(Towe cites as of greater importance "a recording of the 'Cum sancto spiritu' by the Berlin Philharmonischer Chor under the direction of its founder, Siegfried Ochs (1858-1929), a celebrated choral conductor who stood in a direct line of pedagogical descent from Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy [who had revived interest in Bach's choral works through a hugely influential 1829 Berlin performance of the St. Matthew Passion]. Mass In B Minor BWV 232, Missa: Gratias Agimus Tibi (Chorus) 2:31. Accordingly, Gardiner not only assigns some entire choral movements to soloists but achieves textural variety within movements by varying his forces. 17. 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'). Of his beloved Bach, he left us empathetic accompaniments to Menuhin's 1930s recordings of the Violin Concertos, probing renditions of the violin Sonatas and Partitas, and this deeply spiritual Mass in B Minor. The recordings are listed in the following format: Conductor; soloists; chorus, orchestra (year, labels of original issue and current CD availability; overall timing). Indeed, Bach's own ideal, and therefore his expectations, can be gleaned from a 1730 letter he had written to the Leipzig Town Council in which he proposed a "Short But Most Necessary Draft for a Well-Appointed Church Music," comprising 4-6 violins, 4 violas, 2 celli, one bass, 2-3 oboes, 2 flutes, 1-2 bassoons, 3 trumpets, one kettledrum and a chorus of 3-4 each of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. 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. Among the slowest on record, and thus patently at odds with more recent notions of brisk Baroque pacing (as well as Shaw's own earlier version), the patient unfolding of carefully layered lines, exquisite control and tender phrasing fend off any sense of tedium and instead create an aura of eternal mystery and conviction that assures a treasured place among traditional performances. Indeed, Butt finds symbolism in the seven movements that comprise the overall arch structure of the entire Credo section. 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. In terms of its origins, the Mass can be viewed as having been crafted in two distinct halves. The overall effect evokes an idealized performance that Bach himself might have recognized but without any self-conscious attempt to invoke period mannerisms. 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. Sandrine Piau, Bernarda Fink, Markus Schäfer, Marcos Fink Ensemble de Lausanne, Michel Corboz 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. 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. All rights reserved. Rifkin, too, included extensive notes to justify his choices. The first documented performance of any portion of the B Minor Mass was by the composer's son C.P.E. 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. Pitch is also set to match Leipzig organs at the time (with a' = 415 Hz, rather than the modern escalation to 440 or more). Harnoncourt, Nikolaus – notes to his Telefunken box, SKH 20/1–3 (1968). 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." On one extreme, Geiringer cites Bach's use of Gregorian chant as the subjects of the grandiose fugues that open and conclude the Credo. Never performed during Bachâs lifetime, the Mass in B Minor is rightly revered as one of mankindâs greatest musical and spiritual achievements. Performing the complete mass since 1940, The Bach Festival Society recognizes its place as inheritors of this tradition of bringing Bachâs work to life. All the components fit well yet perhaps a bit too well, without the textural diversity or emotional peaks needed to sustain attention over the course of two largely undifferentiated, moderated hours. Emery, Walter – notes to the Klemperer Angel box, SC-3720 (1967). Robert Shaw sidesteps the issue, stating that no matter when the fragments may have been composed, they comprise a textual and musical unity reflecting Bach's unwavering religious conviction and his staggering musical craftsmanship. 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. A wonderful question which, Iâd argue, admits of no single answer. The Missa portion appeared in 1833, and the rest in 1845, followed by an "official" edition in 1856 by the newly-formed Bach Gesellschaft. 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. Malcolm Boyd goes even further, crediting Bach's B Minor Mass as probably the first setting of the Ordinary conceived without regard to liturgical use, and thus raising fundamental questions about the possibility of religious practice apart from formal ritual or established institutions. I. MISSA Kyrie Kyrie eleison (5-part chorus) Kyrie eleison. 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. Even so, the earliest recordings were imbued with the bloated ideals of the 19th century in which the artists had been trained. The first publication was by Hans Georg Naëgli, who had purchased the autograph at auction. 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. In a sense, this was a matter of political expediency, as the Saxon court had become Catholic only in 1697 and many of its officials were Lutheran. Xinh's project for Mu123, spring/1996 [Bach home page] What follows is the full text for Bach's B-Minor Mass. 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