seven strings and harpsichord continuo) and would soon launch their most ambitious venture (shared with the King's College Choir and like-minded Leonhardt Consort), a project of staggering scope and historical importance – recording all 200+ Bach cantatas (and including the complete scores in each album). His star pupil Yehudi Menuhin, in liner notes, recounts him as a humble, deeply cultured human being. Georg von Dadelsen contends that it had been written during the five-month official period of mourning for August the Strong, the prior Elector, during which all musical performances had been banned, thus affording Bach a respite from his official duties. Furthermore, the words of the Mass â unlike those of the cantatas â are universal rather than being a product of their time. Accordingly, Gardiner not only assigns some entire choral movements to soloists but achieves textural variety within movements by varying his forces. In this short guide John Butt considers the work from many angles offering the reader basic information in a concise and accessible form. As Teri Noel Towe aptly describes it, "a massive choir
sings with gusto and with surprising subtlety in the handful of choruses that were rather inexpertly recorded by a pioneer mobile recording team. Xinh's project for Mu123, spring/1996 [Bach home page] What follows is the full text for Bach's B-Minor Mass. America had to await the 20th century - the first US performance was in 1900 by the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Although the choir is large and the instruments modern, this recording paved the way toward more recent scholarly versions with crisp articulation, precise balances and lucid sound. Moreover, while Terry observes that some sections (especially the Credo and Confiteor) "exhale a Roman atmosphere," C. Hubert H. Parry notes that others evoke a far different spirit from Catholic composers, being conceived in the subjective, intimate mood of Bach's cantatas (from which, after all, many of its movements were derived), taking the words to heart and with a depth of earnestness that was essentially Teutonic. Generally steadfast, Enescu relaxes the tempos at the end of each major section and adds a unique personal touch by softening and trailing off the massive final chord. While the sonics are quite good for its age, details of the instrumental and choral ensembles (especially the strings) are often blurred and some of the ensemble is casual. And even in 1749 when it was completed it was bundled in four very separate parts. Although the overall timing is nearly identical to Coates's, individual movement tempos tend toward extremes. A new Bach B minor Mass has got me very excited this week. As might be expected from Americas most highly acclaimed choral director, the focus is on the singing, and, as might be expected from a colleague of Toscanini, the performance is direct and honest. In any event, Bach's efforts eventually were successful, as he ultimately was bestowed the title of Church Composer, but only after reminding the Elector three years later. Bach's (1685 - 1750) `Mass in B Minor' is nearly 2 hours of what few would disagree is one of civilizations greatest masterpieces. The Boyd Neel Orchestra, founded by its namesake surgeon in 1933 as one of the earliest permanent chamber groups, provides eloquent, light textures (with imposing tympani) that must have seemed refreshingly pure at the time. The term B-Minor Mass is mentioned without introduction (so far had been "Mass in B minor"), and without italics. The Mass in B minor (German: h-Moll-Messe), BWV 232, is an extended setting of the Mass ordinary by Johann Sebastian Bach. The B Minor Mass included Harnoncourt's own lengthy, scholarly notes in which he both explained and defended his approach. Overall, Gardiner melds historical credibility and tradition with creativity to help bridge the gap between the older, romanticized approach and a radical application of period practices that threatens to alienate those who should embrace this wondrous work, and thus paved the way to many excellent recordings that continue to proclaim Bachs eternal relevance, even in our modern times. Whereas Handel was well-known for his 'borrowings' (where he essentially stole things off other composers), Bach frequently used the so-called 'parody technique' (where he would recycle earlier compositions of his own using new texts). Butt notes that, rather than expanding the originals as he did in nearly all other instances of adaptation, here Bach tended to abridge them, often by excising entire repeated ritornello or da capo sections of cantata movements. There is a theory that he never expected the work to be performed in its entirety, and certainly at nearly two hours in length it would never have been part of a church liturgy. The recordings are listed in the following format: Conductor; soloists; chorus, orchestra (year, labels of original issue and current CD availability; overall timing). The Mass can also be hailed as the supreme example of the practice of parody. (Aside from a few Bach and Handel snippets (mostly in Romanticized arrangements) and a vertiginous Mozart Jupiter, he recorded nothing else written prior to Beethoven.) Never performed during Bachâs lifetime, the Mass in B Minor is rightly revered as one of mankindâs greatest musical and spiritual achievements. Cost: $25+ Duration: About 2 â¦ Erato: 5623342. (Bach also wrote four other full-fledged Masses during this period, which contained far briefer Kyries and Glorias, but scholars are uncertain as to their intended purposes or when, or even whether, they were ever performed.). Yet this does not mean that Bach could never have heard his â¦ As with most music of this vintage, the recordings of the Mass in b minor invoke the fundamental issues of appropriate performing forces and interpretive approaches and trace the evolution of attempts to follow "authentic" performance practices. His fleet, broadly phrased, urgent, and dramatic account of the final chorus of the 'Gloria' provides an important, invaluable, and tantalizing hint of what the true Mendelssohnian Bach style must have been like."). (x3) Christe eleison (Duet, soprano I,II) Christe eleison. Charles Sanford Terry notes that while it contains all the sections of the Catholic mass (and, indeed, it was listed in Bach's estate catalog as "die Grosse catholische Messe"), textual variations violate the inflexible strictures required for ritual purposes; on the other hand, Lutherans use only portions (the Kyrie, Gloria and occasionally the Sanctus) of the full Catholic mass in their services. Even so, recorded in 7 sessions over 10 weeks in London to accommodate the soloists' schedules, it's surprisingly fine and needs no apologies for its sincere, if "old-fashioned," respectful approach. Tempos are comfortable and dynamics moderate, yet there's plenty of feeling – without resort to overtly dramatic touches the Confiteor barely rises above a whisper, the Agnus Dei is profoundly moving, and the final Dona nobis pacem builds progressively to a potent finish. bruggen's interpretation of bach's b minor mass powerful and gripping! 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